AP EXCLUSIVE: Future pope stalled pedophile case - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

AP EXCLUSIVE: Future pope stalled pedophile case

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Vatican is refusing to comment on a letter that was sent in 1985, in which the man who is now Pope Benedict appears to resist efforts to defrock a California priest who had sexually molested children.

The correspondence, obtained by The Associated Press, challenges the Vatican's insistence that in the years before he became pope, Benedict played no role in blocking the removal of pedophile priests.

The letter has the signature of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. It's part of the correspondence between the Diocese of Oakland and the Vatican about the proposed defrocking of the Rev. Stephen Kiesle

The letter says the defrocking might go against "the good of the universal church." A Vatican spokesman confirms that it carries Ratzinger's signature.

But the spokesman says the Vatican isn't going to comment to what he calls 'every single document taken out of context." He adds that it's "not strange that there are single documents" with Ratzinger's signature.

At the time, the future pope headed the Catholic Church's doctrinal watchdog office.

 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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