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The Kiesle case: 'defrocking' is not a matter of protecting children

April 12, 2010

Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, the founder of Ignatius Press and former student of then-Professor Joseph Ratzinger, explains that the case of an Oakland priest who sought laicization, currently being cited as a "smoking gun" proof that Cardinal Ratzinger took sexual abuse lightly, shows nothing of the kind. The key question in the case, Father Fessio points out, was the permanence of priestly vows. The criticism of Pope Benedict, he adds, is based on "a completely mistaken first premise: "The premise is that 'defrocking' has anything to do with protecting victims and preventing further abuse."


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