More Evidence Emerges That Pope Helped Shield Pedophiles Before He Became Pope
The abuse cases of two priests in Arizona have cast further doubt on the Catholic church's insistence that Pope Benedict XVI played no role in shielding pedophiles before he became pope.
Documents reviewed by The Associated Press show that as a Vatican cardinal, the future pope took over the abuse case of the Rev. Michael Teta of Tucson, Ariz., then let it languish at the Vatican for years despite repeated pleas from the bishop for the man to be removed from the priesthood.
In another Tucson case, that of Msgr. Robert Trupia, the bishop wrote to then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who would become pope in 2005. Bishop Manuel Moreno called Trupia "a major risk factor to the children, adolescents and adults that he many have contact with." There is no indication in the case files that Ratzinger responded.
The details of the two cases come as other allegations emerge that Benedict – as a Vatican cardinal – was part of a culture of cover-up and confidentiality.
"There's no doubt that Ratzinger delayed the defrocking process of dangerous priests who were deemed 'satanic' by their own bishop," Lynne Cadigan, an attorney who represented two of Teta's victims, said Friday.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, called the accusations "absolutely groundless" and said the facts were being misrepresented.
He said the delay in defrocking Teta was caused by a hold on appeals while the Vatican changed regulations over its handling of sex abuse cases. In the meantime, he said, cautionary measures were in place; Teta had been suspended since 1990.
"The documents show clearly and positively that those in charge at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith ... have repeatedly intervened actively over the course of the 90s so that the canonic trial under way in the Tucson diocese could dutifully reach its conclusion," Lombardi said in a statement.
In the 1990s, a church tribunal found that Teta had molested children as far back as the 1970s, and the panel determined "there is almost a satanic quality in his mode of acting toward young men and boys."
The tribunal referred Teta's case, which included allegations that he abused boys in a confessional, to Ratzinger. The church considers cases of abuse in confessionals more serious than other molestations because they also defile the sacrament of penance.
It took 12 years from the time Ratzinger assumed control of the case in a signed letter until Teta was formally removed from ministry, a step only the Vatican can take.
Teta was accused of engaging in abuse not long after his arrival to the Diocese of Tucson in 1978. Among the eventual allegations: that he molested two boys, ages 7 and 9, in the confessional as they prepared for their First Communion.
Teta was removed from ministry by the bishop, but because the church's most severe punishment – laicization – can only be handed down from Rome, he remained on the church payroll and was working with young people outside the church.
In a signed letter dated June 8, 1992, Ratzinger advised Moreno he was taking control of the case, according to a copy provided to the AP from Cadigan, the victims' attorney. Five years later, no action had been taken.
"This case has already gone on for seven years," Moreno wrote Ratzinger on April 28, 1997, adding, "I make this plea to you to assist me in every way you can to expedite this case."
It would be another seven years before Teta was laicized.
Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said Teta was ordered defrocked in 1997. But Teta appealed, and the appeal remained on hold until the new regulations took effect in 2001.
"Starting in 2001, all the appeals that were pending were promptly taken up, and Teta's case was one of the first to be discussed," Lombardi said.
But this still took time, he said, because the documentation that had been presented was "especially voluminous." The sentence was upheld and in 2004 Teta was laicized.
The case of Trupia shows the fragmented nature of how Rome handled such allegations before 2001, when Ratzinger dictated that all abuse cases must go through his Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
Before then, files were sent to varied Vatican departments, as they were in the case of Trupia. Moreno suspended Trupia in 1992, but again faced delays from the Vatican in having him formally removed from the church.
Documents show at least two Vatican offices – the Congregation for the Clergy and the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority of the Catholic Church – were involved in the case at least as early as 1995.
Moreno pleaded with the Congregation for the Clergy to do something, writing, "We have proofs of civil crimes against people who were under his priestly care" and warning Trupia could "be the source of greater scandal in the future."
Ultimately, the case landed in Ratzinger's office.
On Feb. 10, 2003, a day after the Arizona Daily Star reported that Trupia was living in a condo near Baltimore, driving a leather-seated Mercedes-Benz with a rosary hanging from the rearview mirror, Moreno wrote to Ratzinger again.
Sick with prostate cancer and the beginning stages of Parkinson's disease, Moreno was approved for early retirement by Pope John Paul II.
Before he was replaced, the bishop wrote Ratzinger yet again. Moreno's replacement, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, sent similar requests to Ratzinger and his subordinates.
"My experience – and as I've looked at the records in our serious cases – the Vatican actually was prodding, through the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and Cardinal Ratzinger, to try to get this case going," Kicanas said.
Finally, in August 2004, Trupia was laicized.
"The tragedy is that the bishops have only two choices: Follow the Vatican's code of secrecy and delay, or leave the church," Cadigan, the victims' lawyer, said Friday. "It's unfortunate that their faith demands that they sacrifice children to follow the Vatican's directions."
Trupia's former attorney, Stephen A. Shechtel of Rockville, Md., said Friday that he never dealt with the church on his client's behalf and that Trupia was aware he would be defrocked and didn't fight it.
Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Moreno's replacement, defended the Vatican's handling of the Arizona cases, citing the prolonged process of internal church trials that he acknowledged could be "frustratingly slow because of the seriousness of the concerns."
Kicanas said suggestions that Ratzinger resisted addressing the issues of sexual abuse in the church were "grossly unfair."
"Cardinal Ratzinger, as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was always receptive, ready to listen, to hear people's concerns," Kicanas said. "Pope Benedict is the same man."
- The Vatican is the biggest Pedo club in the world.
- and yet millions of dopes still adhere to what this ULTIMATE DOUCHE BAG has to say?
- Protect sexual predators and condemn same-sex love.
- "Ratzenger delayed the defrocking"
And yet reports are that when confronted with a hot Vatican secretary or Swiss guard, his Holiness can't get their frocks off fast enough.
- Pope Ratzinger turned the Catholic Church into a hate group.
Obama petitioned to declare the Catholic Church a hate group.
- It's Grandpa Munster.
- The mothers and sisters of these victims need to get militant. I mean get out there Inor the streets in front of cathedrals and basilicas and bombard media outlets with letters -- handwritten, stamped mail, not emails -- and not stop making noise.
Nobody will listen to the male victims because they will say they are "lying fags." But screaming, pissed off women? They get noticed.
- I think many Catholic women cooperate with Pedo Priests because they are intimidated by male authority. Catholic women are some of the most controlled in the world.
The Italian man up the street, has never even let his wife get a drivers license AND she always has to sit in the back of the car.
THAT is control!
- The Pope was a Nazi, so lets say not ever a person of high moral conviction.
- A friend of mine was a psychiatrist and a priest who ran one of the church's hospitals for "troubled" priests--mostly addicts and pedophiles. He was asked to prepare a study on pedophilia in the church in the early 1980s and warned that it was a significant problem and would eventually bankrupt the church in America. It was delivered directly to the Papal Nuncio (the Pope's representative in America). It was suppressed by the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith--Ratzinger.
- A real psychiatrist with a PhD from a credible University or a "Christian Counselor"?
- Obama is not going to label them a hate group. No one could ever dismiss them. They have a right at the table since the Pope is the executive of an entire area. This is a waste of time. And BTW, they are a hate group, so I'm not taking their side, there's just reality. They should be shined a light on though.
- Nothing ever happens with ANY of those White House petitions. Obama has never acted on any of them. It is all politics and p.r. bullshit.
[quote]A real psychiatrist with a PhD from a credible University or a "Christian Counselor"?
To be a real psychiatrist you need to have an M.D., not a PhD.
- Stanford Medical School good enough for ya?
- More about the hospital
- R7, the church is very, very used to ignoring women.
Enlist not just the mothers and sisters, but the fathers and brothers.
- What happened to the nut cases who used to infest the anti-popess threads on DL and tell us how much good "the church" does in the world and how no catholics listen to the popess anyway and then they would have a complete meltdown if you called the old pedo in Rome the popess?
- Why didn't the bishops simply call the local police and turn over all of the evidence? Then the awful priests would no longer be a danger to children, they'd be in jail!
- There is a point where people who constantly defend Pedos start to look like Pedos themselves R18. That point has been reached with the Catholic Church.
- This pope bellongs in jail. I am not anti catholic, I am not anti church, but this pope is a criminal.
- Yeah, but my consensual, decades-long committed relationship with my adult, same-sex partner is "intrinsically evil".
Don't get me started on gay Catholics.
- Women get noticed R7?
Actually women get blamed, told they brought it on themselves, and in many cases are accused of lying, which is why the vast majority of women never report their sexual abuse. And yes, an even greater percentage of men never report theirs, but let's not fashion a fairy tale of how the world treats abused women.
Oh and it may not seem that way, but not all the victims of pedophile priests are male, many young girls were/and are being abused by priests. I was, and no I have never told anyone. The piece of shit who called himself a holy man took me aside in the 3rd grade and told me I wouldn't be able to continue going to the school mass and taking communion because my family didn't attend Sunday mass (they were Christian and sent us to catholic school, but weren't practicing). So he told me my family and I were sinners and not doing god's work and that's when the abuse started. It lasted a year.
I never told anyone, but felt guilty for years as I got older that he was hurting other people. He went to prison when I was in high school for abusing some other girls, and died in a car accident soon after he got out.
I never told anyone because I was afraid, that they would judge me, blame me, never see me the same way again. But also because I'm gay.
It's something I always knew from before any of this happened to me, even though I didn't have the word for it then.
The point is, I know that judgmental assholes are everywhere, and I know my family treats me like shit because of who I love, I don't want for one second some asshole to think I am this way because of the abuse. I knew I was gay before any of it started, but even if I didn't, abuse doesn't change someone's orientation.
And I have told no one but for 2 of my girlfriends who were serious.
None of my family knows, but they are assholes and I don't want to give them fuel.
- Catholics are the real problem here.
If you buy stolen goods, you are still charged with the crime because you are the one financing the criminals.
- He is Pope now. He has people to do that for him now.
- Officially recognize the Roman Catholic Church as a hate group.
In his annual Christmas address to the College of Cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI, the global leader of the Roman Catholic Church, demeaned and belittled homosexual people around the world. Using hateful language and discriminatory remarks, the Pope painted a portrait in which gay people are second-class global citizens. Pope Benedict said that gay people starting families are threatening to society, and that gay parents objectify and take away the dignity of children. The Pope also implied that gay families are sub-human, as they are not dignified in the eyes of God.
Upon these remarks, the Roman Catholic Church fits the definition of a hate group as defined by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.
Please sign the petition at link!
- Like anybody listens to what that Opus Dei cretin has to say. That grinning pedo creep has no moral authority what-so-ever.
- Signed! Unfortunately the Vatican has so many politicians on its payroll, it will never pass, but signed it anyways.
- I think he's tremendous, if not quite hard-core enough yet.
- One of these days somebody is going to sue the Catholic Church off the map, but as long as the National Governments of Italy and Germany keep defending the Church it will continue to exist and steal and rape, prosper from hate.