Home Christian News Vatican Defends Benedict After Report Faults Abuse Record

Vatican Defends Benedict After Report Faults Abuse Record

“It was Benedict XVI, even against the opinion of many self-styled ‘Ratzingerians,’ who upheld, in the midst of the storm of scandals in Ireland and Germany, the face of a penitential Church, which humbles itself in asking for forgiveness, which feels dismay, remorse, pain, compassion and closeness,” he wrote.

Tornielli noted that the Munich report was not a judicial sentence and said it will only help combat the problem if the information is “not reduced to the search for easy scapegoats and summary judgments.”

The current archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, is due to hold a news conference Thursday to discuss the report’s findings.

Tornielli didn’t cite any specific cases, but Benedict is widely credited with having finally brought the Catholic Church’s most notorious serial sexual predator, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, to justice after Pope John Paul II and his allies refused for years to move on credible reports that the founder of the Legion of Christ raped his seminarians.

Ratzinger had been blocked from investigating Maciel after his victims filed a formal complaint with the Vatican. But once he became pope, he ordered Maciel to a lifetime of penance and prayer.

Ratzinger, however, wasn’t as decisive earlier on in his career. Years ago documentation emerged showing that Ratzinger in 1985 dithered on a case of a convicted child molester in California who asked to be defrocked, delaying any action for two years.

The case of the Rev. Stephen Kiesle was evidence that the Vatican under John Paul strongly resisted letting priests leave active ministry, even if they were convicted rapists.


A previous version of this story was corrected to show that the first name of the cardinal is Reinhard, not Gerhard.

This article originally appeared on APNews.com.