May 13, 2005

Abuse Allegations Against a Top Catholic Re-examined

ABC News

NEW YORK, April 21, 2005 -- An investigation into the sexual abuse allegations against a high-ranking priest of the Roman Catholic Church has been reopened, seven years after the formal complaint was first filed with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, according to people familiar with the case.

Ratzinger's office ordered the case against the Rev. Marcial Maciel reopened in December, around the time there was growing speculation Ratzinger was a leading candidate to be the next pope. In fact, a Vatican investigator began taking sworn statements from the alleged victims just two weeks ago in New York, the day Pope John Paul II died, according to sources close to the case.

"They knelt and kissed his ring, filing these charges in his tribunal, and after that it was simply stuffed, it was shelved," said Jason Berry, co-author with Gerald Renner of a book on the case, "Vows of Silence."

"This pope is at a crossroads. He has to resolve the Maciel case or it will stalk him like a shadow in the sun."

Posted by kshaw at May 13, 2005 07:11 PM