Most anti-Catholics who incorrectly try to link Pope Benedict XVI to the covering up of priestly sex abuse use one of three cases:
1. The case of Fr Lawrence C. Murphy
2. The case of Fr Stephen Kiesle
3. The case of Fr Peter Hullermann
Responses to the misinformation promoted by anti-Catholics against Pope Benedict in relation to the above three men are below:
1. The case of Fr Lawrence C. Murphy. Responses to the misinformation of the New York Times' Laurie Goodstein regarding the case of Fr Lawrence C. Murphy:
Scot P. Richert - The Pope and Fr. Murphy: Fact, Fiction, and Anti-Catholic Bias
Phil Lawler - The Pope and the Murphy case: what the New York Times story didn't tell you
Cardinal Levada - The New York Times and Pope Benedict, a response
Fr Raymond J. de Souza - A Response to the New York Times
Archbishop Dolan (New York) - A response to the New York Times
Cardinal George - Defending Pope Benedict
George Weigel - The Scoundrel Times(s)
Mary Kochan - News Flash - The Pope and the New York Times are fallible
Patrick J. Buchanan - Anti-Catholicism and the Times
Catholic News Agency - Lawyers suing the Church feeding documents to the New York Times
George Weigel - Scandal Time once more
Ed Koch - Jerusalem Post - Enough already, He that is without sin, let him cast the next stone
Piers Akerman - Atheists line up to nail Catholic to the wall
Note - After being inundated with complaints regarding the misinformation in Laurie Goodstein's article, the New York Times published a response to their critics. In that response Clark Hoyt said:
“Many readers, including church officials, took [Laurie Goodstein's] article as a direct attack on Pope Benedict. But much of their criticism does not hold up.
[Fr Raymond] De Souza, writing this time on National Review Online, said The Times accused Ratzinger of “intervening” to prevent Murphy from facing penalties. The paper did not. The Times article did not establish what role, if any, Ratzinger played, saying only that communications about the case were addressed to him and that his deputy intervened. That’s a long way from saying Ratzinger did. “
So the New York Times is now saying Laurie Goodstein's article doesn't infer any wrongdoing by Pope Benedict. Yet anti-Catholics regularly quote Goodstein's article as proof of Pope Benedict's wrongdoing.
Responses to the misinformation of Christopher Hitchens:
Sean Murphy - A Response to Christopher Hitchens' The Great Catholic Coverup (short version, 22nd March 2010)
Sean Murphy - A Response to Christopher Hitchens' The Great Catholic Coverup (full version with 80 references, 24th March 2010)
Tom Piatak - Christopher Hitchens and the Days of Rage
2. The case of Fr Stephen Kiesle. Responses to the misinformation regarding Cardinal Ratzinger's 1985 letter in the case of Fr Stephen Kiesle. From xt3:
There have been reports of a letter signed by Cardinal Ratzinger in 1985, in which he supposedly dismissed a request to laicize a Father Stephen Kiesle, a California priest who had been accused of molesting boys. However, upon looking at the facts behind this case it is clear that:
- The letter was part of a long correspondence and has been taken out of context. The full story behind the Pope’s involvement with the 1985 letter, has been clarified in a 2-part feature by the BBC: Part 1 and Part 2.
- The letter followed a request from the priest himself for laicization, supported by the bishop. As such it was not a punishment, or part of a canonical process or the civil trial. At this stage, Father Kiesle was already dismissed from pastoral duties during the investigation, and he had no contact with any parishioners or children.
- Following Vatican II there was a huge number of such requests, which were granted. However, after the election of Pope John Paul II, these requests were not granted as frequently. Hence Cardinal Ratzinger’s response in the 1985 letter is a request to study the case well before granting the petition.
- At the time of writing this letter, Cardinal Ratzinger had no authority to impose a dismissal from the priesthood as a penalty for sex abuse. It was not until 2003, when Cardinal Ratzinger headed the CDF, that special faculties were granted to the congregation to make it easier to dismiss offenders from the priesthood.
- Father Kiesle was dismissed from the Priesthood altogether in 1987 at the completion of the investigation.
3. The case of Fr Peter Hullermann. Responses to the claims regarding the case of Fr Peter Hullermann:
Wikipedia entry on Fr Peter Hullermann
Crimen sollicitationis - The smoking gun that never was.
Wikipedia - Inaccurate reporting in media
Wikipedia - Pope Benedict XVI
USA Specific - Study I and II Published by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York:
Study I. The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United State, 1950 - 2002. Published 2006.
Study II. Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the USA -1950-2010. Published 2011.
Pope Benedict's letter to abuse victims and their families:
The Pope to the victims of abuse and their families (reading of the 6th paragraph of the Pope’s Letter)
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