When the story first broke last month that a convicted child molester had been allowed to return to active ministry in Munich, while Ratzinger was heading the archdiocese as Archbishop, the blame was accepted by the man who was then the vicar-general. Gerhard Gruber said then that it was a "serious mistake", but one for which he accepted full responsibility: that Ratzinger had not been involved (even though written correspondence about the matter addressed to Ratzinger also came to light). At the time, there were eyebrows raised, as the man at the top can freely delegate authority - but not the responsibility for mistakes.
Now it seems that the situation is rather more serious than that. Der Spiegel magazine is in possession of a a letter from Fr Gruber which shows that he made that statement exonerating Ratzinger only after coming under enormous pressure from unnamed persons in the church. In effect, he has repudiated the original statement, and does not believe after all, that he should be held solely responsible.
Altogether then, one more time. The buck stops......way over there
(Cartoon is a screenshot from the excellent video by Mark Fiore)
A FORMER vicar-general in the archdiocese of Munich has claimed that he was pressurised last month into taking the blame for a mistake made 30 years ago by the then Archbishop of Munich, Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict), concerning the case of a paedophile priest.
Fr Gerhard Gruber has now said he did so only after coming under huge pressure from unnamed Catholic Church sources to take responsibility, so as to “take the pope out of the firing line”.
(Read the full report here)