NY Times: As Archbishop, Benedict Focused on Doctrine

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Pope Benedict XVI was archbishop of Munich and Freising, he was broadly described as a theologian more concerned with doctrinal debates than personnel matters. That, say his defenders, helps explain why he did not keep close tabs on a pedophile priest sent to his archdiocese in 1980 and allowed to work in a parish.

Yet in 1979, the year before Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, approved the Rev. Peter Hullermann’s move to Munich, the cardinal blocked the assignment to the local university of a prominent theology professor recommended by the university senate. And in 1981, he punished a priest for holding a Mass at a peace demonstration, leading the man to ultimately leave the priesthood.

Pope Benedict’s four-and-a-half-year tenure as archbishop is among the least-examined periods of his life, but his time presiding over 1,713 priests and 2.2 million Catholics was in many ways a dress rehearsal for his present job tending to the Roman Catholic Church’s more than one billion members worldwide.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

3 Comments
Posted March 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. A Senior Priest wrote:

A terribly biased article. Something which one would completely expect from the organ which expressed it.

March 28, 9:43 pm | [comment link]
2. Fr. Dale wrote:

There is an unbalanced amount of influence from the NYT. There are about six people who write for the NYT that do not deserve the widely disseminated bully pulpit they speak from.

March 28, 10:26 pm | [comment link]
3. Vatican Watcher wrote:

Yet in 1979, the year before Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, approved the Rev. Peter Hullermann’s move to Munich, the cardinal blocked the assignment to the local university of a prominent theology professor recommended by the university senate. And in 1981, he punished a priest for holding a Mass at a peace demonstration, leading the man to ultimately leave the priesthood.

The facts of this case have yet to fully reveal themselves, but the passage above shows just how messed up the NYT is.  Say that Benedict was into doctrine and personnel and then give two examples that seemingly have to do with personnel, but actually have everything to do with doctrine.  The guy is a theologian, of course he would have an opinion on the theology being taught in his diocese, and most of his entire literary career has been based on liturgy and the Mass.

March 29, 10:46 am | [comment link]
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