JPII: Under the Bus

by Michael Sean Winters

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I guess no one can say the hierarchy is not taking the threat of scandal seriously anymore. In an interview yesterday, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna, spoke about the desire of many to have a full-scale investigation of charges leveled against his predecessor Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer. He said that then-Cardinal raztinger supported the investigation but others counseled against it. He had this to say about Pope Benedict’s commitment to rooting out the scourge of clergy sex abuse. “I can still very clearly remember the moment when Cardinal Ratzinger sadly told me that the other camp had asserted itself.” There was no investigation.

Did he just throw Pope John Paul II under the bus? Yes, he did.

Like the case against Groer, the case against the founder of the Legionnaires of Christ, Father Maciel, was urged by Ratzinger but stymied by “the apartment,” as the Pope and his entourage are known. John Paul II certainly remembered that in Poland, the communist authorities had used slanderous campaigns to discredit prelates, but communist authorities were not behind the charges against Groer or Maciel. Those fighting any action against these prominent prelates were other prominent prelates. The fact that John Paul II listened to such horrendous advice is an indelible mark on his legacy. Santo? Perhaps. Subito? Probably not.

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