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Catholic Abuse Scandal: Obscene Graffiti Daubed on Pope's German Birthplace

Police are investigating obscene graffiti daubed on the house in Bavaria where Pope Benedict XVI was born. They won't reveal what it said but say it is related to the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. The writing was hastily painted over.

The house in Marktl am Inn where Pope Benedict XVI was born. Zoom
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The house in Marktl am Inn where Pope Benedict XVI was born.

Obscene graffiti has been sprayed on the house in southern Germany where Pope Benedict XVI was born, police in the Bavarian town of Marktl am Inn said on Tuesday.

Police said the graffiti was blue writing in letters about 30 centimeters high but they declined to reveal what it said. A spokesman said the graffiti, written above the front door, referred to the abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church. It did not make specific reference to the pope, the spokesman said.

"A painter was called to paint over the obscene text," police said in a statement asking for any witnesses to come forward.

The Vatican is facing growing allegations that it covered up past cases of abuse of children by priests in the United States and several European countries. The latest accusations have focused on the role of Pope Benedict when he was still an archbishop in his native Germany and then the Vatican's top doctrinal official.

Benedict was born Joseph Ratzinger on April 16, 1927 in the small village of Marktl. The house contains a permanent exhibition about his life and works. He only spent the first two years of his life there.

cro -- with wire reports

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