In 1978, Rev. Stephen Kiesle pleaded no contest to charges of tying up and molesting two young boys in a rectory. The Diocese of Oakland asked Cardinal Ratzinger if Kiesle could be defrocked. Four years later, Ratzi recommend against it.
The AP has the letter from then-Cardinal, current-Pope Joseph Ratzinger—it's in Latin, and Ratzi actually signed it himself.
When Kiesle's probation was up in 1981, he actually asked to leave the priesthood. So the diocese sent the appropriate papers to the Vatican (Bishop John Cummins argued that allowing Kiesle to remain a priest would be way more embarrassing that defrocking him), and waited for a response. And they waited. And waited. (As Kiesle continued doing work with children.) "At one point, a Vatican official wrote to say the file may have been lost and suggested resubmitting materials." But in 1985, they got their response from the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
In the November 1985 letter, Ratzinger says the arguments for removing Kiesle are of "grave significance" but added that such actions required very careful review and more time. He also urged the bishop to provide Kiesle with "as much paternal care as possible" while awaiting the decision, according to a translation for AP by Professor Thomas Habinek, chairman of the University of Southern California Classics Department.
But the future pope also noted that any decision to defrock Kiesle must take into account the "good of the universal church" and the "detriment that granting the dispensation can provoke within the community of Christ's faithful, particularly considering the young age." Kiesle was 38 at the time.
Kiesle was finally defrocked in 1987, though the AP doesn't know how or why. In 2002, he was arrested on 13 counts of molestation from the '70s. In 2004, he pleaded no contest to molesting a girl in 1995.
So to add to the list of abuse cases that the pope ignored, we now have one that he responded to. It just took him a couple years! And once he responded he didn't actually recommend defrocking the guy who tied up and molested two kids, in church.
I can't wait for K-Lo and Bill Donohue to weigh in on this one. How can they possibly pin the blame on the media or homosexuals this time? (Well, it did all happen in the Bay Area. So perhaps it's Nancy Pelosi's fault.)
Oh my lord, wait, I could not make this up: at this very moment, Kathryn Jean Lopez has published a post at The Corner about the real scandal in the Catholic Church: she just read, in a Michelle Malkin column, about a priest who is a liberal (from Chicago) who supports Barack Obama and dislikes racism.
These are the scandals facing the Church, according to K-Lo: an angry priest who is friends with black people, a Cardinal going to Ted Kennedy's funeral, and ACORN. (Not a joke. She mentions ACORN.)
Meanwhile, in reality, people might be considering leaving the church because Pope honestly did not give a shit if priests were raping children in church.
Update/Correction Father Pfleger is, apparently, a white person. Which makes the outrage even worse!