The church's canonical court in 1997 found "there is almost a
satanic quality in (Teta's) mode of acting toward young men and
boys." The court found that Teta's "insidious 'rape' of so many
young men in his capacity as a priest" warranted his immediate
removal from the priesthood.
And yet despite Moreno's personal appeal, it took Ratzinger's CDF another seven years to defrock this priest. He was still being paid the equivalent of administrative leave until 2004 - fourteen years after his "insidious rapes" were first reported. During those fourteen years, parishioners paid the priest about
$1,400 a month. The diocese also paid for Teta's canon
Until now, the entire blame for the slowness of the process has rested on the late Moreno's shoulders, who was seen as a poor advocate for the victims of the abuse. But with the Star's publication of internal correspondence, it's clear now that he was simply struggling to get a conviction under the CDF's arcane legal rules, which give every benefit of the doubt to the accused priest, and care not a whit about the victims of abuse. The lawyer for the victims now blames the Vatican, not Moreno, for the delay:
Cadigan has represented more than 35 local church abuse victims
in civil cases, including two men who said they were assaulted in
the confessional by Teta as children and, combined, received about
$2 million from the diocese. The two men were not witnesses in
Teta's canonical proceedings.
"I spent years claiming that (Moreno) was the evil one allowing
the abuse to occur, but after reviewing the documents from the
Vatican, it's clear that he did what he could within the confines
of an incompetent system," Cadigan said.
In a second case, that of Father Trupia, another sex abuser, it was Moreno who had to fight tooth and nail to prevent Ratzinger's CDF from allowing him to resign in good standing, once the CDF took over the case in 2001:
1997, the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy told Moreno to let
Trupia resign in good standing, but Moreno appealed.
"As the bishop of the diocese, I cannot take the chance of his
working among our people unless I am sure of his suitability,"
Moreno wrote to a high Vatican official in 1997.
Said Cadigan: "Bishop Moreno tried desperately, within the
confines of the Vatican, to get rid of Trupia but they wanted to
let him go with good recommendations. Bishop Moreno stated very
clearly that (Trupia) was a sexual predator, but the Vatican cared
more about saving face and keeping it quiet than protecting
Attorney Kim Williamson, Cadigan's co-counsel, said it was still
three years until Trupia was defrocked, and only after an Arizona
Daily Star article revealed Trupia was living in Maryland and still
receiving monthly checks from the Diocese of Tucson.
The current Pope cannot be a solution to this problem until he has faced his direct responsibility as a cause of this problem.
This is not going away.
Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves after celebrating the
mass in memory of John Paul II on the 5th anniversary of his death in
Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on March 29, 2010.The Holy father,
under increasing fire for the Roman Catholic Church's handling of
paedophile priests, urged Christians Sunday not to be intimidated by
idle 'chatter'. By Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.)