For a while it seemed as though the main stream media had given up on trying to blame the Pope for the sex abuse scandals, but the Associated Press has just relapsed. Yesterday they launched another wet fire-cracker to try an incriminate the Holy Father. This accusation is so fallacious and empty that I’m surprised the editors of the AP had the audacity to publish it. Must have been a slow day.
Catholic Culture has great coverage below. The accusation is so impotent that the entire article — describing the accusation and debunking it — only takes 2 paragraphs! I’ve copied the article below.
‘Future pope refused defrocking of convicted priest’
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. (Source)