The Vatican soundly denied that Pope Benedict XVI knew — when he was archbishop of Munich, Germany — about a decision to transfer a pedophile priest in that archdiocese.
In response to a New York Times story published Friday, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger “had no knowledge of the decision” to reassign the priest to pastoral duties in a parish.
The Times reported that Ratzinger had received a copy of a memo to inform him that the priest had undergone therapy for pedophilia and would return to pastoral duties. The priest, the Rev. Peter Hullermann, was convicted later of molesting boys in another diocese.
The New York Times story, which added to a flurry of reports in recent weeks of abuse in Ireland, Germany, Italy and the United States, prompted a heated condemnation from Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
Donohue, who tells Newsmax that the international press is trying to discredit the church, argues that the story contained no new information, and accused the Times of printing it “to keep the flame alive” of bias against the Catholic Church and the Pope.
“Let’s say Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, now the Pope, did in fact learn of the transfer,” Donohue says in a statement on his organization’s Web site. “So what? Wasn’t that what he expected to happen?
Read More: By John Rossomando, Newsmax