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SMOKIN' Pope? Lawyer says then-Cardinal Ratzinger "Handled Priest Case Quickly" [View All]

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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 03:09 PM
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SMOKIN' Pope? Lawyer says then-Cardinal Ratzinger "Handled Priest Case Quickly"
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Pope Handled Priest Case Quickly, Lawyer Says

ROME The future Pope Benedict XVI, dealing with a request to defrock a child-molesting priest in California, was handling it as a dismissal from the priesthood not an abuse case and acted expeditiously by the standards of the time, a Vatican lawyer said in a statement released Saturday.

The Vatican issued the remarks a day after reports emerged that Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, signed a letter to the priests bishop saying the matter needed more time and that the good of the Universal Church had to be taken into account. It took six years for the man, the Rev. Stephen Kiesle, to be removed from the priesthood.

The bishop, John S. Cummins, wrote to Pope John Paul II in 1981, saying that the priest had been criminally charged with molesting six boys ages 11 to 13 several years earlier and that he was asking to be dismissed. He wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger at least three more times, to provide information and check on the cases status.

The lawyer, Jeffrey Lena of Berkeley, Calif., denied that a 1985 letter from Cardinal Ratzinger to Bishop Cummins showed him resisting pleas from the bishop to defrock the priest. Mr. Lena was quoted in the statement as saying that there was a rush to judgment going on here.

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