Religion: Bishop Under Duress

European Catholics were shocked to learn last year that Bishop Matthias Defregger, promising head of a large diocese in Munich, had passed on orders to kill 17 Italian villagers while he was serving as a German army captain in 1944 (TIME, July 18, 1969). Defregger's fate hung in the balance for months, but last week the case was officially closed, at least from the German point of view. The Munich prosecutor's office announced that it had interrogated more than 200 witnesses, and had decided to drop all charges because Defregger acted under duress. In...

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