Well, something like this was bound to come out sooner or later. A cardinal comes right out and says he congratulated a bishop back in 2001 for covering up a child-rapist priest, and for protecting him from legal consequences. Then he brings the last Pope into it:
"After consulting the pope [John Paul II] … I wrote a letter to the bishop congratulating him as a model of a father who does not hand over his sons," the daily La Verdad quoted Castrillon Hoyos as telling the conference on Friday, to a round of applause from the assembled prelates, priests and lay people.
"The Holy Father authorized me to send this letter to all bishops in the world and publish it on the internet."
The excuse is that the admission of minor abuse took place in the confessional – but at the trial, the priest-rapist said he's admitted it outside the confessional. Dreher has more here.
So far, Benedict XVI has borne the brunt of this crisis. And he deserves to: his record places him at the front and center of the crisis, his theology of total authority and obedience facilitated it, his own record in Munich proves he was as bad as anyone else, and his protection of Maciel compounded it. But, in some ways, as John Allen and the Vatican spinners keep insisting (and not without merit), Benedict, once John Paul II died, has been on a learning curve and has since tried to clean house a little. John Paul II never had such a curve; and his reactionary Polish Catholicism prevailed over a decade or two of cover-ups and rapes.
Santo subito? Not so fast, please.
(Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/Getty.)