Even as we Christians celebrate the great mysteries of our redemption, I am compelled to state the following: The New York Times has gone completely off on a limb accusing Pope Benedict of being complicit in shielding a particularly gruesomly perverted US priest from justice.
The priest in question abused around 200 deaf boys in his care in the 1950's-1960's. These really are sickening and heartbreaking stories. But the Pope has nothing to do with them. First of all, they were investigated by local police at the time who did not find grounds for prosecuting; however, the priest was removed from his position and only occasionally functioned as priest thereafter.
Second, it took 20 years for the local Bishop to make the Vatican aware of his crimes, and a Church trial was in fact begun against him by the Vatican office headed by then-Cardinal Ratzinger. Only when it was clear that the priest lay dying did Ratzinger's deputy decide that it would be impossible to go ahead with the trial, and instead he was completely removed from active ministry; he died a few weeks later.
All this is perfectly clear from the NYT's own documentation, which is available on their website. It provides no support for their assertions about the Pope. This is not journalism. This is harrassment.
And as pointed out by Rorate Caeli, who the Hell do the NYT think they are to all of a sudden set themselves up as some kind of children's rights campaigners? As this article documents, they have for decades campaigned for the legal right for parents to destroy their children before they have even seen the light of day, and they have even defended the most gruesome and detestable form of abortion, that which is commonly termed 'partial-birth abortion', which even some usually pro-abortion Democrats in the US Senate a few years ago found so "close to infanticide" that they felt compelled to abolish it, Roe or no Roe. (see e.g. this book, p. 43 ff.)
Partial-birth abortion is a form of abortion where the infant is literally partially born before it is aborted, i.e. killed. The cervix of the mother is dilated, and the baby is pulled out into the birth canal until its legs are outside the mother but its head is still inside. Then the baby's skull is pierced and its brains sucked out. Before its abolition in 2003, this procedure was often performed even on perfectly healthy infants of 20 weeks gestational age and above.
And people who defend such barbaric and inhuman procedures have the gall to claim the moral high ground over the Catholic Church???