Pope Benedict's brother admits slapping pupils at German choir school

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London, Mar. 10 (ANI): Pope Benedict XVI's brother has admitted that he slapped choirboys at the German choir school that he headed for 30 years.

Georg Ratzinger, 86, now regrets using corporal punishment against his charges and asked their forgiveness.

"At the beginning I administered clips round the ear, but I always had a bad conscience about it. I was happy when in 1980 corporal punishment was banned by law," The Telegraph quoted Ratzinger, as saying. eople have "become more sensitive" about physically reprimanding children, a change that he welcomed.

"At the same time, I ask the victims for forgiveness," Ratzinger, who is four years older than his brother, told a Bavarian daily newspaper, Passauer Neue Presse.

His choir has become the latest Catholic institution in Germany to be swept up in allegations of boys being abused by priests.

However, Ratzinger said he had no knowledge of the sex abuse, which allegedly took place in the 1950s and 1960s.

"The problem of sexual abuse that has now come to light was never discussed," he said.

A former pupil at the boarding school, which was attached to the choir, has claimed that there was an "ingenious system of sadistic punishments connected to sexual pleasure."

Franz Wittenbrink, now a successful director and composer, said one headmaster in the 50s would take two or three boys to his flat, give them red wine and engage them in a sexual act.

"Everyone knew about it. I find it inexplicable that Georg Ratzinger, who had been cathedral bandmaster since 1964, apparently knew nothing about it," Wittenbrink said. (ANI)

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