Scandal

More Trouble for the Pope

The Associated Press has punched a large hole in the Vatican’s defense of Pope Benedict XVI: A letter shows that the pope resisted defrocking a priest who had molested children in 1985, when the pontiff was known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The Oakland diocese wanted to defrock Rev. Stephen Kiesle, but, after waiting four years to reply, Ratzinger claimed such a move would harm “the good of the universal church.” Two years later, Kiesle was finally defrocked. The AP calls it “the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican's insistence that Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, played no role in blocking removal of pedophile priests while head of the Catholic Church's doctrinal watchdog office.” The Vatican comments, "The press office doesn't believe it is necessary to respond to every single document taken out of context regarding particular legal situations."