A reader writes:
It's important, and entirely relevant, to remember what Ratzinger was up to in the mid-eighties. In 1986, I worked in the Academic Vice-President's (i.e., provost) Office at Catholic University. I have a personal recollection of a fellow secretary from another office running down the hall in McMahon, where the high-ranking academic offices were, screaming, "I've got Cardinal Ratzinger on the phone!"
That person's rank was somewhere between the Academic VP and dissident Charlie Curran, and Ratzinger was calling about Curran.
Ratzinger wasn't going through the American bishops who make up Catholic's Board of Trustees, nor was he going through the university president, who worked in a different building, let alone office. Nor did he delegate. This wasn't a head-of-state to head-of-state, foreign-minister to foreign-minister correlating status in the chain of command. This was Ratzinger himself, on the phone, making sure that the persons directly responsible for terminating Charlie Curran did the paperwork to get it done. I doubt he called the payroll office, but he didn't let himself trust the people at the top to inform him of progress or carry out his instructions.
Contrast this deep personal, almost kibbitzing interference with his professed ignorance of the canonical, albeit not strictly doctrinal, errors of his gross, unimaginably cruel and criminal priests and their hapless bishops.
I think malicious, willful neglect is his only defense to actively, knowingly harboring felons of the worst sort.