The Catholic archdiocese in Munich, Germany, strongly denied a report Friday that said Pope Benedict XVI was aware that a priest convicted of abusing minors had returned to pastoral work.
A spokesman for the archdiocese, Bernhard Kellner, said the article published in The New York Times consists of incorrect and old information.
The article said the pope, who was then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and archbishop in Munich, was copied on a memo informing him that the priest, the Rev. Peter Hullermann, would return to pastoral work within days of beginning psychiatric treatment for pedophilia.
Kellner said between 700 and 1,000 memos go to the archbishop each year, making it highly unlikely that Ratzinger would have read the memo mentioned in the Times. Kellner said neither he nor the Times has the memo, and he doesn't know whether it still exists.
– CNN's Frederik Pleitgen contributed to this report.