My take on Ratzinger's reluctance to defrock a 38 year old priest even knowing the "grave significance" of the crimes of child-rape committed by the priest is here. This AP time-line is also very helpful in cutting through the hair-splittingly ludicrous defense the Vatican is now attempting. They are now claiming that this was about defrocking, not abuse.
But why was the defrocking being demanded by the local bishop - and the priest himself? "Grave significance" is the critical admission by Benedict that he knew full well what was wrong with this priest but still wanted to retain such a young recruit given the shortage of vocations. And he wanted to keep him as a priest to avoid scandal. It's as clear as day.
There is no concern expressed for the tied-up and raped boys at all. From a moral leader. His sympathy is entirely with the emotionally-arrested, child-rapist. I mean seriously: what is the real defense of Ratzinger in this?
Here's the AP timeline:
- 1972: Ordained at St. Francis De Sales, Oakland.
- 1972-1975: Associate pastor at St. Joseph's Church in Pinole.
- 1975-1978: Assigned to Our Lady of the Rosary in Union City.
- August 1978: Kiesle is arrested and pleads no contest to lewd conduct, a misdemeanor, for tying up and molesting two boys. Sentenced to three years probation, record is later expunged.
- 1978-1981: Takes extended leave of absence, attends counseling and reports regularly to probation officer.
- July 1981: Oakland Bishop John Cummins sends Kiesle's file to the Vatican in support of the priest's petition for laicization.
- November 1981: Vatican asks for more information.
- 1982: Kiesle moves to Pinole.
- February 1982: Cummins writes to Ratzinger providing additional information and warning of possible scandal if Kiesle is not defrocked.
- September 1982: Oakland diocese official writes Ratzinger asking for update.
- September 1983: Cummins visits Rome, discusses Kiesle case with Vatican officials.
- December 1983: Vatican official writes Oakland to say Kiesle's file can't be found and they should resubmit materials.
- January 1984: Cummins writes a Vatican official to inquire about status of Kiesle file.
- 1985: Kiesle volunteers as a youth minister at St. Joseph's Church in Pinole.
- September 1985: Cummins writes Ratzinger asking about status of Kiesle case.
- November 1985: Ratzinger writes to Cummins about Kiesle case.
- December 1985: A memo from diocese officials discusses writing to Ratzinger again to stress the risk of scandal if Kiesle's case is delayed.
- 1987: Kiesle is defrocked.
- 2002: Kiesle is arrested and charged with 13 counts of child molestation; all but two are thrown out after U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidates a California law extending statute of limitations.
- 2004: Kiesle pleads no contest to felony charge of molesting a young girl in 1995 at his Truckee vacation home.
- 2004: He is sentenced to six years in prison for the 1995 molestation.
- 2010: Registered as a sex offender living in Walnut Creek.
(Photo: A Hilter-style mustache had been drawn and 'Pedoflu' (paedophile) had been written on a placard announcing the visit of Pope Benedict XVI on April 10, 2010 in Bahar ic-Caghaq on the island of Malta. The pope will visit the predominantly Catholic island on April 17 and 18 in his first foreign trip since the paedophile priest scandal recently exploded. By Ben Borg Cardona/AFP/Getty Images.)