A Vatican lawyer, responding to Associated Press reports that the pope had personally advocated slowing down the defrocking of a convicted child rapist, said the case was handled "expeditiously not by modern standards, but by the standards at the time."

It seems to us that some things should be absolute — removing a priest who tied up and molested two young boys in a church, for example. For that kind of thing, one would presume, years of opportunity to abuse children are years of opportunity to abuse children. There can be no relativity.

But according to the New York Times, lawyer Jeffrey Lena, in his statement today, said there was a "rush to judgment going on here." Ah. That explains it.