Abused man wants justice from pope

2011-09-20 13:55

Berlin - Wilfried Fesselmann was 11-years-old when he says he was molested by a priest, who Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, employed a few months later.

He wants to use the pontiff's first state visit to his home country Germany this week to demand justice, accusing him of deliberately turning a blind eye to the suffering of abuse victims.

"After a holiday spent at a Catholic camp, Father Peter Hullermann suggested to my parents that I sleep at his home on weekends," Fesselmann, now 43, told AFP. "I was so cute."

Coming from a deeply religious family, the altar boy felt comfortable chatting and watching television with the cleric, who was popular with youths for his mesmerising sermons. But one night, he said, the attention turned sinister.

"He served me alcohol. I had to tell him the names of my genital organs which of course excited him. He then ordered me to undress, to masturbate, then to perform oral sex on him."

Family did not believe him

On returning home, Fesselmann became sullen and reserved and refused to go to church. Three weeks later he confided in his best friend.

"I wanted to protect him," his friend said.

His friend's parents reported the abuse to the Church, leading to the priest's transfer from the western city of Essen to Munich in the south.

However Fesselmann's family refused to believe him.

"I do not want to hear about it as long as I live," his mother told him.

Fesselmann obeyed, waiting until her death in 2000 to confront his repressed memories.
Since that time, the father of three suffered panic attacks, lost his job and even tried to commit suicide. But then he decided to fight.

"It was Joseph Ratzinger as Archbishop of Munich in 1980 who signed my priest's placement papers," Fesselmann said. "If you sign such a document, you know what it means."

‘Pope must accept responsibility’

In June 1986, Father Peter Hullermann was sentenced to 18 months suspended sentence on several counts of sexual abuse.

In March 2010, when the case was exposed in the US press, the vicar general of Munich at the time, Gerhard Gruber, assumed "full responsibility" for reassigning the cleric, calling it a "serious mistake".

However Fesselmann wants Benedict to accept personal responsibility for his ordeal and that of the other victims.

"It was always the same story in different countries: the paedophile priests were moved elsewhere," Fesselmann said.

Crimes against humanity

In May last year, he wrote asking to meet the pontiff during his stay in Germany. He was told three months later that his request for an audience would be reviewed but since then he has had only silence from the Vatican.

"I find this very disappointing because he's a German pope, and he should deal with victims in Germany first. He met with them in Ireland, why not in Germany?" Fesselmann asked.

Unable to meet with Benedict during his stay in Berlin on September 22-23, Fesselmann plans to demonstrate in the German capital with the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (Snap), to which he belongs.

Snap last week asked the International Criminal Court to prosecute Benedict for crimes against humanity linked to sexual violence committed by clergy around the world, in what observers said was a largely symbolic move.

With such actions, Fesselmann says, "we want more and more victims to step forward, we want to encourage them to break their silence."

The paedophile scandal in the Catholic Church exploded around the turn of this century with thousands of revelations of sexual abuse by priests in the United States.

The deluge of subsequent allegations in countries around the world led the pope to express his "shame" and to pledge Church action against predatory clergy.

The Vatican said last week that it would not rule out a meeting between the pope and abuse victims during his stay in Germany.

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-09-20 14:38

    Justice from the Devil ?!!!

      Jason - 2011-09-23 06:06

      justice will be drawn down on him and his wicked "brothers"

  • Succubus - 2011-09-20 14:38

    Culture, is humanities excuse to justify primitive behavior. Religion, is the tool used by primitive humans to give authority to their culture. Tradition, is the rule that outlaws change, in order that religion may forever be used to give authority to cultural justification for primitive behavior. I'm disappointed that when I was a little girl, no catholic priest ever tried to pull that s**t on me. Because if some pathetic catholic priest ever did try to get sleazy with me, you would hear a story about how some poor catholic priest got abused by a psychotic and demented little girl, after unsuccessfully attempting to molest her. Oh wait, catholic priests only target little boys! ...pathetic loosers!

      Inhlanzi - 2011-09-20 14:59

      Looser than what?

      Succubus - 2011-09-20 18:25

      Looser than a spelling losers ability to spell losers. Spell checker got me there! Thanks for pointing that out though.

  • Samantha - 2011-09-20 15:00

    its disgusting that these low life sanctimonious bastards get away with this, for so many years, how can the Pope turn a blind eye? so much for doing God's work!

      McDaNife - 2011-09-20 15:07

      Rule no 1 never trust a priest. I think they conduct more sexual crime because its never reported.

      Matt :-) - 2011-09-20 16:14

      Well the current Pope was in the Hitlerjugend and the previous Pope allegedly sold lethal chemicals to the Nazis before fleeing to the RCC in 1946 to not get arrested... I think we can leave God out of the equation when speaking of Popes

  • Brainbow - 2011-09-20 15:03

    The popemobile is evidence that the pope has no faith. Wilfried should rather ask God for help.

  • zaatheist - 2011-09-20 15:05

    He expects what? The Vatican is the stronghold of the world's oldest gangster organisation. Where does he think the Mafia learned its tricks? Don Ratzi counts de cash in the Vatican bank. He does not dispense justice

      Gazzah - 2011-09-20 15:10

      Amazing how conspiracy theories can come forward at a time like this! @ Zaatheist you are a wealth of knowledge where do you get all your information from? Sorry, the internet and we all know you can trust the internet!

      zaatheist - 2011-09-20 15:32

      Not sure of your point. What links do you need? - he Worlds most comprehensive resource on Clergy Sexual Abuse Over 10,000 Articles Do it yourself. Do I believe all of 11,400,000 results on Google for "Catholic Child Abuse" are false and that Papa Ratzzi and his geriatric virgins are all honest fellows?

      Matt :-) - 2011-09-20 16:02

      @ Gazzah - shockingly, I agree with Zaatheist.

      Matt :-) - 2011-09-20 16:06

      This is quite interesting to look at... In the year 1870 after Christ, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of Papal Infallibility This is a blasphemy and the sign of the apostasy and of the antichrist predicted by St. Paul. (Read 2nd Thessalonians 2:2-12; Revelation 17:1-9; 13:5-8,18). Many Bible students see the number of the beast (Rev. 13:18), 666 in the Roman letters of the Pope's title: "VICARIVS FILII DEI." -- V-5, I-1; C-100, I-1; V-S, I-1; L-50, I-1; I-1; D-500, I-l — Total, 666.

  • DFSS - 2011-09-20 15:13

    Its time for the sake of GOD that the catholic church confront and finally put to rest its abusive past, by firing all abusers and protectors and leaving them without income or pensions to confront the real world.

  • mbulelo.bikitsha - 2011-09-20 15:37

    Sick...very disturbing!

  • Matt :-) - 2011-09-20 16:04

    God + Jesus is real. As for the Catholic Church... nope! Required reading for any Christian or Catholic:

  • Matt :-) - 2011-09-20 16:12

    I say celibacy is the cause of all this! These so-called men of God are forced by the RCC to never have any relations, never marry... and then wonder why they end up raping and abusing?! If they had wives, I'm convinced none of this would happen (or at least, very small scale). What does the Bible say? Seeing how the Pope claims Christianity, that's a good place to start: 1 Timothy 3:1-2 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 1 Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the HUSBANDS OF ONE WIFE, ruling their children and their own houses well. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; FORBIDDING TO MARRY, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. Does anybody else see the same thing here - the Bible TELLS clergy to get married; the Catholic Church FORBIDS clergy to marry.

      Idomeneo - 2011-09-20 16:39

      I beg to differ Matt. Many priests have had sexual relations with other adults on the quiet - they don't prey on children. Celibacy is not the problem, or the cause. The Catholic church has attracted paedophiles because it offers easy access to children with no consequences for sexual abuse. Any sick pervert is going to be attracted to an organisation which offers them an outlet for their perversion with complete protection.

      maceye - 2011-09-20 17:04

      Since you like dispensing bible verses, let me dispense some of my own, which basically upholds the teaching of celibacy. In Corinthians 7, in that very chapter Paul actually endorses celibacy for those capable of it: "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion" (7:8-9). It is only because of this "temptation to immorality" (7:2) that Paul gives the teaching about each man and woman having a spouse and giving each other their "conjugal rights" (7:3); he specifically clarifies, "I say this by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another" (7:6-7, emphasis added). Paul even goes on to make a case for preferring celibacy to marriage: "Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. . . those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. . . . The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband" (7:27-34).

      maceye - 2011-09-20 17:08

      Paul’s conclusion: He who marries "does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better" (7:38). Paul was not the first apostle to conclude that celibacy is, in some sense, "better" than marriage. After Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 on divorce and remarriage, the disciples exclaimed, "If such is the case between a man and his wife, it is better not to marry" (Matt 19:10). This remark prompted Jesus’ teaching on the value of celibacy "for the sake of the kingdom": "Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom it is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it" (Matt. 19:11–12). As you can see both Jesus and Paul exhort the benefits of celibacy, furthermore, if you read revelations, you'll notice that celibacy is considered a virtue along with martyrdom. Once again the christian fundamentalist picks and chooses verses without looking at the bible as a whole. Either you are ignorant, or just plain malicious. For your sake I hope the former.

      maceye - 2011-09-20 17:11

      Furthemore, there is no correlation between celibacy and abuse. Why don't you ask the countless teachers who are married and still abuse children that same question.

      Matt :-) - 2011-09-21 08:53

      @ Maceye - but your verses still support the ones I gave - Paul was saying that if you can stay single and serve the Lord, then great - because often it happens that a man will want to do X for God and the wife tells him to do Y. But still, to avoid fornication, get married. So Paul is still supporting marriage, which was created by God in the beginning so that all may be fruitful and multiply. And wouldn't you agree this bears relevance to such shocking abuse cases? sure, there are always a few married men who still engage in this sick abuse. But how much more likely would it be committed by a man who obviously has the urge to do the deed, is forbidden by his church to do so, then is in a position where he has power within a church, has all kinds of children and adults look up to him with full respect and trust... how easy is it for such a priest to abuse that! @ Idomeneo - that's also true. It is claimed that Pope JP2 was working in a chemicals factory until WW2 ended and supplied lethal chemicals like Zyklon B to the Nazis, then went into the RCC in 1946 to avoid justice. Note I say "claimed"...

      Matt :-) - 2011-09-21 09:01

      @ Maceye: Matthew 19:11-12 speaks of eunuchs! Also, read the whole story before that passage, like from verse 1 onwards, it was the Pharisees who suggested not to marry, not Jesus! Matthew 19:10: His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. (= Pharisees, read carefully before this verse!) Matthew 19:11: But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. Matthew 19:12: For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. Eunuch: literally bed-keeper or chamberlain, and not necessarily in all cases one who was mutilated, although the practice of employing such mutilated persons in Oriental courts was common (2 Kings 9:32; Esther 2:3). The law of Moses excluded them from the congregation (Deut. 23:1). They were common also among the Greeks and Romans. It is said that even to-day there are some in Rome who are employed in singing soprano in the Sistine Chapel. Three classes of eunuchs are mentioned in Matt. 19:12. "and if he is able to receive it, let him receive it" ... clearly Jesus did NOT say celibacy is the way!!!

      Matt :-) - 2011-09-21 09:03

      So now who's been picking and choosing ...

      maceye - 2011-09-21 10:38

      Matt dont be an imbecile, Jesus clearly states that one makes himself a eunuch for the kingdom of God. Either Jesus was telling His followers go and castrate themselves to better serve the kingdom, or He was speaking metaphorically, which means to remain celibate. Your reasoning is flawed my friend.

      maceye - 2011-09-21 11:06

      So Matt, what does a bed keeper got to do with what was discussed regarding the pharisees. Jesus was speaking in context, of course he is referring to celibacy, because the topic discussed was whether or not to marry, either that or was talking about bed keepers. Furthermore, Paul instructs believers it is better to marry than to burn with lust, however it is better not marry just like he was, in order to serve the Lord better. Celibacy is a gift, and not all can be expected to be Celibated, therefore it would be better to marry if you yourself cannot maintain such a state. Concerning paedophiles within the church, they should have done the honourable thing and resigned as priests, and the practise of celibacy cannot be blamed for their weaknesses. What about married protestant pastors who still commit adultery. Trust me there are many of them around. Aslo remember celibacy is a discipline, its not considered dogma of the church. Peter was married, and we do allow this in the eastern right. The church just feels that the priests can serve the church far better in the latin right if you are single. As Paul rightly states, that a married man will be more concerned about his wife than with the church.

  • bullincapeto - 2011-09-20 16:36

    Relgious fanatics of all denominations are resposible for more bloodshed,misery and pain than all the natural disasters of the last century.Are we not enlightened enough to stop fighting over a load of claptrap???

      Matt :-) - 2011-09-20 16:43

      For a start, you may want to take history lessons regarding the last century. Stalin saw the evolution theory, became atheist, killed 60-100 million of his own people over just 20+ years. Mao Tse Tung, saw the evolution theory, became atheist, killed anything up to 70 million of his own people. Pol Pot wipe out a third of his population. Oh and let us not even go to the proven&admitted lie of "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" which has been used to justify over a billion abortions (which is also murder). Pol Pot aside, either of those examples of atheist-communist states on their own have caused more deaths than all religions, all wars, in all known history. But I'm sure you knew this already :-)

  • Greegs - 2011-09-20 16:39

    Religion sucks!!!

  • negro.please - 2011-09-20 16:53

    Sounds like the script from The Thorn Birds. I don't know why Christianity does not allow belief in evolution because their standards are changing all the time and isn't the same that Jesus preached. I met a man once who was married to another man at the alter of the Christian God. Weird. I suggest in this situation the Pope ask himself: "What would Jesus do?"

      Matt :-) - 2011-09-21 10:17

      @ Negro.Please - "I met a man once who was married to another man at the alter of the Christian God. Weird" Not weird - apostate. Name that church so that actual Christians know which one to avoid + add to the list of apostates! Why Christianity doesn't allow evolution? Oh, where to start! 1) nor does Judaism or Islam 2) the big bang, old earth and evolution theories in every way are the exact opposite to the Genesis account 3) it puts death before sin (eg dinos dying before Adam) which is 100% anti-Biblical as the Bible says death came from sin 4) suggesting God used evolution would suggest A) He couldn't get it right the first time, B) He would be extremely cruel and retarded as evolution entails mass death in order to achieve "higher species" 5) if evolution were true, it would relegate Genesis to a book of fables. As the NT quotes it 200x and Jesus about 30x, that would bring into question the veracity of the Bible, and indeed of Jesus 6) Pagans today worship all kinds of stuff, but the early Pagans worshipped one god, who created everything 6-7000 years ago, there was a flood and their earliest traceable ancestor was Noah. This goes for Celt, Briton, Anglo Saxon, Dane, Norse, Icelandic. Now why would that be and why would all their history match Genesis, if they had never seen Genesis before, let alone read it? (even the ancient Greeks spoke of the one creator god and the like of Epicurus debated creation/evolution/atheism 2500 years ago!)

      negro.please - 2011-09-21 10:29

      Well, the evolution statement was tongue in cheek, so no need for me to respond to the 3rd paragraph since I similarly am not fully convinced about the theory of evolution, so on that point we are on the same side. Regarding paragraph 1 and 2; What made it weird was that the minister that married them, was a Lesbian herself. So surely she is representing God? Just to explain the evolution parallel, I was trying to make: If you can allow this, which Jesus would be pissed off with, why not similarly allow evolution?

  • haszard - 2011-09-20 20:28

    Not to diminish the serious sin of the RCC but Please examine the Jehovah's Witnesses who go door to door and come on our property. Jehovah's Witnesses pedophiles. Many court documents and news events prove that Jehovah's Witnesses require two witnesses when a child comes forward with allegations of molestation within the congregation. Such allegations have customarily been treated as sins instead of crimes and are only reported to authorities when it is required to do so by law, (which varies by state). It has also been shown that child molesters within the organization usually have not been identified to the congregation members or the public at large. These people engage in a door to door ministry, possibly exposing children to pedophiles. The Watchtower corporation has paid out millions in settlement money already. -- Danny Haszard abuse victim FMI

      negro.please - 2011-09-20 23:28

      Interesting, explains why so many of them get struck by lightning.

  • Lodi - 2011-09-22 14:49

    Do you know who St Paul is:According to the Bible, Paul was known as Saul prior to his conversion, and was dedicated to the persecution of the early disciples of Jesus in the area of Jerusalem.[4] While traveling from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission to "bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem", the resurrected Jesus appeared to him in a great light. Saul was struck blind, but after three days his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus, and Paul began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God. Along with Simon Peter and James the Just he was one of the most prominent early Christian leaders.[6] He was also a Roman citizen—a fact that afforded him a privileged legal status with respect to laws, property, and governance. Paul persecuted people who believed in Jesus. Would you believe that Jews would believe Hitler after he killed them if he told them he had an aparition of Jews were great. I don't think they would believe him, real christians would not take the word of Paul, the one who introduced Sun worshipping to the Chriatian faith. What a fake religion

  • Lodi - 2011-09-22 14:57

    Paul wasn't even an apostle,the apostles were 12 of the 12 different tribes of Jews.He came afterwards and definitely not with the word of Jesus. I would rather read the rest of the bible without the stories of Paul. He was a reporter and with passing on the reporting becomes a massive lie or exageration. Paul is a traitor. Catholic priests should not be molesting little boys it's sick. The Pope looks like a sick boy lover himself hence the fact he never was interested in a woman. Come out and admit you gay for the love of Gay people. You don't hide the sins of your priests and tansfer them to another parish. That is not Chriatina and Jesus would never have done that, hide ugly truths.

  • yuri_nahl - 2011-09-23 02:19

    This reminds me of "The Parable of the Short Legged Donkey" which a "messiah" type of brigand tried to foist upon some dwellers of the Holy Land approximately AD 40 or so.

  • yuri_nahl - 2011-09-23 02:24

    THE MIRACLE OF THE SHORT LEGG-ED DONKEY (ONE OF THE EXPUNGED GOSPELS FOUND IN THE EGYPTIAN DESERT IN 1850 OR SO) For the Lord said "Blessed is he, who on a cold day, cooks a giant pot of potatoes in a vat of lard for the squirrels and raccoons in the vicinity, for he shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven that very day. Whether he wants to is another story." The Saviour also said, "Thou shall not buy a house and 2 chariots and much fine raiment, for fine raiment is not suitable for thy job in the quarry, and thy wife shall turn into a fat cow if she goeth around in a chariot. For I say unto thee, if thy life consists of paying the usurers their pound of flesh, life will have passed thee by, and thou shall look upon thy life and ask "THAT was my life?" The Lord further said, "If thee and thy fellow supplicants refrain from renting money from the money lenders, their evil trade will be diminished, and therefore, their rendering unto Caesar will be a smaller rendering. I admonish My flock to keep thine eyes on the skyline and be aware, because power and coin of the realm go hand in hand". Now the Son of God's teaching apply well to the 21st century. For the Lord said, "These temptations will be in the form of messages from the Devil, through the medium of Television. This medium will present the correct role of modern people. To turn your only life into the "Brady Bunch". Except Mr. Brady would never be anesthetized by alcohol,

  • Jason - 2011-09-23 06:05

    justice will be drawn down on him and his wicked "brothers"

  • pages:
  • 1