I guess it doesn’t count if they can’t hear themselves screaming, is that right, Pope Benedict?

Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit.

The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.

The documents emerge as Pope Benedict is facing other accusations that he and direct subordinates often did not alert civilian authorities or discipline priests involved in sexual abuse when he served as an archbishop in Germany and as the Vatican’ chief doctrinal enforcer.

Read the entire thing unless you’ve eaten recently.

The man who is now Pope was more concerned about the church’s image than he was about 200 children being raped.


(h/t Thers)