The story is false. It is unsupported by its own documentation. Indeed, it gives every indication of being part of a coordinated campaign against Pope Benedict, rather than responsible journalism.
More from Fr. Raymond J. de Souza at the National Review Online.
From Jimmy Akin at the National Catholic Register,
“The level of vitriol being directed at Pope Benedict by the mainstream media right now is truly extraordinary. It’s primarily drive by desire for cash (scandal sells), followed closely by hatred, along with a hefty dose of ignorance.”
One could hardly ignore NBC's contribution to the hate and misinformation as reported by the Catholic League,
"NBC apologized today for an article on MSNBC’s website entitled, “Pope Describes Touching Boys: I Went Too Far.” The article that readers accessed after clicking on it actually had nothing to do with the pope."
And let's not forget Christopher Hitchens' attack on Pope Benedict XVI that the National Post thought good enough to publish. Amongst a long list of lies Mr. Hitchens stated that,
"In May, 2001, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger sent a "confidential" letter to Catholic bishops to remind them that anyone who disclosed "rape and torture" of children by priests would be excommunicated. He claims that Cardinal Ratzinger imposed a ten year "statute of limitations" on actions against clerical sex offenders, and was thus guilty of "obstruction of justice."However, Sean Murphy tears Hitchens' article to shreds with the support of 80 footnotes. Murphy says,
"Christopher Hitchens' venomous attack on Pope Benedict XVI is a revelation that deserves wider attention. Were it not for its appearance in the National Post, it would be difficult to believe that a reputable newspaper would publish such absurdity."
"...difficult to believe". I don't think so.
More responses to the attacks on Pope Benedict here.