Vatican Biggies Defend Pope, Blast NY Times

Cardinal: NY Times unfair to church, Benedict
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2010 8:06 AM CDT
Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican's chief doctrinal official, speaks at a news conference at the Vatican, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

(Newser) – The Vatican has come out swinging over Pope Benedict's handling of sexual abuse cases, with one top cardinal blasting the New York Times for unfair coverage on the Vatican website and in a Times interview, while another claims the pontiff has immunity from prosecution. "The Church is not a multi-national corporation," says a Vatican rep, according to Reuters. "He has (spiritual) primacy over the Church ... but every bishop is legally responsible for running a diocese."

Cardinal William Levada called the Times' coverage “deficient by any reasonable standards of fairness” and defended the decision to halt the abuse trial of Wisconsin priest Lawrence Murphy. Murphy was an "egregious case," Levada said, but there was no point in pursuing a trial given that he was dying. He said Murphy has not escaped punishment for his crimes: "I have no doubt that Murphy will face the One who judges both the living and the dead.”

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