This story is at the top of the AP news wire now:
A 1985 letter signed by Ratzinger cited concerns about the effect that removing the priest would have on "the good of the universal church."
The correspondence was obtained exclusively by The Associated Press. It is the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican's insistence that Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, played no role in blocking removal of pedophile priests while head of the Catholic Church's doctrinal watchdog office.
The letter is part of years of correspondence between the diocese of Oakland and the Vatican about the proposed defrocking of the Rev. Stephen Kiesle.
From our sister publication: A Place to Call Home, a new series focusing on women religious helping people who are homeless. Read more
The Vatican confirmed Ratzinger's signature on the letter but declined comment on its contents.
More to come