Convicted pedophile priest linked to Pope suspended

Justice is rapid in the Catholic Church. Sure the Pope – then Archbishop Ratzinger – reviewed his case in 1980 but you can’t expect him to make a quick decision for a known child abuser. Shuffling abusive priests around and hiding the problem has long been the standard operating procedure for the church and in this case, Ratzinger was no different from any other church leader. Pretending as though he didn’t know and getting caught in the lie is now a much bigger problem. The Pope is very much a part of the problem.

Benedict not only served as the archbishop of the diocese where the priest worked, but also later as the cardinal in charge of reviewing sexual abuse cases for the Vatican. Yet until the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising announced that Father Hullermann had been suspended on Monday, he continued to serve in a series of Bavarian parishes.

In 1980, the future pope reviewed the case of Father Hullermann, who was accused of sexually abusing boys in the Diocese of Essen, including forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform oral sex. The future pope approved his transfer to Munich. On Friday, a deputy took responsibility for allowing the priest to return to full pastoral duties shortly afterward. Six years later, Father Hullermann was convicted of sexually abusing children in the Bavarian town of Grafing. Father Hullermann’s identity was revealed Sunday, when a man whose marriage he was scheduled to perform in the spa town of Bad Tölz stood up in the pews and began shouting as the head of the congregation was speaking in vague terms about the scandal.

Note from Joe: Yesterday, at AMERICAblog Gay, our resident German scholar, Liz Newcomb, posted a map she found in Munich’s main newspaper, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, of the priest sex abuse cases in Germany. Interestingly, there are several in the Pope’s former diocese.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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