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. Last night SNL presented a Update sketch wherein Satan opined on the fact that Roman Catholics had crossed a line which even he could not stomach. When they get to hell they have to register as sex offenders ’cause even demons and gargoyles have a right to know who they live with. The Devil loves evil but he wants no credit for Roman Catholic pedophile priest or those who take part in the cover-up.

    It was great!

  2. I’m sharpening a wooden stake to drive through the chest of the vampire pope. I mean, look at those eyes. The darkness of his being (can’t say soul) shows in every picture.

  3. The Pope should arrested and questioned under oath about why he hid felons from the law. Noone should be immune to the law. Not Popes and certaintly not former Presidents. I wonder if Pres. Obama understands that.

  4. You would think that the Roman Catholic church would understand that forgiveness requires admitting and regretting your sins. Oh well, I guess I’ll console myself with the fact that if they are correct they’ll be burning in hell before too long…


    Sorry, you gave me the hook for something I’ve wanted to get out there for a while now (and I think is highly relevant to our forthcoming discussion on the 120% thread). And if there’s a cage match, my money’s on the bear…

  5. Nal,

    But where do Dawkins and Hitchens stand on the “bear” issue? Will there be a cage match between Gentle Ben and Bishop Buggery? Pay-per-view minds want to know . . .

  6. feed


    I blame Slarti. He made me use my brain on a single cup this morning.

  7. One wonders how long the “faithful” will continue to bear

    Until the bear eats them, it’s the seventh and final seal.

  8. Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash. Your picture in the paper nor money in the bank, neither. Just refuse to bear them.

    ~William Faulkner (Intruder in the Dust).

    One wonders how long the “faithful” will continue to bear.

  9. Swartzmore mom,

    If he resigns he can be criminally prosecuted. I think he may take a Lay approach to this as in Kenneth Lay.

  10. We know what you do Bdaman. So, just be careful. I would take care of any physical evidence to your attorney or priest. They can help you. They cannot implicate you in past wrongs.

  11. Bdaman,

    maybe castration with a pair of sheep shears. A scythe, whatever you have available in your shed back behind the trailer.

Comments are closed.