The Ratzinger letter was co-signed by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone who gave an interview two years ago in which he hinted at the church's opposition to allowing outside agencies to investigate abuse claims.
'In my opinion, the demand that a bishop be obligated to contact the police in order to denounce a priest who has admitted the offence of paedophilia is unfounded,' Bertone said.
This suggests that the Bishop does not believe that a crime should be reported to the police. I have serious doubts that that was what the Bishop had intented to say, and I sincerely hope that I'm correct. Maybe he meant only claims of sexual abuse should not be reported - which I would agree with.
I can understand the church investigating claims of sexual abuse in secret, because doing it in public could start a witch hunt. Especially if there is no real evidence of any wrongdoing. But if the Church investigations find clear evidence of such acts happening I would even say that it would be against church doctrine not to contact authorities. The Church has a moral duty to tell the truth and I don't think the church has ever violated that rule.
Something tells me though that there are sinister motives afoot. I will wait to see the Vatican's response, and more information considering this letter before I come to any conclusions.
This letter could turn out to be another 1962 cover up letter. Debuncted here. Thanks to the Curt Jester.