… in March 2010, German journalists revealed a record that complicates the Pope's reputation. In Munich in 1980, then Archbishop Ratzinger had personally authorized the transfer of an abusive priest, Peter Hullermann, from another part of Germany to his own archdiocese, ostensibly for therapy. But just days after his arrival, the priest was allowed to serve among the flock. Hullermann would be convicted of subsequent sexual assaults in 1986. The Vatican insists that, like other Archbishops, Ratzinger wasn't responsible for the parish assignments of priests, even those with a history of abusing children. A rising star, Ratzinger — a brilliant religious philosopher — had been put on an administrative track and was on the verge of his 1981 reassignment to Rome to work in the Curia. But defending the Pope by pointing out that he was following the standard operating procedures of the day or that he was not focused on his oversight duties no longer cuts it for most Catholics. "The impression it leaves is that these things simply weren't very important to the bishops and Cardinals," says Melloni. "To say he didn't know is not a defense; it's the problem."
Ratzinger's reputation for being a man of detail makes it hard to fathom that he knew nothing about Hullermann's return to active ministry. The Pope has yet to address this period of his career explicitly. But if he is to satisfy victims and their families, he will have to do so one day. That Benedict is personally touched by the crisis "doesn't surprise me at all," says abuse victim Horne, who met with the Pope in Washington in 2008. "He's complicit in this, as is two-thirds of the hierarchy." Horne is asking for a full accounting of past abuse, accompanied by new church rules for monitoring and responding to future cases, with victims given a central role in the process. He insists, however, that he and most other victims have no interest in bringing down either the Pope or the church. "We are looking for a moral response," he says. Read more - By Jeff Israely and Howard Chua-Eoan – TIME / CNN
The Trial of Benedict XVI
By Jeff Israely and Howard Chua-Eoan – TIME / CNN