In his interview, Msgr. Scicluna, who was the Vatican investigator in the Maciel case, refers directly but not by name to Maciel. Spanish-language newspapers have picked this up, but the English-language press may have missed it:
Only with the 2001 “Motu Proprio” did the crime of paedophilia again become our exclusive remit. From that moment Cardinal Ratzinger displayed great wisdom and firmness in handling those cases, also demonstrating great courage in facing some of the most difficult and thorny cases, “sine acceptione personarum”. Therefore, to accuse the current Pontiff of a cover-up is, I repeat, false and calumnious.
In sixty percent of cases there has been no trial, above all because of the advanced age of the accused, but administrative and disciplinary provisions have been issued against them, such as the obligation not to celebrate Mass with the faithful, not to hear confession, and to live a retired life of prayer. It must be made absolutely clear that in these cases, some of which are particularly sensational and have caught the attention of the media, no absolution has taken place. It’s true that there has been no formal condemnation, but if a person is obliged to a life of silence and prayer, then there must be a reason…
This is what Benedict did: he did not try Maciel, but obliged him to lead a retired life of prayer and penance.
Benedict had reversed John Paul’s policy of protecting and encouraging Maciel, and feels it somewhat unjust that he, Benedict, is now being criticized. But he should explain how Maciel managed to escape for decades, who Maciel’s protectors were, how John Paul could have made such an egregious mistake. Until Benedict is completely honest and open about the failure of the Church, his own integrity will be questioned.