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NYT defends against Vatican criticism

The Times has been reporting on how Pope Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, handled pleas from Wisconsin church officials to “defrock a priest who had abused as many as 200 deaf boys from 1950 to 1974.” … And as a timeline of events clearly shows, the Vatican’s doctrinal office — which Ratzinger ran — suspended a secret trial that could have punished the priest, who was given such leniency because of his declining health.

Follow up on Catholic Church and its newest enemy, journalists, especially at the New York Times

Cardinal William J. Levada, a top Vatican official, leveled harsh criticism at The New York Times today, calling the paper’s news and editorial coverage of a sexual abuse case “deficient by any reasonable standards of fairness.”

The Times has been reporting on how Pope Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, handled pleas from Wisconsin church officials to “defrock a priest who had abused as many as 200 deaf boys from 1950 to 1974.”

Times spokeswoman Diane McNulty told POLITICO that the “stories were based on meticulous reporting and documents, many of them posted on our website.”

“We stand by that reporting,” she said.

Indeed, the Times has included a number of primary documents online. And as a timeline of events clearly shows, the Vatican’s doctrinal office — which Ratzinger ran — suspended a secret trial that could have punished the priest, who was given such leniency because of his declining health.

“The allegations of abuse within the Catholic Church are a serious subject, as the Vatican has acknowledged on many occasions,” McNulty said. “Any role the current pope may have played in responding to those allegations over the years is a significant aspect of this story.”

[Click to continue reading NYT defends against Vatican criticism – Michael Calderone – POLITICO.com]

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