Pope Waited Years to Defrock Ariz. Priest

Ratzinger's actions as cardinal under new scrutiny
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 3, 2010 6:23 AM CDT
Pope Waited Years to Defrock Ariz. Priest
Pope Benedict XVI presides over the Way Of The Cross procession at the Colosseum on Good Friday on April 2, 2010 in Rome, Italy.   (Getty Images)

The abuse cases of two Arizona priests cast further doubt on whether Pope Benedict XVI shielded pedophiles as a cardinal. Then Cardinal Ratzinger took over the abuse case of Rev. Michael Teta, then let it languish at the Vatican for a dozen years despite repeated pleas from the bishop for the man to be removed from the priesthood. "Ratzinger delayed the defrocking process of dangerous priests who were deemed `satanic' by their own bishop," says an attorney who represented two victims.

In another Tucson case, that of Msgr. Robert Trupia, the bishop wrote to then-Cardinal Ratzinger, calling Trupia "a major risk factor." There is no indication that Ratzinger responded. But Tucson's current bishop defends the pontiff: "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," he says. "Pope Benedict is the same man." (Read more Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger stories.)

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