Pope Benedict XVI Controversy: Pedophile Priest Transfer
The controversy surrounding the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal is getting closer to Pope Benedict XVI as new revelations in the New York Times renew questions about Pope Benedict's role in the transfer approval of a pedophile priest.
Friday, the Vatican denied news reports that Pope Benedict XVI (when he was Archbishop Ratzinger) knew about the transfer of a known pedophile priest to his diocese when he was the Archbishop of Munich in 1980.
...the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said that Benedict “had no knowledge of the decision” to reassign the priest “to pastoral activities in a parish.”
The Vatican issued the statement in response to an article in The New York Times on Friday reporting that Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, archbishop of the diocese of Munich and Freising, had been copied on a memo informing him that a priest he had sent for therapy to overcome pedophilia would return to pastoral work in the Munich diocese only days after beginning the treatment.
The priest, the Rev. Peter Hullermann, was later convicted of molesting boys in another diocese.
The Vatican added that memos of this sort were routine and most likely did not end up on the desk of the Archbishop.
The priest in question, Peter Hullerman was convicted in 1986 after repeated complaints to church officials - complaints the church ignored for decades.
Over the following years, church officials repeatedly transferred Father Hullermann to new parishes and allowed him to work with children, even after the 1986 conviction for sexually abusing boys.
He was suspended only this month as the sex abuse scandals came to light in the Pope's native Germany.
When the abuse scandal surfaced the Munich diocese admitted grave mistakes were made.
These latest revelations are part of an ongoing sex abuse scandal that his the Catholic Church in a number of European countries including, Ireland, Germany, and Austria.