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“Future Pope’s Role in Abuse Case Was Complex,” read the headline this morning in the New York Times . Which is, I suppose, an improvement over what it could have been.

The Catholic World News remarked on it under the hopeful headline , ” New York Times highlights Pope Benedict’s support of investigation of Cardinal Groër.”

And, fair enough. that is part of the story the Times reports. But one could have run it under the title “Benedict Supported Viennese Abuser” with as much—which is to say, as little—accuracy. The article was supposed to be about either how much power the future pope had in Rome, or how little power, but it decided to be about both. Which left it more than a little confused.

As confused as the reader, wondering what this piece was doing in the newspaper.

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