Pope Benedict Under Fire for Transfer of Suspected Pedophile Priest in Germany

This latest scandal involves not just the pope’s inner circle, but the head honcho himself. NICOLE WINFIELD writes on the AP via Yahoo News:

Pope BenedictVATICAN CITY — Germany’s sex abuse scandal has now reached Pope Benedict XVI: His former archdiocese acknowledged it transferred a suspected pedophile priest while Benedict was in charge and criticism is mounting over a 2001 Vatican directive he penned instructing bishops to keep abuse cases secret.

The revelations have put the spotlight on Benedict’s handling of abuse claims both when he was archbishop of Munich from 1977–1982 and then the prefect of the Vatican office that deals with such crimes — a position he held until his 2005 election as pope.

Benedict got a firsthand readout of the scope of the scandal Friday in his native land from the head of the German Bishop’s Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who reported that the pontiff had expressed “great dismay and deep shock” over the scandal, but encouraged bishops to continue searching for the truth.

Hours later, the Munich archdiocese admitted that it had allowed a priest suspected of having abused a child to return to pastoral work in the 1980s, while Benedict was archbishop. It stressed that the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger didn’t know about the transfer and that it had been decided by a lower-ranking official.

Read More: AP via Yahoo News

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