Beginning in that dark year of 2002, the then Cardinal Ratzinger responded quickly and affirmatively to all of our requests for assistance here in the United States.Read the rest here.
Recall that Canon 1324, par. 4, states that in Canon Law a minor is a person under the age of 16 years. However, in the civil laws of the United States, a minor is deemed to be a person under the age of 18 years. After we brought this gap to the attention of Cardinal Ratzinger, the canonical age was also raised to 18 years to accommodate civil law in our country and in other countries.
With respect to the processes of dealing with cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests in our Archdiocese, Cardinal Ratzinger and his Congregation responded swiftly and gave us advice on how to proceed with each of these cases. We never had delays or a lack of proper response.
Whenever I proposed that a certain priest be returned to the lay state and no longer serve as a priest, the Congregation responded quickly and in accord with my recommendations. Whether the priest petitioned himself for a return to the lay state, or whether I insisted upon his return to the lay state, Cardinal Ratzinger and the Congregation responded in favor of the Church, not of the priest individually.
Now, I know that Cardinal Mahony's name is the one most often mentioned (beside Cardinal Law, who has already left his archdiocese) as a bishop who ought to be Kicked Out. And from a purely liturgical, musical, and architectural standpoint I am sympathetic to this view.
But the rumors and innuendo surrounding Cdl. Mahony often go much farther than that--and I don't say that some of those things might not prove to be true. The point, however, is that this defense of his of the Holy Father is very nice to see, and sheds some light on the way these cases have been progressing for the last eight years.
We're quickly seeing the difference between people who are genuinely concerned about children, and those who want revenge against the Church for the errors of the past. No one excuses a single incidence of clergy sex abuse--no one. But sane, reasonable people aren't calling for the pope to resign just because the New York Times wants him to.
There is an undercurrent of diabolical hatred of the Church in much of what I see and read online about the recent news reports--especially since most of them aren't "news" but rehashing of old incidents. That kind of darkness usually vents itself in violence, and we Catholics should be praying daily for St. Michael's intercession just now. Here's the prayer, which I've also got posted in my sidebar, in both English and Latin:
Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio.
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae coelestis,
Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute, in infernum detrude.
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.