Catholic League President Bill Donohue, lambasting The New York Times’ implication that Pope Benedict XVI might have been involved in the transfer of a sex-abusing priest to another post in 1980, hailed the pope Friday as a “great man.”
“The Catholic League is proud to stand by him,” Donohue said.
Donohue was reacting to a story in Friday’s New York Times under the headline, “Pope Was Told Pedophile Priest Would Get Transfer," about the transfer of a priest in the German archdiocese that then-Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger headed at the time.
“Yet the Times offers absolutely no evidence to support this charge,” Donohue says. “All it says is that his office ‘was copied on a memo’ about the transfer of Peter Hullermann. According to church officials, the story says the memo was routine and was ‘unlikely to have landed on the archbishop's desk’."
Donohue rebuts the Times story in a statement on the Web site of the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
, saying, “Let's say Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, now the pope, did in fact learn of the transfer. So what? Wasn't that what he expected to happen?”
Donohue cited a March 16 Times story noting that, “when Ratzinger's subordinates recommended therapy for Hullermann, he approved it. That was the drill of the day: after being treated, the patient (I prefer the term offender) returns to work. It's still the drill of the day in many secular quarters today, particularly in the public schools.
“A more hard-line approach, obviously, makes more sense, but the therapeutic industry is very powerful,” Donohue says. “In other words, there is no real news in today's news story. So why print it? To keep the flame alive.
“Look for the Times to run another story saying they have proof Ratzinger knew of the transfer. Did they think that after he approved the therapy that Hullermann would be sent to the gulag?”
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