Letter places Pope in abuse cover-up

Pope Benedict XVI, previously the Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, resisted pleas from a Californian diocese to defrock a priest with a record of molesting children, putting ‘the good of the universal Church’, above other considerations, according to a 1985 letter that has emerged bearing Ratzinger’s signature.

The Diocese of Oakland requested in 1981 that Father Stephen Kiesle be removed from the priesthood because he had abused children.  Kiesle had been sentenced in 1978 to three years’ probation after pleading no contest to charges of molesting two young boys in a rectory in the San Francisco Bay area.  The Vatican failed to respond for four years, and it was a further two years after the letter signed by Ratzinger that Kiesle was finally defrocked.  Despite this, a Vatican spokesman stated:

“The then Cardinal Ratzinger didn’t cover up the case, but as the letter clearly shows, made clear the need to study the case with more attention, taking into account the good of all involved.”

This is obscene.  There was nothing to study.  A priest had admitted molesting two boys and the Diocese acted correctly in asking the Vatican to defrock him.  But the desire to protect the reputation of the Church was put before the young victims and doing what was necessary to remove Kiesle from a position of trust.

The Catholic Church is long overdue a return to the kind of pastoral approach taken by Pope John Paul I, Albino Luciani, who occupied the Seat of Peter for only one month in 1978.  Since the loss of this great man, the Church has lumbered to an extreme position, with fanatics from Opus Dei infesting the Vatican and turning matters of faith into political intrigues and public relations issues.

The hypocrisy and deceit of the Roman Curia on the subject of child sex abuse has destroyed trust in the Roman Catholic Church.  The constant denials have been shown to be false.  Attempts to equate the investigation into what the Pope knew about abuse cases with the persecution of the Jews reveal a sickening self pity combined with a desire to hide the truth.

If this was a criminal investigation, charges of perjury would be justified.  Sadly that will not be the case and many in the upper echelons of the Curia will continue to put the Church before law, order and the protection of vulnerable people put at risk by vile men who have used the Church as a way of gaining access to victims.

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1 Response to “Letter places Pope in abuse cover-up”



  1. 1 USWGO Alternative News Trackback on 10/04/2010 at 4:39 am
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