- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The childhood home of the future Pope Benedict XVI was paint-vandalized Tuesday evening with obscene writings, according to German police.

Police in the Bavarian town of Marktl-am-Inn issued an appeal for witnesses and immediately ordered the graffiti to be removed.

“The wall over the entrance door of the Pope birth house had insulting contents written in blue,” said the report, translated from German off the Bavarian Police Web site, with the aid of a computer translator. “The writer obviously used a lacquer spray can to write 30 centimeter letters” (about 12 inches).

The police report said the graffiti was noticed by a passer-by about 6:45 p.m. local time, but did not specify what it said. It did characterize the writings as “obszönen.”

According to the German news magazine Der Spiegel, a police spokesman said the graffiti referred to the sex-abuse scandal roiling the Catholic Church but not specifically to Pope Benedict.

Police estimated the damage at about 1,500 euros (more than $2,000 in U.S. dollars).

There was no immediate indication of suspects.

Born Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope was born at the home in 1927. He went on to become Archbishop of Munich and later head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the church’s doctrinal watchdog.

According to Der Spiegel, the pontiff’s childhood home permanently houses displays and exhibits about his life and works.