Posts tagged ‘munich’

May 14, 2010

The case against Walter Mixa: Nothing but “hot air”?

Former Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa

FORMER AUGSBURG BISHOP WALTER Mixa, who recently resigned from the Catholic Church after being confronted with child abuse, embezzlement, and pedophile accusations, can finally rest easy in his Swiss clinic: at least the sex charges appear to be overblown, if not outright false. According to the Nürnberger Nachrichten, Mixa’s lawyer has stated that the preliminary investigation against his client had yielded nothing but “hot air.” Sources close to the newspaper said the investigation was likely to be dropped in the coming days. A statement is expected tomorrow. (I have been covering the Mixa story regularly on my blog.)

The “case” against Mixa stems from a lone denunciation by two employees in the education department of the diocese of Eichstätt, where Mixa had served as bishop from 1996 to 2005, directly to the diocese in Augsburg, which sent it on to the Bavarian state prosecutor’s office in Munich, bypassing the normal channels. A young man called Marco Schneider, who was supposedly the target of Mixa’s alleged abuse, announced over the weekend that the charges were entirely untrue…

Continued…

March 16, 2010

Germany’s Catholic sex scandal reaches Pope Benedict

A CATHOLIC MASS ISN’T normally a debating society, but sometimes enough is simply enough. At Sunday mass at the parish church in the Bavarian town of Bad Tölz, a pastor’s unspeakable past finally caught up with him. It was revealed last week that Pastor Peter H., who had been providing pastoral care at the church for the past two years, had been tried and convicted of sexual abuse in 1986. Not only had this conviction been kept secret, but the priest’s superior at one time – Joseph Ratzinger, the former Archbishop of Munich who is today better known as Pope Benedict XVI – had knowingly moved this known pedophile from parish to parish. He was finally sent to Bad Tölz in 2008 under the condition that he engage in no “children’s, youth, or altar boy work.” However, he did end up conducting two children’s services at the church and also took part in youth retreats.

As far as anyone knows, Peter H. did “nothing, absolutely nothing” wrong during his previous twenty-one year tenure in the town of Garching, nor is anything known about any inappropriate activities in Bad Tölz…

Continued…

January 20, 2010

Incident at Munich airport humiliates safety officials

A RECENT ANTI-AIRPORT security demonstration by the Pirate Party at three German airports, in which several dozen young people took off their clothes to express their anger over the imminent introduction of so-called “nude scanners” that can virtually strip air travelers naked at security checkpoints, was based around the slogan “Security is an illusion.” An incident at Munich’s international airport today underscores the truth of that statement.

At 3:30 p.m. Central European time a passenger arrived at the security checkpoint in Munich’s Terminal 2 carrying only a laptop computer. As he went through the standard security check, which is provided by a private contractor, a sensor picked up possible traces of explosives in or on the device. When the security official asked the passenger to step aside for a more thorough examination, he grabbed the computer and ran directly into the secure zone of the airport. The German Federal Police, which is responsible for general airport security, immediately shut down the terminal and sent forty officers, many of them with shepherd dogs, into the secure zone…

Continued…

September 20, 2009

Death of a hero: The murder of Dominik Brunner

Dominik Brunnen, 1959-2009

Dominik Brunnen, 1959-2009

THE TERM “HERO” HAS been so grievously overused in recent years that we would all be hard-pressed to come up with a comprehensible definition for it. Nowadays it seems as if all you need to become a hero is just to be a passive victim of a terrorist act, or else to meet your end while wearing any sort of uniform (provided you’re fighting for the right side, that is).

But I think everyone can agree that on September 12, 2009 a businessman died and a hero was born. On that day, towards evening, Dominik Brunner, a fifty year-old senior manager of a brick company in Neufahrn in Lower Bavaria, boarded a suburban train on his way to his second home in the town of Solln near Munich. At the Donnersbergerbrücke station, four young teenagers – two girls and two boys – came on board with two older boys in hot pursuit. The younger kids had been on their way to what promised to be a fun evening at a bowling center when Markus Sch. and Sebastian L. (aged seventeen and eighteen) approached them on the station platform and demanded fifteen Euros from them. They continued their harangue in the train and threatened violence if the younger kids didn’t shell out the money.

At this point, Brunner stood up and told the older kids to lay off. He then comforted the four teenagers and said he would ride with them to Solln station and make sure they got off safely. However, the two young men remained aggressive, and so two stations before Solln Brunner alarmed the police via cell phone. When they arrived in Solln, however, the older kids followed Brunner and his four charges off the train and onto the platform. And there, according to one of the children, one of the thugs “went ballistic.” …

Continued…