Pope Implicated in Another Church Abuse Case

Despite the efforts of the Vatican to deflect criticism away from Pope Benedict XVI on his involvement in child abuse scandals, reports continue to tie him to the past decisions. The most recent is the discovery of a 1985 letter with the signature of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger resisting the defrocking of the Rev. Stephen Kiesle, a California priest with a long history of sexual molestation of children.

The Pope blocked the effort for “the good of the universal church,” a reference that seems to track earlier letters placing secrecy for the Church above the security of the children.

The Pope was previously implicated in a Wisconsin case, here.

The most recent letter is part of years of correspondence between the Diocese of Oakland and the Vatican about Kiesle.

In the November 1985 letter, Ratzinger says the arguments for removing Kiesle are of “grave significance” but insisted, after years of correspondence, that the matter needed for consideration and “as much paternal care as possible.” Notably, the future Pope said that they had to consider 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 ultimately received 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. In 1981, at the end of his probationary period, Kiesle asked to leave the priesthood.
The U.S. Cardinal supported the petition. It would seem to be rather good news to the Vatican, which should have defrocked the molester years before. The American diocese wrote to Ratzinger three times asking for action. They were clearly alarmed by not just the delay but Ratzinger’s suggestions that Kiesle’s departure could harm rather than help the church.

Kiesle was allowed to return as a youth minister at St. Joseph Church, where he had served as associate pastor from 1972 to 1975.

In 2002, Kiesle was charged with 13 counts of child molestation from the 1970s. After a successful appeal, 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 is now 63 and a registered sex offender, lives in a Walnut Creek gated community.

Lewis VanBlois, an attorney for six Kiesle victims stated that not only did he admit to molesting children but “[w]hen asked how many children he had molested over the years, he said ‘tons.'”

For the full story, click here.

30 thoughts on “Pope Implicated in Another Church Abuse Case”

  1. Glad to see the head of the Church taking responsibility for his actions. Well, in this case, inactions.

    I must have slept through my catechism class on “Covering Thine Own Arse at the Expense of the Children”

  2. My Morning Jacket “The Bear”

    It’s a bad idea, to go down to the pier by yourself after dark
    It’s a bad idea, cause they’re down on their luck
    and they’ve lost touch with their bleeding hearts
    Bad idea, cause I’ve felt that way and I know shouldn’t have gone
    The time is near
    To come forward with whatever killed your spark
    There’s still time, for you to change your mind
    or whatever else you do, there’s still time, whooaaa…

  3. Maybe the guy was a part the language a cocksucker for Rome or is that Roehm as in “Ernst Roehm” to start.


    Maybe the guy was a pardon the language. a cocksucker for Rome or is that Roehm as in “Ernst Roehm” to start.

  4. Ya know he was a Hitler youth. Maybe the guy was a part the language a cocksucker for Rome or is that Roehm as in “Ernst Roehm” to start.

    I understand he was the leader of the Gay Brigade SS. If what I have read is true about Ernst Roehm. Maybe he started on his knee’s as a youth.

    I should be ashamed of myself, but I am not, it is a chiffon, not butter.

  5. Here’s a good rule for the Catholic church to follow next time they’re picking a Pope.

    If they really do want to heal their strained relations with the Jewish community then next time don’t pick a Pope from the few remaining former members of the Nazi Hitler Youth.

    Kind of a bad foot to begin on there I’d think.

    Especially when he bears a striking resemblance to the Emperor from Star Wars.

    And of course lets not forget to vet his ecclesiastical record to make sure he’s not funneling child molesters around. Kind of makes it hard to believe he’s got anything to do with God, you know? Just my two cents worth.

  6. Ambidexter,
    I believe that the dignity and prestige of the Catholic Church would have had a better opportunity of preservation had they dealt with every accusation, in a lawful manner, as they occured over the years.

  7. More and more it becomes obvious that the dignity and prestige of the Catholic Church is and was more important to Pope Benedict than the welfare of children.

    When a secular organization like a school or hospital finds an employee raping children the administration calls the cops. When the Catholic Church discovers a priest raping children the hierarchy transfers him to a new parish to give him fresh victims.

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