Home Foreign Court Schedules Hearing In Lawsuit Involving Former Pope Benedict XVI

Court Schedules Hearing In Lawsuit Involving Former Pope Benedict XVI


Munich, – A court in Bavaria has scheduled a hearing in a lawsuit involving the late Pope Benedict XVI brought by victims of abuse by clergy.

The case was during Benedict’s time as archbishop of Munich and Freising.

A district court in Traunstein, which had cancelled an earlier hearing, would hold proceedings in the case on June 20.

The civil action is directed against a priest convicted of abuse as well as the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising and Benedict’s successor as archbishop there, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter.

The now-deceased pontiff was originally named as a defendant as well.

The court ordered that the accused priest, identified only by the initial H., as well as a representative of the archdiocese, appear in person at the hearing.

The court spokeswoman said this on Thursday.

The civil case did not carry any criminal implications.

The spokeswoman said the court did not plan to consider evidence in the case at the June 20 hearing.

The court also did not plan on taking up the question of whether Benedict XVI has legal heirs potentially implicated in the civil case.

Although the court did not separate that part of the case.

The district court postponed the original hearing date because it could not identify a legal successor to the former pontiff, who died on Dec. 31, in Vatican City.

His long-time private secretary and executor, Georg Gänswein, earlier provided information indicating that Benedict did not appoint a legal heir.

Gänswein told dpa that left the matter of legal succession in play under Vatican and Italian law.

“The letters to possible heirs are in progress. The responses of possible heirs are still pending,’’ Gänswein said. (dpa/NAN)

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