Loading
Vatican says letter on abusive Oakland priest being taken out of context
Fr. Federico Lombardi.
Fr. Federico Lombardi.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Responding to an Associated Press story that accused the future Pope Benedict of resisting the laicization of a California priest accused of child sex abuse, spokesman Fr. Federico Lambardi stated today that the Vatican “doesn't believe it is necessary” to respond to “every single document taken out of context.” 

The AP article, published on Friday, is based on a letter signed in 1985 by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who was responding to a request by Bishop John Cummins of the Diocese of Oakland, California to remove priestly duties from Fr. Stephen Kiesle. At the time, Fr. Kiesle was accused of molesting two children in 1978.

The 1985  letter was written in Latin and translated for the AP by a professor at the University of Southern California. The AP charges that then-Cardinal Ratzinger “resisted pleas to de-frock the priest.” In the letter, the Holy Father is quoted as saying that the case needed “careful consideration, which necessitates a longer period of time.”

Though Fr. Lombardi did not comment on the specifics of the letter, he said on Friday that "The press office doesn't believe it is necessary to respond to every single document taken out of context regarding particular legal situations.”

“It is not strange that there are single documents which have Cardinal Ratzinger's signature,” he added.

Now-retired Bishop John Cummins, 82, whom the news agency said wrote the letter, told the AP in an interview that he did not recall doing so. “I wish I did write to Cardinal Ratzinger,” he said. “I don't think I was that smart.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
24

Liturgical Calendar

October 24, 2014

Friday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:54-59

Gospel
Date
10/24/14
10/23/14
10/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 4: 1-6
Gospel:: Lk 12: 54-59

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/24/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:54-59

Homily
Date
10/24/14
10/23/14
10/22/14