All Eyes Turn to Cardinal Sodano

by Michael Sean Winters

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Many of those who have defended Pope Benedict’s handling of sex abuse charges argue that as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then-Cardinal Ratzinger was zealous in urging the Curia to help root out the cancer. Earlier, I noted that Cardinal Schoenborn of Vienna cited Raztinger’s disappointment when the Secretariat of State succeeded in persuading Pope John Paul II not to order an investigation into Schoenborn’s predecessor, Cardinal Groer.

Today, here at NCR, Jason Berry documents the charge against Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and others, that he protected Father Maciel in exchange for thinly concealed bribes.

Over at Spiritual Politics, Mark Silk focused on Sodano, noting his ties to Pinochet and the unseemly and illegal activities of his nephew, whose real estate frauds landed him in prison.

If the story of Cardinal Ratzinger’s urging greater vigilance and prosecution of sanctions against sex abusers is to be sustained, more and more will need to be said about why he was unable to win the internal curial deliberations. All eyes are going to increasingly focus on the role Cardinal Sodano played in the previous regime, especially in its later year’s when Pope John Paul II’s declining health gave Sodano and others in the Pope’s immediate entourage enormous power. It is difficult to see how such an investigation will turn out well for the Dean of the College of Cardinals.

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