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El País miente deliberadamente sobre los abusos sexuales de menores

Hoy dice El País:

Ratzinger evitó expulsar a un cura abusador por “el bien de la Iglesia”

Una carta del actual Papa cuando era prefecto de la antigua Inquisición revela que frenó varios años la secularización tras la denuncia del obispo de Oakland

El goteo de noticias sobre abusos sexuales que achacan a la Iglesia católica ya es una lluvia y amenaza con transformarse en un ciclón. Mientras el Vaticano reiteraba la disponibilidad de papa Benedicto XVI de entrevistarse con las víctimas de los curas pederastas, nuevas revelaciones volvieron este viernes a implicar directamente al jefe de la Iglesia en las tentativas de las altas esferas vaticanas para parar los escándalos. La agencia Associated Press publicó nuevos documentos que apuntan a la resistencia a la destitución de curas implicados en abusos por parte del entonces cardenal Ratzinger.

Una carta, datada en 1985 y firmada por el mismo Ratzinger, demuestra cómo el futuro Papa, en sus funciones de prefecto de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, se opuso a la destitución del cura Stephen Keisle “por el bien de la Iglesia Universal”, según aparece en el texto. El documento, escrito en latín, forma parte de la amplia correspondencia entre la diócesis de Oakland (California) y el Vaticano sobre el caso Kiesle. La diócesis había recomendado la destitución del cura acusado de abusos sexuales en 1981, el año en el que Ratzinger fue nombrado jefe del organismo de la Iglesia al que compete la disciplina de los religiosos.

Fue sólo cuatro años más tarde cuando, según AP, el futuro Papa escribió al obispo de Oakland, John Cummins, que había sometido el caso. Y fue para decirle que, a pesar de la importancia de las argumentaciones en favor de la destitución de Kiesle, hacía falta tener en cuenta “el perjuicio que puede causar en la comunidad de los fieles de Cristo, sobre todo considerando su joven edad”. Kiesle tenía entonces 38 años. Ratzinger también instó al obispo a ofrecer a Kiesle “todo el cuidado paternal posible”, mientras esperaban una decisión. En 1978, Kiesle había sido sentenciado a tres años de libertad condicional por abusos contra dos jóvenes. Cuando acabó la condena pidió la destitución y fue cuando la diócesis remitió el caso a Roma.

Un portavoz del Vaticano confirmó la autoría de la carta, pero no quiso hacer comentarios sobre las revelaciones. “La oficina de prensa no considera necesario contestar a cada documento sacado fuera de contexto que se refiere a una situación legal particular”, dijo Federico Lombardi, portavoz de la Santa Sede. “No es extraño que haya documentos con la firma de Ratzinger”.

Cummins incluso acudió en persona a Roma para mover el caso de Kiesle, pero no le hicieron caso. Por fin, la secularización del sacerdote fue en 1987, seis años después de que se iniciara el proceso. El ex sacerdote vive en Walnut Creek (California) donde está incluido en la lista de delincuentes sexuales.

Este no es el primer caso que involucra al Papa como encubridor -o, por lo menos, como reacio a actuar- de sacerdotes implicados en abusos a menores. El pasado 22 de marzo, The New York Times desveló un comportamiento similar con Lawrence Murphy, quien abusó durante años de unos 200 niños sordos en Wisconsin. En aquel momento, Ratzinger alegó para no castigarlo que era muy anciano.

Nuevos casos en Holanda y Noruega

Por otro lado, tres sacerdotes católicos han sido apartados de sus funciones en Holanda, mientras que en Noruega se han desvelado la existencia de cuatro nuevos casos de posibles abusos sexuales a menores.

En el caso de Holanda, donde algo más de una cuarta parte de sus 16 millones de habitantes están registrados como católicos, se trata de las primeras suspensiones que vive la institución en ese país. Las primeras denuncias por abusos se hicieron públicas hace aproximadamente un mes. El religioso salesiano Herman Spronck ha señalado que, tras consultar con los superiores de la congregación en Bruselas, se pedirá a los tres curas acusados que cesen en sus actividades.

La noticia, cuya única fuente es la agencia Associated Press oculta deliberadamente lo que esa misma agencia dice en su despacho informativo:

1.- La agencia no habla equívocamente de destitución, como si lo que competía a Ratzinger fuera dejar en su puesto al sacerdote, sino reducción al estado secular.

2.- El obispo de Oakland ya había apartado al sacerdote abusador de toda actividad pastoral, lo que sugería a la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe era, además, que dejara de ser sacerdote. Esto no lo dice El País, lo que induce a pensar que el sacerdote seguía ejerciendo.

3.- La carta de 1985 de Ratzinger decía que necesitaba más tiempo para decidir si el sacerdote era reducido al estado secular. De hecho, en 1987 la Congregación de la Doctrina de la Fe decidió que dejara de ser sacerdote. Lo dice AP, El País lo omite.

4.- En los dos años que tardó Ratzinger en decidir, el sacerdote no volvió a cometer más abusos. Lo dice AP, pero El País lo omite.

5.- Abusos sexuales y celibato: Kiesle se casó después de dejar el sacerdocio. En 2002 fue arrestado por seguir abusando de menores. Tampoco dice nada El País.

A continuación, la noticia de Associated Press. Las comparaciones son escandalosas.

AP: Future pope stalled Calif. pedophile case

By GILLIAN FLACCUS
Associated Press Writer

Four years after a California priest and convicted child molester asked to be defrocked, his bishop pleaded with the future Pope Benedict XVI to remove the man from the priesthood. Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger replied, urging caution.

“Consider the good of the Universal Church,” Ratzinger wrote in a 1985 letter to Oakland Bishop John Cummins. “It is necessary for this Congregation to submit incidents of this sort to very careful consideration, which necessitates a longer period of time.”

Two more years would pass before the Vatican acted on the Rev. Stephen Kiesle’s request to leave.

A copy of the letter, typewritten in Latin and signed by Ratzinger, was obtained by The Associated Press. It constitutes the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican’s insistence that Benedict played no role in blocking the removal of pedophile priests during his years as head of the Catholic Church’s doctrinal watchdog office.

The letter is part of years of correspondence beginning in 1981 between the diocese of Oakland and the Vatican about Kiesle, who pleaded no contest to misdemeanors involving child molestation in 1978.

The Vatican confirmed Friday that the letter had Ratzinger’s signature and said it was a typical form letter used in laicization cases. Attorney Jeffrey Lena said the matter proceeded “expeditiously, not by modern standards, but by those standards at the time,” and that the bishop was to guard against further abuse.

Another spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said the letter showed no attempt at a cover-up. “The then-Cardinal Ratzinger didn’t cover up the case, but as the letter clearly shows, made clear the need to study the case with more attention, taking into account the good of all involved.”

The diocese recommended removing Kiesle (KEEZ’-lee) from the priesthood in 1981, the year Ratzinger was appointed to head the Vatican office that shared responsibility for disciplining abusive priests.

The case then languished for four years at the Vatican before Ratzinger finally wrote to the Oakland bishop. It was two more years before Kiesle was removed; during that time he continued to do volunteer work with children through the church.

In the November 1985 letter, Ratzinger says the arguments for removing Kiesle were 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.

Lena, the Vatican attorney, said “paternal care” was a way of telling the bishop he was responsible for keeping Kiesle out of trouble. Lena said Kiesle was not accused of any child abuse in the 5 1/2 years it took for the Vatican to act on the laicization.

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 had been sentenced in 1978 to three years’ probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct for tying up and molesting two young boys in a San Francisco Bay area church rectory.

Cummins, the bishop, told the Vatican that the priest took a leave of absence and met with a therapist and his probation officer during the three years. It’s not clear from the file where Kiesle lived during those years, but Cummins mentions temporary assignments in neighboring dioceses that never worked out.

As his probation ended in 1981, Kiesle asked to leave the priesthood and the diocese submitted papers to Rome to defrock him.

In his earliest letter to Ratzinger, Cummins warned that returning Kiesle to ministry would cause more of a scandal than stripping him of his priestly powers.

“It is my conviction that there would be no scandal if this petition were granted and that as a matter of fact, given the nature of the case, there might be greater scandal to the community if Father Kiesle were allowed to return to the active ministry,” Cummins wrote in 1982.

While papers obtained by the AP include only one letter with Ratzinger’s signature, correspondence and internal memos from the diocese refer to a letter dated Nov. 17, 1981, from the then-cardinal to the bishop. Ratzinger was appointed to head the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith a week later.

California church officials wrote to Ratzinger at least three times to check on the status of Kiesle’s case and Cummins discussed the case with officials during a Vatican visit, according to correspondence. At one point, a Vatican official wrote to say the file may have been lost and suggested resubmitting materials.

Diocese officials considered writing Ratzinger again after they received his 1985 response to impress upon him that leaving Kiesle in the ministry would harm the church, Rev. George Mockel wrote in a memo to the Oakland bishop.

“My own reading of this letter is that basically they are going to sit on it until Steve gets quite a bit older,” the memo said. “Despite his young age, the particular and unique circumstances of this case would seem to make it a greater scandal if he were not laicized.”

As Kiesle’s fate was being weighed in Rome, the priest returned to suburban Pinole to volunteer as a youth minister at St. Joseph Church, where he had been associate pastor from 1972-75.

Kiesle was ultimately laicized on Feb. 13, 1987, though the documents do not indicate how or why. They also don’t say what role — if any — Ratzinger had in the decision.

Kiesle continued to volunteer with children, according to Maurine Behrend, who worked in the Oakland diocese’s youth ministry office in the 1980s. After learning of his history, Behrend complained to church officials. When nothing was done she wrote a letter, which she showed to the AP.

“Obviously nothing has been done after EIGHT months of repeated notifications,” she wrote. “How are we supposed to have confidence in the system when nothing is done? A simple phone call to the pastor from the bishop is all it would take.”

She eventually confronted Cummins at a confirmation and Kiesle was gone a short time later, Behrend said.

Kiesle, who married after leaving the priesthood, was arrested and charged in 2002 with 13 counts of child molestation from the 1970s. All but two were thrown out after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a California law extending the statute of limitations.

He pleaded no contest in 2004 to a felony for molesting a young girl in his Truckee home in 1995 and was sentenced to six years in state prison.

Kiesle, now 63 and a registered sex offender, lives in a Walnut Creek gated community, according to his address listed on the Megan’s Law sex registry. An AP reporter was turned away when attempting to reach him for comment.

William Gagen, an attorney who represented Kiesle in 2002, did not return a call for comment.

More than a half-dozen victims reached a settlement in 2005 with the Oakland diocese alleging Kiesle had molested them as young children.

“He admitted molesting many children and bragged that he was the Pied Piper and said he tried to molest every child that sat on his lap,” said Lewis VanBlois, an attorney for six Kiesle victims who interviewed the former priest in prison. “When asked how many children he had molested over the years, he said ‘tons.'”

Cummins, 82 and now retired, initially told the AP he did not recall writing to Ratzinger about Kiesle, but he remembered when shown the letter with his signature on Friday. He said things had changed over the past quarter-century.

“When he (Ratzinger) took over I think he was following what was the practice of the time, that Pope John Paul was slowing these things down. You didn’t just walk out of the priesthood then,” Cummins said.

“These things were slow and their idea of thoroughness was a little more than ours. We were in a situation that was hands-on, with personal reaction.”

Documents obtained by the AP last week revealed similar instances of Vatican stalling in cases involving two Arizona clergy.

In one case, 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 the second, the bishop called Msgr. Robert Trupia a “major risk factor” in a letter to Ratzinger. There is no indication in those files that Ratzinger responded.

The Vatican has called the accusations “absolutely groundless” and said the facts were being misrepresented.

 

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