[..] Carefully crafted apologies that accept no blame and scripted public relations meetings with a few selected abuse survivors will not solve the crisis facing the reactionary leadership of the church.
[…] This demand for justice erupting from below has now done the unthinkable. It has exposed the role of the present pope, Pope Benedict XVI, in a monstrous international criminal cover-up. […]
The church hierarchy, in fighting to defend its undisputed authority, wealth and privilege, has demanded absolute silence, threatened excommunication of those raising the charges and demanded that secular officials comply. This effort to maintain the absolute authority of the priesthood is part of a larger internal struggle over whose interests this powerful religious institution should serve.
This international scandal rocking the Catholic Church now involves detailed evidence of tens of thousands of cases of child rape and sexual abuse, committed by thousands of priests. The charges span decades. The struggle erupted in its fiercest form in cities that previously had the strongest religious believers in the U.S. Next it broke out in Ireland, followed by Italy and then parts of Germany with large Catholic populations.
What is new and now receives almost daily media coverage is the evidence seeping out from every side showing the personal responsibility of the present Pope Benedict XVI in decades of suppression, cover-up and quiet reassigning of sexual predators. The strongest condemnations are coming from those who still consider themselves part of the Catholic Church.
Liberal Catholic theologian Hans Keung described Pope Benedict XVI’s role in allowing the abuse to flourish, covering it up and ordering silence: “There was not a single man in the whole Catholic Church who knew more about the sex-abuse cases than him, because it was ex officio (part of his official role). … He can’t wag his finger at the bishops and say, you didn’t do enough. He gave the instruction himself, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and repeated it as Pope.”
The National Catholic Reporter editorialized on March 26: “The Holy Father needs to directly answer questions, in a credible forum, about his role — as archbishop of Munich (1977-82), as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1982-2005), and as pope (2005-present) — in the mismanagement of the clergy sex abuse crisis.”
Before his elevation to the top of the Catholic hierarchy in April 2005, Pope Benedict XVI was known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. His opponents referred to him as a pit bull and as “God’s rottweiler.” Ratzinger was an extremely right-wing political appointee of Pope John Paul II, who was determined to enforce discipline, conformity and church authority in an institution in the midst of a profound upheaval.
For 24 years Ratzinger headed the most powerful and historically repressive institution in the Catholic Church, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This body was known for centuries as the Holy Office of the Inquisition. It was the church institution responsible for establishing religious courts for the charging and torture of tens of thousands of people accused of witchcraft and heresy. It led the pogroms and mass expropriations of Jews and Muslims. Through this office within the church Pope John Paul II tried to install a modern-day Inquisitio
Documents expose vast cover-up
The scale of the criminal international conspiracy of silence to protect serial molesters and to put church interests ahead of child safety and well-being was fully revealed over the past year in the handling of sexual abuse in Ireland, an overwhelmingly Catholic country. read on