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Should Stars and Stripes refrain from publishing a letter to the editor because that letter might present an inconvenient truth to some of its readers? Apparently that is exactly what the writer of “Attack on pope was unfounded” (letter, April 16) thinks.

The writer decries media reports on the pope’s handling of sexual abuse cases as “cherry picking” and claims there is no evidence that he protected priests accused of molestation. Unfortunately for him, there is plenty of evidence being introduced in a civil suit accusing the pontiff of doing just that.

The lawsuit, one of several being brought against Benedict, alleges that then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger ignored memorandums accusing a priest of molesting 200 deaf boys. When an investigation was finally convened, Ratzinger personally ordered it halted when the priest in question wrote him a letter begging for his assistance. Apparently, he was more interested in protecting the Church from scandal than addressing the abuse of its youngest members by someone in a position of authority.

This all occurred while Ratzinger was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican institution in charge of investigating allegations of sexual abuse by the clergy. As an atheist, I admit I lack knowledge in certain aspects of Catholic theology, but I’m pretty sure the Doctrine of the Faith doesn’t include child molestation as one of its core tenets.

I hope these allegations will lead to an independent investigation to determine to what extent, if any, the pontiff covered for accused priests. If it turns out the pope did protect pedophiles, I fully expect him to face criminal charges.

If the writer is so offended by attacks on the Church, I suggest he criticize those in the Church who defend pedophiles instead of the media for exposing them.

Staff Sgt. Casey LeavingsOsan Air Base, South Korea

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