Monday, March 29, 2010

NYT v. Pope Benedict

You may have read recently something or other about how Pope Benedict, then Joseph Ratzinger, was involved in reinstating a priest who was a known sex offender and the like. It's kind of hard to miss these allegations because the New York Times has run a series of front page articles about them and, naturally, other news outlets have reprinted them.

The strange thing is the NYT's continued publishings in light of the Vatican's refutation of their allegations of Benedict's involvement. LifeSiteNews has an excellent review of this ugly little sage that is worth reading in entirety. Here's a piece:

The other case that the NYTimes has zeroed in on is the one involving Rev. Peter Hullermann, who was accused of molesting boys in Germany in 1979. The case has received a great deal of attention of the past week, due to the fact that Hullermann was subsequently sent from the Essen diocese to the Munich archdiocese, which was then headed by Cardinal Ratzinger, where he was to receive psychological treatment.

While in Munich the priest was returned to active ministry, despite the fact that he still presented a risk to children - a concern that was proven valid as the priest later reoffended. Attempts have been made in recent weeks to connect the decision to allow the priest to continue ministry on the pope. However, thus far the media has been unable to unearth any clear evidence that the pope knew the specifics of Hullermann's crimes, or that he was involved in the decision-making process in his case.

Any effort to put the decision on Benedict has been severely undercut after then-vicar general, Msgr. Gerhard Gruber, publicly stated that he was fully responsible for the decision to transfer Hullermann.
On Thursday, however, the Times ran a story with the headline "Pope Was Told Pedophile Priest Would Get Transfer." That headline was later downgraded to "Memo to Pope Described Transfer of Pedophile Priest," apparently due to the paper's inability to confirm that the pope had been "told" about the priest.

The main piece of evidence that the Times coverage touted as evidence for the pope's role in the decision, is that he was copied on a memo about the issue. "The future Pope Benedict XVI was kept more closely apprised of a sexual abuse case in Germany than previous church statements have suggested," wrote the Times, "raising fresh questions about his handling of a scandal unfolding under his direct supervision before he rose to the top of the church's hierarchy."

But according to Rev. Lorenz Wolf, the judicial vicar at the Munich archdiocese, the memo was routine and was "unlikely to have landed on the archbishop's desk." The Times reports, however, that Wolf could not "rule out" that the archbishop had seen the memo.
Read the whole article for much more information.

Creative Minority Report lists several more pieces on the issue.

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