The Vatican said Friday it "takes very seriously" a paedophilia scandal that has rocked Germany's Roman Catholic Church over the past six weeks.
The Vatican "takes very seriously the affair of the paedophilia scandal in Germany", the Vatican's deputy spokesman Ciro Benedettini told AFP.
Benedettini would not comment on specific cases of alleged sexual abuse of members of a boy choir formerly headed by Pope Benedict XVI's brother Georg, now 86, in the southern German city of Regensburg.
The Regensburg bishop acknowledged the abuses in a letter to victims' parents published on the diocesan website Friday.
Diocesan spokesman Clemens Neck acknowledged "information on alleged abuses between 1958 and 1973", adding: "We want to investigate with the utmost transparency."
Benedettini said Georg Ratzinger, who led the boys' choir from 1964 to 1993, told a German radio he was unaware of the abuses.
The pope, then Joseph Ratzinger, was a professor at Regensburg University for several years during that period.
The conference of German bishops tasked Trier Bishop Stephen Ackermann with investigating another paedophilia scandal in which German clergy allegedly abused children in schools.
The head of the German bishops conference, Robert Zollitsch, is to meet with the pope at the Vatican on March 12 to discuss the issue.
The remarks come on the heels of a paedophilia scandal that erupted in Ireland last year after a shock government report on sexual abuse in the Dublin archdiocese.
One priest admitted to sexually abusing more than 100 children, while another said he had abused on a fortnightly basis over 25 years.
The report by judge Yvonne Murphy said the Church had carried out a cover-up to avoid damaging its reputation and assets.
In February the pope rebuked Irish bishops over the scandal and urged them to restore the Church's "spiritual and moral credibility".
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