We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,710 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Holy See attorney rebuts AP claims on Oakland case

Catholic World News - April 12, 2010

Jeffrey Lena, an attorney who represents the Holy See in US courts, has refuted the assertion in an Associated Press wire story that “the future Pope Benedict XVI resisted pleas to defrock a California priest with a record of sexually molesting children.”

“The document on which media are basing their reportage appears to be a form letter sent in 1985 to Bishop John Cummins of Oakland, regarding a priest of the diocese who had been convicted of abuse,” Vatican Radio reported on April 10.

Mr. Lena explained that “the letter does not show then-Cardinal Ratzinger resisting pleas from the bishop to defrock the priest” and that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) “was merely attempting to determine whether the conditions for laicization obtained. In 1985, CDF was not responsible for investigating or trying abuse cases-- indeed, CDF only became responsible for trying abuse cases in 2001, largely as a result of then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s advocacy for swift and serious action to address the abuse crisis.”

Mr. Lena added that “when the letter urges Bishop Cummins to ‘use as much paternal care as possible,’ it is using curial language effectively saying that the bishop was responsible for ensuring that the priest in question cause no further harm.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,710 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,690.00
93% 7%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Cornelius - Apr. 12, 2010 7:59 AM ET USA

    Great - now, can we see this piece in the same secular media outlets that have been smearing the Holy Father? Any bets?

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21