Cardinal Ratzinger resisted defrocking molester priest despite Bishop's warning
Thanks to the secular media, the victims and their advocates who are coming out to prove that Benedict XVI as Cardinal Ratzinger was a cold-blooded defender and protector of pedophile priests. If infallible Benedict XVI and the Opus Dei who control the papacy and the trillion dollar Vatican Bank think they can let criminal-Cardinal Ratzinger get away with his aiding and abetting the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army for over 3 decades – like our criminal Cardinal Bernard Law who was promoted as Archpriest in St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome, they are wrong. Infallible Pope John Paul II to spite us Bostonians, who forced Cardinal Law to resign in disgrace, took him to Rome where he now enjoys papal meals and the company of the echelon of the Catholic Church. We are in the 21st Century and we have seen the Papal Sins of 2 millennium and the buck must stop here. It is time to prosecute a criminal pope sitting in the Chair of St. Peter.
When it comes to justice, secularism trumps Catholicism. Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist & Priesthood are worthless in our justice system http://jp2army.blogspot.com/2010/03/when-it-comes-to-justice-secularism.html
‘Forgiveness’ is a gizmo of injustice to victims of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army. To Vaticanista chiesa.espresso Sandro Magister, Baloney! http://jp2army.blogspot.com/2010/03/forgiveness-is-gizmo-of-injustice-to.html
Biggest Vatican stories of the decade: John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army committed Holy ES Eucharist-and-Sodomy of Biblical proportions http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2010/01/biggest-vatican-stories-of-decade-john.html
Anti-Semitism card & the Vatican defense circus for Benedict XVI the guilty despot of 1.2 billion Catholics the people in denial http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/04/anti-semitism-card-vatican-defense.html
It is time for the French Revolution at the Vatican: Benedict XVI must resign, Cardinal Bernard Law et al must resign …Shut-down the Vatican http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/03/it-is-time-for-french-revolution-at.html
Despite bishop's scandal warning, files show future pope resisted defrocking molester priest
Gillian Flaccus Associated Press Writer
April 9, 2010 | 10:21 a.m.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Church files show that before becoming pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger resisted defrocking a California priest who molested children.
A 1985 letter signed by Ratzinger cited concerns about the effect that removing the priest would have on "the good of the universal church."
The correspondence was obtained exclusively by The Associated Press. It is 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 letter is part of years of correspondence between the diocese of Oakland and the Vatican about the proposed defrocking of the Rev. Stephen Kiesle (KEYS'lee).
The Vatican confirmed Ratzinger's signature on the letter but declined comment on its contents.
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, April 9, 2010
Files show future pope resisted defrocking molester priest; SNAP responds
Statement by Joelle Casteix of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434). She’s in Newport Beach, California and is the group’s western regional director.
Our hearts ache for the girls and boys whose childhoods were shattered by Fr. Kiesle, especially those who may have been sexually violated after Vatican officials had a chance to oust him but didn't.
We strongly suspect that there are more damning documents like this proving that Ratzinger sided with predator priests over vulnerable kids. For the safety of kids, healing of victims and good of the church, we hope that these records will keep surfacing. The Bible tells us, "The truth shall set you free," and painful first-hand experience teaches us that only truth will safeguard kids, expose wrong-doers and deter recklessness.
Only the Vatican can defrock priests. Tens of thousands of priests have molested kids. But few of them have been defrocked. So it's obvious that Vatican officials refuse to oust many predator priests. And Ratzinger, for many years, has been a top Vatican official. So it defies common sense to somehow believe he didn't play a role in quietly keeping some child molesting clerics in the priesthood.
We again urge the Pope to voluntarily open the hundreds or thousands of pages of secret church records from the clergy sex crime cases he personally handled in Rome.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Pope Benedict balked at defrocking California priest over molestation
By Michelle Boorstein and Ian Shapira
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Newly public documents show that the future Pope Benedict XVI was reluctant in the 1980s to defrock a California priest sentenced to probation for molesting young boys.
Letters over a five-year span between the Diocese of Oakland and the Vatican -- including a 1985 letter signed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- have come to light at a time when Benedict's involvement in sex abuse cases in the United States and Europe has been under intense scrutiny. Benedict headed an office charged with defrocking some priests.
In a letter dated four years after the Oakland Diocese proposed defrocking the Rev. Stephen Kiesle, Benedict expressed concern that laicizing Kiesle "could provoke some scandal among the faithful," according to an internal document, which called the Vatican guidance "not too encouraging."
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the Associated Press, which first reported on the case Friday, said Lombardi confirmed that the signature on the letter was Benedict's.
The half-page letter, which is written in Latin, details the pope's thinking when he headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is charged with monitoring theological issues and overseeing the defrocking of priests.
Letters through the early 1980s between the Oakland Diocese and the Vatican, and internal diocesan memos, describe Kiesle as immature and unspiritual. The memos say that clergy who supervised him before he became a priest were concerned about the "literature" and magazines he was reading, and that he was interested not in the welfare of families and people who were sick; rather, "his main interest was working with young people."
Diocesan officials appealed to the Vatican to remove Kiesle as a priest because he had received three years' probation in 1978 after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct for molesting two boys, according to the memos, copies of which were obtained by The Washington Post.
According to an AP translation, Ratzinger's response said Rome needed more time to review the case before making a decision of such "grave significance."
He urged then-Bishop John Cummins to provide Kiesle with "as much paternal care as possible" while awaiting the decision. However, according to the AP translation, Ratzinger said any decision to defrock Kiesle must take into account the "good of the universal church" and the "detriment that granting the dispensation can provoke within the community of Christ's faithful, particularly considering the young age." Kiesle was 38 at the time.
Kiesle remained a priest until 1987, but it is not clear whether he performed any priestly functions. Current diocesan spokesman Mike Brown said records show Kiesle was "relieved of all duties" after the 1978 charge.
Cummins, since retired, said he could not remember if the Vatican understood Kiesle's status. "Thirty years is a long time."
The letters are not explicit. In a June 1981 letter to the Vatican, Cummins says the troubled priest "took an extended leave of absence." In a 1984 letter appealing to the Vatican to proceed with defrocking Kiesle, the bishop wrote that "it would be impossible really to have him back trying to serve in the ministry these days."
A 1988 letter from Oakland's Office of Youth Ministry complained that he was still volunteering with children a year after he was laicized.
"Obviously nothing has been done after EIGHT months of repeated notifications," wrote Maurine Behrend, the Oakland official. "How are we supposed to have confidence in the system when nothing is done? A simple phone call to the pastor from the bishop is all it would take: 'We do not allow convicted child molesters to work with children in this diocese.' "
Some experts on the church said the letters show a dated belief that child predators could be treated, and how extreme the Vatican considers defrocking.
"U.S. bishops were just waking up to the fact that sexual abuse of this kind often signaled a nearly intractable condition," said Peter Steinfels, co-director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture.
But advocates and attorneys for people who were abused by clergy say the letters pose a challenge to the Vatican.
The Vatican has been "blaming different bishops and reporters," said Mike Finnegan, a Minnesota attorney whose firm represented two of Kiesle's victims and won court settlements, but the new documents show the pope's direct involvement as "his signature is on these documents."
Bob Starbody, 52, of Campbell, Calif., who was one of Kiesle's victims in the early 1970s, said the correspondences make it hard to suppress his anger at the church.
"I try not be an angry man today," said Starbody, a printing broker who no longer attends Catholic churches. "I've thought often about going back to the church, but then I hear this kind of crap and I don't want to do it."
Starbody said he had a friendship with Kiesle that began in the 1960s when Starbody was 9, and that it became sexual four years later. He sued the Oakland diocese in 2005 and won $1.6 million. "I felt like I sued God," he said. "I felt like I was betraying the God I was supposed to worship."
Timeline of defrocked priest Stephen Kiesle
The Associated Press
Posted: 04/09/2010 05:04:13 PM PDT
A timeline of defrocked priest Stephen Kiesle
# 1972: Ordained at St. Francis De Sales, Oakland.
# 1972-1975: Associate pastor at St. Joseph's Church in Pinole.
# 1975-1978: Assigned to Our Lady of the Rosary in Union City.
# August 1978: Kiesle is arrested and pleads no contest to lewd conduct, a misdemeanor, for tying up and molesting two boys. Sentenced to three years of probation. His record is later expunged.
# 1978-1981: Takes extended leave of absence, attends counseling and reports regularly to probation officer.
# July 1981: Oakland Bishop John Cummins sends Kiesle's file to the Vatican in support of the priest's petition for laicization, or defrocking.
# November 1981: Vatican asks for more information.
# 1982: Kiesle moves to Pinole.
# February 1982: Cummins writes to Joseph Ratzinger, then prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, providing additional information and warning of possible scandal if Kiesle is not defrocked.
# September 1982: Oakland diocese official writes Ratzinger asking for update.
# September 1983: Cummins visits Rome, discusses Kiesle case with Vatican officials.
# December 1983: Vatican official writes Oakland to say Kiesle's file can't be found and they should resubmit materials.
# January 1984: Cummins writes a Vatican official to inquire about status of Kiesle file.
# 1985: Kiesle volunteers as a youth minister at St. Joseph's Church in Pinole.
# September 1985: Cummins writes Ratzinger asking about status of Kiesle case.
# November 1985: Ratzinger writes to Cummins about Kiesle case.
# December 1985: A memo from diocese officials discusses writing to Ratzinger again to stress the risk of scandal if Kiesle's case is delayed.
# 1987: Kiesle is defrocked.
# 2002: Kiesle is arrested and charged with 13 counts of child molestation; all but two are thrown out after U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidates a California law extending statute of limitations.
# 2004: Kiesle pleads no contest to felony charge of molesting a young girl in 1995 at his Truckee vacation home.
# 2004: He is sentenced to six years in prison for the 1995 molestation.
# 2005: Ratzinger is elected pope and adopts the name Pope Benedict XVI.
# 2009: Kiesle is released on parole in March; he violates parole in October and returns to prison.
# 2010: Kiesle is released again in February. He is now a registered sex offender living in Rossmoor, the gated seniors community in Walnut Creek.
Source: Associated Press