Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,934 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

‘Future pope refused defrocking of convicted priest’

Catholic World News - May 31, 2010

In a manifest example of media bias, a May 30 Associated Press headline screamed, “Future pope refused defrocking of convicted priest”-- even though Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, did not have the authority in 1989 to laicize a priest involuntarily. Instead, the future Pontiff asked the Diocese of Springfield to conduct a canonical trial that could lead to Father Alvin Campbell’s laicization. Three years later, when Father Campbell voluntarily sought his laicization, Cardinal Ratzinger granted his request-- as the Church discipline of the time permitted him to do.

The opening line of the AP story reads: "The future Pope Benedict XVI refused to remove a US priest from the ministry..." But the bishop of the Springfield, Illinois diocese did not need Vatican permission to remove the priest from active ministry; he had full authority to take that step himself. Bishop Daniel Ryan, who headed the Springfield diocese at the time, resigned his post in 1999 after a lawsuit was filed charging that the bishop had failed to act against abusive priests because he feared exposure of his own homosexual activities. Bishop Ryan was suspended from public ministry in 2002 after new charges that he himself had molested a young man.

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 Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,313 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,687.05
84% 16%
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 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: clinnickr5320 - May. 31, 2010 11:32 PM ET USA

    I think we have come to expect AP and other "Main Stream" media outlets to attack the Church, especially "Peter" at any opportunity. Truth has no significance for them anymore.

  • Posted by: Athelstan - May. 31, 2010 9:49 PM ET USA

    Who can hold the Associated Press responsible for its manifest misinformation?

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - May. 31, 2010 7:37 PM ET USA

    This is either a case of media bias, media ignorance, or some combination of the two. In either case it is poor journalism and that should be pointed out in a competing publication. The only to stop this sort of thing is to use the power of the press where it counts -- in the press.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly 6 hours ago
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? 10 hours ago
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6