Regensburg choir abuse: Mgr. Voderholzer (Bishop), “deeply saddened” and ashamed at what the children have endured

Yesterday the churches of the Diocese of Regensburg have read out the letter addressed by Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer to the faithful after the publication, on 18 July, of the “Report on cases of violence” against the Regensburg choirboys. Most of the Report is descriptive, the Bishop explained. It describes facts that occurred in the sixties and seventies, although some cases took place in 1992. “Those who read such descriptions can only feel horror and shock”, because the physical violence inflicted on children, in many cases even on preschool children, went “far beyond” the “slaps” which were an accepted punitive measure at the time; because children and young boys were sexually abused; because many of them “were living in constant terror” of being punished “arbitrarily and systematically”, and because many still suffer today from the “humiliations they have endured”. “Isolation”, “communication barriers” and “omissions” by political and ecclesial leaders are among the causes that have made this possible. “I am deeply saddened and ashamed by all this”, Mgr. Voderholzer wrote, adding that this is all the more serious because “these children had been entrusted in good faith to priests and church personnel”, who had committed themselves to living “the ten commandments and the commandment of love”. I, as the Bishop of Regensburg, “can only humbly ask for forgiveness” “on behalf of the perpetrators, most of whom are now deceased”, please forgive this and “accept this request for forgiveness”.