Cardinal left abusive priest in pastoral job

Posted on Apr 29, 2010

The cardinal who now oversees abuse cases at the Vatican is reported to have done nothing to restrict a California priest even after learning in 1995 he had molested a 13-year old boy ten years earlier.


Cardinal William Levada, who at the time was the archbishop of San Francisco, has said that he did not contact the police about the information because he trusted the priest in question and that there were no later allegations of abuse. 


Levada is now the head of the office that defrocks pedophile priests. This was the former post held by Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI. Levada was hand-picked by Ratzinger to be his replacement. 


The California priest, Rev. Milton Walsh remained at his post two more years and was not removed from active ministry until 2002, when United States bishops passed a zero-tolerance policy on sex abuse.


Levada spoke with Milton and saw that he received therapy and felt he was repentant of his actions. He now acknowledged in hindsight that he could have handled the allegations better and now understands the limits of therapy.