I think the quote is even more biting considering that this is the same Pope who helped shuffle priests around when they were caught abusing children:
Hans Küng, a former friend of Ratzinger’s, says: ‘No one in the whole of the Catholic Church knew as much about abuse cases as this Pope.’
In Germany in the early Eighties, Father Peter Hullermann was moved to a diocese run by Ratzinger. Hullermann had already been accused of raping three boys. Ratzinger didn’t go to the police. Instead, Hullermann was referred for ‘counselling’.
In the U.S. in 1985, a group of American bishops wrote to Ratzinger begging him to defrock a priest called Father Stephen Kiesle, who had tied up and molested two young boys in a rectory.
Ratzinger refused for years, explaining that he was thinking of the ‘good of the universal Church’ and of the ‘detriment that granting the dispensation can provoke among the community of Christ’s faithful, particularly considering the young age’ of the priest involved. He was 38.
Kiesle went on to rape many more children.
In 1996, the Archbishop of Milwaukee appealed to Ratzinger to defrock Father Lawrence C. Murphy, who had raped and tortured up to 200 deaf and mute children at a Catholic boarding school. His rapes often began in the confessional. Ratzinger never replied.
Eight months later, there was a secret canonical ‘trial’. But Murphy wrote to Ratzinger saying he was ill, so it was cancelled. Ratzinger advised him to take a ‘spiritual retreat’. Murphy died years later, unpunished.
These are only the cases that have leaked out. Who knows what remains in the closed files?
In 2001, Ratzinger wrote to every bishop in the world, telling them allegations of abuse must be dealt with ‘in absolute secrecy … completely suppressed by perpetual silence’.