Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pope knew

New records & witnesses incriminate Pope in child sex case

Statement by Lieve Halsberghe, SNAP Belgium Leader +32 475 910 918 SNAPBelgium@gmail.com

New witnesses and documents are surfacing in Munich that raise troubling doubts about the reckless handling of a predator priest there while Pope Benedict headed that archdiocese.

We’re saddened but not surprised by these disclosures. The hasty claims last spring that the Pope wasn’t informed that a pedophile was reassigned within his archdiocese simply never rang true. Now, the chances that those claims are legitimate are even more unlikely.

Unlike earlier revelations, these new charges are based on both church records and the first-person accounts of parishioners who “confirm delivery” of a letter detailing the predator’s continuing work with children in Munich on then Cardinal Ratzinger’s watch.

The new disclosures should prompt the Pope to directly and honestly address serious allegations that he let a credibly accused child predator work in his archdiocese without warning police, parishioners or the public. It’s clear now that terse denials from lower-level church staff claiming that the Pope knew nothing are simply not credible.

Two passages from the Der Spiegel article stand out:
--Today, previously unknown documents, as well as witnesses. . .are shedding new light on the case of the abusive cleric H., which first became public last March -- and also on the role of the current pope.
According to the allegations, during his tenure in Munich, Ratzinger did not give sufficient attention to the type of duties that were assigned to the alleged pedophile H. Despite massive allegations of abuse levied against the priest, the archdiocese led by Ratzinger allowed H. to continue to be involved in church work with children and young people.
--Recently discovered documents now show that there could have been no doubt in Munich about the priest's previous history. The head of personnel in Essen had informed Ratzinger's head of personnel by phone and in writing that, in regard to H., "there is a risk which has prompted us to immediately remove him from the parish." Furthermore, he said that "an official complaint has been lodged by members of the parish."

Until he directly and honestly answers questions about this clergy sex case and others, in Munich and elsewhere, the Pope’s ability to deal effectively with horrific child sex and cover up within the church will be extremely limited.

He owes Fr. Hullerman’s victims, Munich parishioners, and the wider church and community straight answers.

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