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I have to make this quick, but it's too important to leave alone. From the Associated Press

Church files show that before becoming pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger resisted defrocking a California priest who molested children.

A 1985 letter signed by Ratzinger cited concerns about the effect that removing the priest would have on "the good of the universal church."

The correspondence was obtained exclusively by The Associated Press. It is the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican's insistence that Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, played no role in blocking removal of pedophile priests while head of the Catholic Church's doctrinal watchdog office.

The letter in question was written about a Priest in Oakland by the name of Stephen Kiesle. The Pope and the church now have a lot more questions to answer.


Now that I have a moment, I can provide some more background on the specific incident. Based on what I am reading, Kiesle was a priest in FRemont, CA, which is based with the diocese of Oakland, CA. According to the Oakland Tribune, he was convicted and served six years.

TRUCKEE -- Former Fremont priest Stephen Kiesle has been sentenced to six years in prison for molesting a young girl at his Truckee vacation home.

Kiesle, 57, pleaded no contest in February to the felony charge for the 1995 crime. Sentencing was postponed in March after a Nevada County Superior Court judge referred Kiesle to the California Department of Cor-rections for a 90-day diagnostic evaluation. He was sentenced Tuesday.

Under an agreement with prosecutors, the convicted child molester had the option to withdraw his plea and go to trial if the judge had imposed a sentence longer than six years. It was not Kiesle's first offense.

No it was not. According to this more extensive article .

Kiesle was arrested and charged in 2002 with 13 counts of child molestation from the 1970s. All but two were thrown out after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a California law extending the statute of limitations.

Thirteen counts. THIRTEEN, and this pope was more concerned about the church's image than the kids who suffered. It's time for him to go.

Originally posted to RandySF on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 10:38 AM PDT.

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