A week after the New York Times ran a front-page story on Father Peter Hullermann, the newspaper did its best to keep the flame alive. “Pope Was Told Pedophile Priest Would Get Transfer,” was the headline the Times used for its piece on the pope. But all it said was that his office “was copied on a memo” about the transfer of Hullermann. According to Church officials, the story said the memo was routine and “unlikely to have landed on the archbishop’s desk.”
Let’s just say that Ratzinger did in fact learn of the transfer. So what? Wasn’t that what he expected to happen? After all, we know from a previous Times story that when Ratzinger’s subordinates recommended therapy for Hullermann, he approved it. That was the drill of the day: after being treated, the patient (we prefer the term offender) would return to work. It is still the drill of the day in many secular quarters today, particularly in the public schools.
A more hard-line approach, obviously, makes more sense, but the therapeutic industry is very powerful.
In other words, there was no real news in that particular news story. So why would theNew York Times print it? To keep the flame alive. What did they think Ratzinger would do after he approved Hullermann for therapy? Send him to the Gulag?
We took advantage of every TV and radio opportunity to set the record straight. We let the public know that Pope Benedict XVI is a great man, and the Catholic League is proud to stand by him.