International Journal of Anarchism
ifa-Solidaritet - folkebladet - © ISSN 0800-0220 - electronic issues ISSN 1890-9485 since 2009 - no 1 (40) editor H. Fagerhus
Bulletin of the Anarchist International
For libertarian spirituality - Anarchist protest against the pope
by AI 04.11.2007. Updated
A. Spirituality defined and explained scientifically, and
B. The catholic pope and similar vs Anarchon - the real pope in Rome.
A. Spirituality defined and explained scientifically
The concept 'spirituality' is sometimes connected to religion, hierarchy, or so called supernatural forces and similar, but this is not the way most libertarians define it. By spirituality libertarians at large just mean, 'the state, quality, manner, or fact of being spiritual', including 'preoccupation with what concerns human inner nature (especially ethical or basic values and principles of systems, i.e. economic & political/administrative; for libertarians mainly anarchist principles and human ethics, etc.). Spiritual is defined as 'of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit'.
Spirit is defined in the following way: a) temper or disposition of mind or outlook especially when vigorous, as say, 'in high spirits'; b) the intelligent or sentient part of a persons mind; c) the activating or essential principle influencing a person, as say in 'acted in a spirit of helpfulness'; d) the feeling, quality, or disposition characterizing something, as say, 'undertaken in a spirit of fun'; and e) the regard entertained by the members of a [libertarian] group for the honor and interests of the group as a whole, as say in 'spirit of the corps' (French: Esprit de corps).
The spirit is thus a part of the mind, located to the material brain, and not connected to an 'eternal soul', a non-material substance, or similar. Thus the spirit of a person is practically certain forever gone, when a person dies, with the present and near future technology. In a very distant future it will perhaps a) be possible to scan the brain and store a picture of it including the spirit, and also perhaps transfer it to a new, cloned body, and thus achieve b) an almost eternal life with mind, soul and spirit, within a pure materialist framework, but c) so far this is only science fiction. There may perhaps be god-like beings, with 'seven men's strength' and living almost eternally, etc, somewhere in the Universe, but they are practically certain not here on planet Gaia and have never been, and have practically certain no influence here.
The origin of religion is practically certain not divine, but is, a.o.t. according to modern brain-research and the psychology and psychiatry of religion, located to some parts of the brain. Like the ability to speak, the ability to religion, or more general spirituality, was practically certain developed genetically via the "missing links" from apeman to human, according to survival of the fittest, also including mutual aid. As for the parts in the brain developed for speech, which may be used for different languages (including Orwellian "1984" newspeak - and the opposite at www.anarchy.no), the parts for spirituality in the brain may be used for different religions as well as non-religious spirituality.
These parts of the brain may be especially activated during meditation, extreme stress, mental illness, epilepsy, by some drugs/narcotics or other artificial stimulation, say, strong magnetic fields, electric stimulation, etc. When activated it may give -- an of course false -- feeling of "something (which may be wrongly interpreted as extramental or supernatural) being near" and sometimes, more rare, (mainly religious) hallucinations of taste, smell, touch, sound and/or vision. This genetic primitive instinct towards religion, rooted back to apemen and "missing links", that modern men and women may have more or less, is today mainly useless, like the too strong instinct and taste for sugar.
And the spiritual instinct is sometimes directly harmful, say, related to jihad terrorism and charismatic rule with sectarianism and extremism in general. These parts of the brain, the instinct of ability towards spirituality, may however be used positively to develope a libertarian spirituality, mainly atheistic with a touch of agnosticism, humanistic, and an anarchist 'esprit de corps'.
B. The catholic pope and similar vs Anarchon - the real pope in Rome.
The conclusion is that pope Benedict XVI is a fascist rightwing extremist with equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, a real beast. This is true because he is
1. Trying his best to make way for sainthood for more or less nazist/fascist clergymen/hierarchists, has lifted the excommunication of a holocaust-denier, bishop Williamson, and his reactionary group, etc., all in all a dangerous legitimation of fascism, in the form of systems with equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, hell on earth for the people - seen as a class in contrast to the superiors in rank and/or income;
2. Pope Benedict XVI has said condoms can make the AIDS problem worse. Thus the catholic pope contributes to AIDS, he contributes to mass murder! At least he is guilty of involuntary manslaughter on mass level, involuntary genocide, and of acting with gross negligence;
3. He has contributed to cover up of child abuses, rapes and criminal sex with minors by catholic clergymen/hierarchists, and as the top hierarch of the catholic church, also has some responsibilty for the abuses done by his church;
4. He is an autocratic monarch of the Vatican state; a small state in Rome created for the catholic pope by the ultra-fascist Benito Mussolini. The pope also has the authority to speak "infallibly", on behalf of god? - that anarchists see as a joke. The pope appoints bishops, issues rules bishops are supposed to follow and accepts their resignations. Bishops take a vow of obedience to the pontiff and can't switch jobs without his approval. Thus, de facto the pope is the boss. De facto bishops are Vatican employees and/or officials;
5. And there is more ultra-authoritarian behavior of pope Benedict XVI, alias mr Joseph Ratzinger, a.o.t. in his younger days member of Hitler Jugend; and all in all with a behavior so evil that he fully deserves his Mark of the Beast 666, or in anarchist terms: Equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree! If a supranatural hell existed, Joseph Ratzinger, would certainly have a place there in the eternal fire, but anarchists at large don't belive in supranatural hell, limbo and heaven. Anarchists are fighting for heaven on earth, and against hell on earth, and Joseph Ratzinger is clearly on the wrong side in this fight. No power to catholic pope is the anarchist parole!
6. This resolution of the Anarchist International also includes the libertarian comments of Anarchon, also known as 'the real pope in Rome', as opposed to the catholic beast-pope Benedict XVI. Anarchon is the elected spokesperson of AI in religious affairs, human ethics, spirituality and so on. Anarchon speaks for a) a movement toward heaven on earth, toward 100 percent anarchy and 0 percent authoritarian degree, and b) against hell on planet GAIA, i.e. economic-political systems with equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree. That is why many call him 'the real pope in Rome'.
PS. 11.02.2013. Pope Benedict stepping down, cites poor health. 13.03.2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has been elected the next pope. He has taken the name Francis. He is the first South American pope. Until last year, Bergoglio was the archbishop of Buenos Aires before stepping down because of his age. He is 76. Bergoglio is considered a straight-shooter who calls things as he sees them and a follower of the church's most arch-conservative, reactionary, wing. He had close connection to the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina some years ago. Similar to Pope Benedict, pope Francis is most likely a rightwing extremist fascist, with equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree.
04.11.2007. Pope Benedict has beatified 498 Roman catholic clerics killed during the Spanish Civil War and revolution in the 1930s. Beatification is the penultimate step before sainthood in the Roman catholic church. The priests, monks and nuns were killed in a campaign by left-wingers and anarchists -- but the pope has said there was no political motive in the decision to honour them. He said they died in defence of their faith. This of course is not true - this is a clear support for the Franco terrorist fascist dictatorship. The pope has already canonised two priests and three nuns. One priest, Pedro Poveda, was killed in 1936 during the opening days of the Spanish Civil War. The church says 4,184 clergy were killed during the war by the government side, which accused the church of backing General Franco, which is in general true. These killings are regrettable, but the Vatican supported the Franco-regime all of the time it existed, and this is continued support. Down with the pope, he supports fascism. We protest against this reactionary move from the pope.
According to an article in El Pais, the catholic church exclude from their lists of "martyrs" those priests who resisted Franco and were killed by his fascist troops (estimated at around 7,000, although this figure keeps changing significantly fewer than the 20,000 claimed by Franco and the church at the time).
Altough the church in Spain is losing ground, the pope has still got influence on a lot of people there. Of course the fairy tales of sainthood actually means nothing to AI. But legitimating the Franco fascist regime, may give way to more reactionary policy in Spain, perhaps not right now, but in the future. Thus it is worth while protesting. As far as we know no anarchist organization sanctioned anti-clerical actions, these were taken by ordinary people often as mobs (ochlarchists) just as attacks on other members of the ruling classes like industrialists, landowners etc. The CNT-FAI even went as far to arrest some who carried out these attacks including self-proclaimed so called anarchists, in reality ochlarchists, the opposite of anarchists. Attacks on priests were a mark of every Spanish popular uprising for centuries. (AI & AIIS)
"It might be good for anarchists to reflect on the mistakes of the past, and publicly acknowledge that we are opposed to the death penalty and to summary executions, and that some of these killings were acts of mob violence against symbols of a hated and oppressive social order. - And in defense of the pope, he is one of the few world leaders who has clearly and openly criticized the US for its occupation of Iraq, and has called for an immediate end to the violence there.! (E. Stamm)
The Anarchist International is against capital punishment because it is authoritarian, barbaric and a very cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. Killing someone, be it murder or capital punishment, is a very vertical, authoritarian, relationship, from the top - the killer - downwards to the bottom, the killed, with one exception: killing in pure self defense to stop attacking murderer(s), alone or with allies, which is a significant bottom - up approach. AI's principle is "The general idea is that the people really concerned of a case should be the ones that decide, in a horizontal way...". You don't cure the authoritarian doing of a murderer, with an equal authoritarian act - capital punishment. A life sentence is less authoritarian. A society without capital punishment is thus less authoritarian, more libertarian, than a society with, other things equal. Innocent people have been sentenced to die. If we are to maintain capital punishment, we must accept that the execution of an innocent person will always be a possibility. This unacceptably compromises the justice system.
And it shows clearly that capital punishment is barbaric, as the barbaric law "An eye for an eye" ( Lex Talionis) . A - wrong - argument for capital punishment is that it will be a deterrent against murder. Statistics show that states with death penalty usually have not less, but more murder, than societies without death penalty. The respect for life decreases when the government has no respect for life. The death penalty, for a majority of an ever growing number of countries and organizations, has clearly become a serious human rights violation. Abolishing capital punishment affords an unique opportunity to build on the spirit of human rights. The Anarchist International advocates more human rights, not less, see also article 3 and 5 at http://www.anarchy.no/anrights.html . (AI & AIIS)
24.01.2009. Pope Bendedict XVI has blessed and rehabilitated the holocaust denier bishop Richard Williamson. It is more and more clear that pope Bendedict XVI is a fascistoid person with equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, a real beast. The pope has the authority to speak "infallibly", that anarchists see as a joke. This idea was set in stone in 1870, though it had been debated for far longer. We protest against this reactionary move from the pope.
31.01.2009. Pope Benedict has also made a controversial appointment, days after revoking the excommunication of the bishop who is a Holocaust denier. He promoted ultra-conservative cleric Fr Gerhard Maria Wagner to assistant bishop of the Austrian city of Linz. Fr Wagner is also notorious for his extreme views - he has accused the popular Harry Potter novels of spreading Satanism, and described Hurricane Katrina as God's punishment for the sinners of New Orleans. He wrote in a parish newsletter that the death and destruction caused by the hurricane in New Orleans was divine retribution for the city's tolerance of homosexuals and permissive sexual attitudes. The future bishop said he was glad that Katrina destroyed not only nightclubs and brothels in New Orleans, but also five of the city's abortion clinics. The catholic church in Austria has been losing support in recent years after its former head was sacked as a result of a scandal involving gay priests in a teaching college. Austrian catholics gave only a lukewarm welcome to the pope when he visited Vienna in 2007.
04.02.2009. Police investigate Holocaust-denying bishop. A German district attorney said he had launched a criminal investigation against Richard Williamson. Regensburg District Attorney Guenther Ruckdaeschel said authorities are investigating whether the remarks by bishop Richard Williamson can be considered "inciting racial hatred." Denying the Holocaust is a crime according to the German criminal code and punishable by up to five years in prison. Ruckdaeschel says he launched the investigation January 23 after learning about an interview Williamson gave to Swedish Public Broadcasting. In the interview, Williamson denied the Nazis had used gas chambers at concentration camps.
"I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against -- is hugely against -- 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler," Williamson said in the interview, which also appeared on various Web sites after broadcast. "I believe there were no gas chambers." Williamson apologized last week for the "distress" his remarks caused the pope, but did not retract them. Williamson and three other bishops who belong to the ultra-conservative Society of Saint Pius X were excommunicated by pope John Paul II in 1988. The society was founded by archbishop Marcel Lefebrve, who rebelled against the Vatican's modernizing reforms in the 1960s, and who consecrated the men in unsanctioned ceremonies. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Vatican's decision to accept Williamson was part of its desire to normalize relations with the ultra-conservative group, and had nothing to do with the bishop's personal views.
Later the Vatican has ordered bishop Williamson to publicly recant his views denying the Holocaust. A statement said bishop Richard Williamson must "unequivocally" distance himself from his statements to serve in the Roman catholic church. The Vatican also said that the pope had not been aware of the bishop's views when he lifted excommunications on him and three other bishops last month. Earlier, a senior cardinal acknowledged the Vatican had mishandled the issue. It is almost unheard of for a pope to admit publicly that he has made a mistake. But that is in effect the significance of the urgent statement put out by the Vatican."Bishop Williamson, in order to be admitted to the Episcopal functions of the church, must in an absolutely unequivocal and public way distance himself from his positions regarding the Shoah [Holocaust]," it said. It said bishop Williamson's positions on the Holocaust were "absolutely unacceptable and firmly rejected by the Holy Father". The Vatican's statement on Wednesday also said that the society must recognize the reformist Vatican II Council of 1962-65 and the popes who followed it. So the pope is not speaking "infallibly" after all, but gives in to pressure from anarchists and many others, the anarchists say. 06.02.2009. So far bishop Williamson has not responded...
07.02.2009. The Vaticans secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has said Williamson will not be allowed to perform priestly functions if he does not recant. Williamson made clear he does not plan to comply immediately, and rejected a suggestion that he might visit the Auschwitz death camp, the weekly Der Spiegel reported. Williamson replied: "I will not go to Auschwitz". "Since I see that there are many honest and intelligent people who think differently, I must look again at the historical evidence," the British bishop was quoted as saying. "It is about historical evidence, not about emotions," he added, according to the report. "And if I find this evidence, I will correct myself. But that will take time." Williamson has not repudiated his comments, in which he also said only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews were killed during World War II and none was gassed. "I was convinced that my comments were right on the basis of my research in the '80s," Der Spiegel quoted Williamson as saying. "I must now examine everything again and look at the evidence. Germany's catholic bishops are calling for the expulsion of Williamson. So far the pope has not responded to Williamsons's latest move.
12.02.2009. The pope has still not responded to Williamson's latest move, but said Thursday the catholic church is "profoundly and irrevocably committed to reject all anti-Semitism." He also reiterated his commitment to the groundbreaking catholic rejection of the centuries-old claim that the Jews killed Jesus. "Nostra Aetate marked a milestone in the journey towards reconciliation, and clearly outlined the principles that have governed the church's approach to Christian-Jewish relations ever since," Benedict said. Jewish reactions to the pope's speech were broadly, but not uniformly, positive.
15.92.2009. Wagner asks the pope to take back the promotion to assistent bishop. Pope Benedict XVI's recent appointment of the conservative Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner, 54, to auxiliary bishop in Linz, Austria's third largest city, sparked an outcry among catholics who warned it could prompt people to leave the church. "Regarding the fierce criticism, I am in prayer and, after consulting the diocesan bishop, I have decided to ask the Holy Father in Rome to take back my promotion as auxiliary bishop," Wagner said in a statement released by Linz Diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz. So the pope is not speaking and promoting "infallibly" after all, the anarchists say.
24.02.2009. The British bishop Williamson was expelled from Argentina Tuesday after scuffling with a reporter at the airport. A local television station showed Richard Williamson raising his fist and shoving a reporter into a pole as he hurried to catch a flight for London. Argentina's government on Thursday ordered the traditionalist, ultra-fascist, catholic bishop to leave the country or face expulsion for failing to declare a job change as required by immigration law. The order also cited his denials of the Holocaust, which the government called "an insult" to humanity. The Anti-Defamation League also found records of embarrassing speeches and letters by Williamson when he was based earlier at a seminary in Winona, Minnesota, USA. He was quoted in one 1989 speech as saying that "Jews made up the Holocaust, Protestants get their orders from the devil and the Vatican has sold its soul to liberalism." He also expressed that "the Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new state of Israel." So far Williamson has not disavowed his comments.
Williamson's conservative Society of St. Pius X however, did distance itself from Williamson's views, and removed him as head of its seminary near Buenos Aires. Argentina, which has Latin America's largest Jewish population, announced that Williamson departed on a flight to London Tuesday. Images broadcast on Buenos Aires' Todo Noticias television showed Williamson - wearing a baseball cap, a black fleece jacket and dark sunglasses - hurrying through the airport as television reporter Norberto Dupesso moved alongside to ask a question. Williamson, his lips tightly pursed in a grimace, raised a clenched fist inches from Dupesso's face, then pushed past, shoving Dupesso into a pole with his shoulder. Two men accompanying the bishop then grabbed Dupesso by his shoulders and held him back while Williamson hurried away. 25.02.2009. Bishop Williamson has arrived back in his native Britain. Last week Richard Williamson was given 10 days to leave Argentina where he had been working for the past six years. The catholic pope has been invited to Britain by the British PM. He will probably go to Britain a.o.t. to visit his friend bishop Williamson. 26.02.2009. Bishop Williamson has apologized "before god" for the mess he has created, but so far not publicly recanted his views.
An old anarchist word of wisdom says, "tell us who your friends are, and we can tell what you are". The pope's friend Williamson tell us a bit about the pope's political tendency. The catholic pope is perhaps not ultra-fascist as Williamson, but still with equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, a real beast..., says Anarchon, AI's spokesperson in such matters, also called "the real pope in Rome", an anarchist alternative to the catholic pope, with less than 50 % authoritarian degree. Our aim is to create heaven on earth, says Anarchon. The catholic pope and his friend Willamson contribute to create hell on earth.
27.02.2009. The Vatican has rejected the apology by bishop Williamson. It said the bishop needed to "unequivocally and publicly" withdraw his comments, adding that he must repudiate his views if he wants to be a Roman Catholic clergyman. The statement by Bishop Richard Williamson "doesn't appear to respect the conditions" the Vatican set out for him, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the pope. As mentioned Williamson apologized for his remarks on Thursday upon his arrival in his Britain. He said he would never have made them if he had known "the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise." But he didn't say he had been wrong or that he no longer believed what he had said. On Friday, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said Germany could issue a European-wide arrest warrant on hate crimes charges for Williamson since the Swedish TV interview was conducted in Germany.
01.03.2009. The catholic pope has probably got bad conscience for blessing the holocaust denier Williamson, a blessing he has not withdrawn. Now the pope attempts to pose as progressive: Pope Benedict XVI is encouraging political leaders and industrialists to make workers and their families the priority during the economic crisis. Benedict spoke to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square Sunday. Fiat autoworkers from southern Italy, worried about the future of their factory, were in the crowd. The pope says he wants to encourage political leaders as well as industrialists to work together during what he calls a "delicate moment." He says strong, joint efforts are needed, but that they must keep in mind that the priority must be workers and their families. But he does not fool the anarchists. "Strong, joint efforts" by the workers - the people - seen as a class in contrast to the superiors in rank and/or income, and the upper classes, is typically fascism, something equal to, or more than, 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, and not something libertarian with equal to or less than 50 % authoritarian degree. The catholic pope sounds quite a bit like Mussolini, says Anarchon, the real pope in Rome.
07.03.2009. Anarchon declares: A sick church! Vatican backs abortion row bishop. A senior Vatican cleric has defended the excommunication in Brazil of the mother and doctors of a young girl who had an abortion with their help. The nine-year-old had conceived twins after alleged abuse by her stepfather. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re told Italian paper La Stampa that the twins "had the right to live" and attacks on Brazil's Catholic Church were unfair. It comes a day after Brazil's president criticized the Brazilian archbishop who excommunicated the people involved. Brazil only permits abortions in cases of rape or health risks to the mother. Doctors said the girl's case met both these conditions, but the Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho said the law of God was above any human law. He said the excommunication would apply to the child's mother and the doctors, but not to the girl because of her age. Cardinal Re, who heads the Roman Catholic Church's Congregation for Bishops and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, told La Stampa that the archbishop had been right to excommunicate the mother and doctors.
The abortion was carried out on Wednesday. Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, himself a Catholic, said on Friday that he regretted what he described as the cleric's deeply conservative attitude. "The doctors did what had to be done: save the life of a girl of nine years old," he said. The girl, who lives in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco, was allegedly sexually assaulted over a number of years by her stepfather, possibly since she was six. The fact that she was four months' pregnant with twins was only discovered after she was taken to hospital in Pernambuco complaining of stomach pains. Her stepfather was arrested last week, allegedly as he tried to escape to another region of the country. He is also suspected of abusing the girl's physically handicapped 14-year-old sister. He is still welcome in the catholic church... This speak for itself, says Anarchon: The catholic church is sick! We call on all catholics to leave this church and join the Anarchist International and contribute to heaven on earth!
12.03.2009. The catholic pope complains about "hostility" over Williamson. The pope wrote to all his bishops, talking of the "hostility and hatred" directed towards him for reinstating four traditionalists including Williamson who had made his controversial comments just days before. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said: "The pope has defined the Williamson case as unforeseeable. The fact that it overlapped with his gesture on excommunication runs the risk of completely changing the sense of his decision." Williamson as mentioned said he believes there were no Nazi gas chambers. The pope's letter admitted mishandling the affair, and said that problems could have been predicted had the Vatican made more use of the internet to check background material. There was no mention in the letter of the case in Brazil, where a Roman Catholic bishop excommunicated several people for being connected with an abortion on a nine-year-old girl. The catholic pope is a typical case of totalitarian personality disorder, i.e. indicating he is a victim of mob rule, when the whole thing is entirely his own fault, and the criticism is matter of fact, says Anarchon.
17.03.2009. Pope Benedict XVI says condoms can make the AIDS problem worse. Pope Benedict XVI said condoms are not the answer to the AIDS epidemic in Africa and can make the problem worse, setting off criticism Tuesday as he began a weeklong trip to the continent. "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane heading to Yaounde. "On the contrary, it increases the problem." Three-quarters of all AIDS deaths worldwide in 2007 were in sub-Saharan Africa, where some 22 million people are infected with HIV - accounting for two-thirds of the world's infections, according to UNAIDS.
Rebecca Hodes with the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa said if the pope is serious about preventing HIV infections, he should focus on promoting wide access to condoms and spreading information on how to use them. "Instead, his opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans," said Hodes, head of policy, communication and research for the group. Hodes said the pope was right that condoms are not the sole solution to Africa's AIDS epidemic, but added they are one of the very few proven measures to prevent HIV infections. Anarchon agrees with Hodes and says: religious dogma is more important to the pope than the lives of Africans. The catholic pope contributes to AIDS, he contributes to mass murder! At least he is guilty of involuntary manslaughter on mass level, involuntary genocide, and of acting with gross negligence. The pope's real aim is the consequences of his decisions, not some religious manifesto with good intentions. This confirms that the catholic pope has equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, i.e. he is a real beast..., says Anarchon.
Pope Benedict XVI called murderer at a demonstration in France
26.03.2009. The pope is dangerous because he has a lot of followers, says Anarchon: the pope is dangerous because he speaks "infallibly", is ultra-authoritarian with equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, and has a lot of followers that really listen to him and act accordingly! But not in the matter about sexual abstinence... Many people will drop condoms, and still be sexually active here and there. The result: Much more AIDS! Because of pope Benedict XVI speech on condoms!!!
27.03.2009. Pope distorting condom science. One of the world's most prestigious medical journals, the Lancet, has accused pope Benedict XVI of distorting science in his remarks on condom use. It said the pope's recent comments that condoms exacerbated the problem of HIV/Aids were wildly inaccurate and could have devastating consequences. The pope had said the "cruel epidemic" should be tackled through abstinence and fidelity rather than condom use. The attack from Lancet was unprecedentedly virulent. The London-based Lancet said the pope had "publicly distorted scientific evidence to promote Catholic doctrine on this issue". It said the male latex condom was the single most efficient way to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS. "Whether the Pope's error was due to ignorance or a deliberate attempt to manipulate science to support Catholic ideology is unclear," said the journal. But it said the comment still stood and urged the Vatican to issue a retraction. "When any influential person, be it a religious or political figure, makes a false scientific statement that could be devastating to the health of millions of people, they should retract or correct the public record," it said. "Anything less from Pope Benedict would be an immense disservice to the public and health advocates, including many thousands of Catholics, who work tirelessly to try and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide." The article shows how far the pope's attempts to clarify the Vatican's position on condoms have backfired. The catholic pope should retract or correct his statement on condoms, Anarchon says.
02.04.2009. More Holocaust denials from catholic clergymen. The Brazilian archbishop Dadeus Grings, was quoted by Brazil's Press magazine last week as saying: "More Catholics than Jews died in the Holocaust, but this isn't known because the Jews control the world's media." Grings, who leads one of Brazil's largest dioceses and is the chancellor of the Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, has been criticized before for his views on the matter. In 2003 he argued that only 1 million Jews died in the Holocaust, although he backed away from that in an interview with The Associated Press this week, saying it "is evident that 6 million Jews were killed." However, he repeated the suggestion that Jewish media power was distorting the picture.
"The incident involving Archbishop Grings, who has a history of Holocaust denial, marks the third time in as many months where a catholic clergyman has publicly denied or diminished the Holocaust," Anarchon says. Last month, as mentioned a British bishop was removed from leading a seminary in Argentina after claiming that only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews were killed in the Holocaust. That bishop, Richard Williamson, has so far not recanted. In January, Italian priest The Rev. Floriano Abrahamowicz was quoted in an Italian newspaper as saying "I know the gas chambers existed at least for disinfecting but not whether they caused deaths or not."
"In claiming more catholics than Jews were killed, Grings was including catholics who died on the battlefields of World War II, whereas the Jews, the Gypsies, the communists, the anarchists and the handicapped were persecuted for being who they were - the bishop is mixing things that cannot be mixed." says Anarchon.
According to most historians, the nazis slaughtered 6 million Jews and millions of other victims. Michael Berenbaum, a former director of the United States Holocaust Research Institute at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, said the toll includes approximately 5 million non-Jews, among them large numbers in mainly Catholic Poland, Soviet prisoners of war, Gypsies, homosexuals, mental patients, political prisoners and other "undesirables."
In 2003, Grings claimed in an essay published on a Brazilian Catholic Internet portal that only 1 million Jews died in the Holocaust, and that the Nazis were responsible for 22 million deaths overall. Asked to explain himself at the time, Grings told Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, Brazil's largest, that the figure of 6 million Jewish dead was unproven, and that "We Catholics were the main victims of the Holocaust." "The single ruler of the catholic church, the absolute monarch, the pope, is responsible," says Anarchon, the real pope in Rome: "This only confirms that the catholic pope is ultra-authoritarian with equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, a real beast."
23.04.2009. The conclusion is that the catholic pope Benedict XVI is a fascist rightwing extremist, with equal to or more than 666 per thousand (67%) authoritarian degree, a real beast, and contributes to hell on earth, says Anarchon, the real Pope in Rome. Anarchon contributes to heaven on earth, and that is one reason why he is the real Pope in Rome.
Hans Küng, theologian: "The Catholic church is once again taking a course towards reaction, anti-modernism, and the middle ages." From an interview with Euronews published 07.04.2009
11.05.2009. The catholic pope's speech at Israel's national Holocaust memorial attracted attention in Israel, with the parliament speaker accusing Benedict of glossing over the Nazi genocide. Critics, including anarchists, said the pope referred to the millions of victims, but would have liked him to say the six million Jews. They also wanted him to mention Germans or Nazis, specifically, as opposed to his more general reference to the perpetrators. Newspapers lambasted him for failing to apologize for what many in Israel see as catholic indifference during World War II and the pope's own wartime actions - he served in the Hitler Youth corps and Nazi army - have also cast a shadow. "The pope spoke like a historian, as somebody observing from the sidelines, about things that shouldn't happen. But what can you do? He was part of them," said parliament speaker Reuven Rivlin. "Jews cannot ignore the fact that as a young German he served in Hitler's army that was an instrument of the extermination." 12.05.2009. The Vatican defended Pope Benedict XVI as a man of strong anti-Nazi credentials. The fact that Benedict XVI served in the Hitler Youth corps and Nazi army, explains a lot of his rightwing extremism, Anarchon says, however today he is not so authoritarian as the Nazis.
Pope Benedict XVI, alias Joseph Ratzinger, serving in Hitler Jugend in his youth
Catholic hierarchists and nazi-fascist collaborationists doing Hitler greeting together with top nazi-fascists
20.05.2009. Significant child abuse in USA and Ireland confirms the ultra-authoritarian nature of the catholic church, says Anarchon. The Irish deputy prime minister has called the abuse of children in catholic-run institutions as one of the "darkest chapters" in Irish history. The catholic pope, the top ruler of the catholic church, has a responsiblity for the church's actions.
28.05.2009. Pope Benedict XVI has not commented on the massive child abuse done by his church in Ireland. Is he a closet pedophile? - says Anarchon.
04.06.2009. The coward pope Benedict XVI has still not commented on the massive child abuse done by his church. The anarchists are waiting for a comment ..., says Anarchon.
08.06.2009. Pope Benedict XVI was visibly upset to hear June 5 of the abuse suffered by thousands of Irish children in the care of religious congregations, reported the archbishop of Dublin, Ireland. Speaking at a June 8 press conference, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the pope was saddened to hear "how the children had suffered from the very opposite of an expression of the love of God." This is not a strong condemnation of the child abuse. If pope Benedict XVI does not strongly condemn the child abuse, he has more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, Anarchon says. It must be mentioned that the pope 'led cover-up of child abuse by priests', see http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23369148-details/Pope+'led+cover-up+of+child+abuse+by+priests'/article.do .
17.06.2009. Vatican: Ordinations by Holocaust denier's group Society of St. Pius X "valid but illicit." This is not a strong condemnation. If pope Benedict XVI does not strongly condemn the Holocaust denier, he has more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, Anarchon says. As mentioned in an interview with Swedish TV broadcast shortly before pope Benedict XVI was lifting the excommunication of Society of St. Pius X, bishop Williamson, member of Society of St. Pius X, denied that 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis. He said about 200,000 or 300,000 were murdered and none were gassed. He later apologized for the "hurt" caused by his remarks, but he still has not recanted them. Pope Benedict XVI's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will now oversee planned theological talks with the nazistoid Society of St. Pius X in hopes of reabsorbing it into the church. The outcome will probably be ultra-authoritarian, with equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, Anarchon says.
25.06.2009. No big news from the catholic pope. Pope Benedict XVI seems to have more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, Anarchon says.
01.07.2009. Still no big news from the catholic pope. Pope Benedict XVI seems to have more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, Anarchon says. Thursday 18.06.2009 pope Benedict XVI called for a "frank and complete acknowledgment" of the "weaknesses" of priests. It was the pope's first statement on such matters since a state-appointed commission in Ireland last month reported "endemic" sexual and physical abuse in church-run residential schools there from the 1930s to the 1990s, when the last of the institutions closed. Benedict's letter to priests worldwide did not specifically acknowledge abuse scandals, but it spoke of "situations which can never be sufficiently deplored where the church herself suffers as a consequence of infidelity on the part of some of her ministers." This is not a strong and direct condemnation of the child abusers," Anarchon says. Since then pope Benedict XVI has been silent on the matter as far as AIIS knows...
26.11.2009. Irish church covered up abuse. A damning report into child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese has criticized the catholic church hierarchy for covering up the abuse. The report investigated how church and state authorities handled allegations of child abuse against 46 priests. It found that the Church placed its own reputation above the protection of children in its care. It also said that state authorities facilitated the cover-up by allowing the church to operate outside the law. The "Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin" covered a period from 1975 to 2004. It has laid bare a culture of concealment where church leaders prioritized the protection of their own institution above that of vulnerable children in their care. The report said the avoidance of public outrage, which would inevitably follow high-profile prosecutions, appeared more important than preventing abusers from repeating their crimes. Instead of reporting the allegations to civic authorities, those accused of horrific crimes were systematically shuffled from parish to parish where they could prey on new, unsuspecting victims. Thursday's report comes six months after the publication of the Ryan report in May, which took submissions from 2,000 people who said they had suffered physical and sexual abuse while in the care of Catholic-run institutions. As mentioned, the Ryan report, also known as the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, found church leaders knew that sexual abuse was "endemic" in boys' institutions. The catholic pope, the top ruler of the catholic church, has a responsiblity for the church's actions. The anarchists are waiting for a comment from the catholic pope ..., says Anarchon.
08.12.2009. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza expressed his shock at how Church and state authorities handled allegations of child abuse against 46 priests. "We feel ashamed about what happened, I must express again my shock, my dismay," said Archbishop Leanza. He met with Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Martin on Tuesday. The Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, published in November, looked at cases of abuse over a 30 year period. "I understand the anger of the people and the sufferings of those who have been abused," said Archbishop Leanza after the meeting. "We totally condemn this." The Papal Nuncio had been criticized by the commission for ignoring a request for information. The anarchists are waiting for a comment from the catholic pope himself..., says Anarchon.
19.12.2009. Suspected nazi-collaborationist pope Pius XII on the way to be beatified by Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict XVI moved two of his predecessors closer to possible sainthood Saturday, signing decrees on the virtues of Pope John Paul II and controversial Pope Pius XII, who has been criticized for not doing enough to stop the Holocaust. The decrees mean that both men can be beatified once the Vatican certifies that a miracle attributed to their intercession has occurred. Beatification is the first major step before possible sainthood. Anarchists, some Jews and historians have argued Pius should have done more to prevent the deaths of 6 million Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II. As a result, the German-born Benedict's surprise decision to recognize Pius' "heroic virtues" sparked immediate outcry from Jewish groups and anarchists. Anarchists, The Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee declared the move was premature given the Vatican still hasn't opened up to outside historians its secret archives from Pius' 1939-1958 pontificate. The Vatican says the 16 million files won't be ready until 2014 at the earliest. Anarchon says it is regrettable that the Vatican acted before the documents are made available.
In this connection Kevin P. Spicer's, roman catholic priest-scholar's, book Hitler's Priests: Catholic Clergy and National Socialism. Northern Illinois University Press in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2008; may be mentioned. According to AIIS the book has admirable qualities, but failes to distinguish between the small minority of "dark brown priests", those priests who unequivocally supported the nazi-regime, and "brown fellow travelers", i.e. clergymen accepting the benefits that came with the Reichskonkordat, but who failed to condemn the nazi regime at the same time. Cardinal Pacelli (the future pope Pius XII) most likely can be seen as a "brown fellow traveler" who was willing to accept the generosity of Hitler in the educational sphere (more schools, teachers and pupil places), so long as the church withdrew from the social and political sphere, at the same time as Jews were being dismissed from universities and Jewish pupil places were being reduced. The "brown fellow travelers" never protested openly or publicly against the repression of the Jews.
Pacelli was effectively being in collusion with the nazi cause, if perhaps not by intent. Monsignor Kass, who was involved in negotiations for the Reichskonkordat, and at that time the head of the Roman Catholic Centre Party, persuaded his party members, with the acquiescence of Pacelli, in the summer of 1933 to enable Hitler to acquire dictatorial powers. The Catholic Centre Party's vote was decisive in the adoption of dictatorial powers by Hitler and the party's subsequent dissolution was at Pacelli's prompting. Also the book "Hitler's Pope", by John Cornwell, publised in 1999, in which he accuses pope Pius XII of assisting in the legitimization of the nazi-regime in Germany through the pursuit of the Reichskonkordat in 1933 and of remaining silent during the Holocaust, may be mentioned. However it must also be mentioned that Pius XII perhaps to some extent had a limited scope of action while Rome was under the heel of Mussolini and later occupied by Germany. But other places, as, say in Norway, the bishops openly protested against the nazis. The catholic pope Pius XII showed no such protest, or public protest against nazism or fascism at all, and was cearly a "brown fellow traveller" - and perhaps also an ultra-fascist "dark brown pope". "To try to make a saint of Hitler's pope Pius XII is in itself a very brown act," says Anarchon - the real Pope in Rome, to the false pope Benedict XVI.
16.02.2010. Too late and not a strong enough condemnation of child abuse from the pope, says Anarchon: The pope has still equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree! The sexual abuse of children is not just a "heinous crime" but a "grave sin" that offends God and wounds human dignity, pope Benedict XVI said Tuesday after a two-day meeting with Irish catholic bishops at the Vatican. The weakening of faith has also been a "significant contributing factor" in the sexual abuse of minors, the pope said, adding that "current painful situation will not be resolved quickly." The pope's comments came in a written Vatican statement at the end of the meeting, the largest one yet about the scandal that has rocked the church from Ireland to the Vatican and beyond. As mentioned a damning report by an independent Irish commission in November found the Catholic Church in Ireland had covered up the "widespread" abuse of children from 1975 to 2004.
It led to the resignation of four Irish bishops late last year and prompted the pope to say at the time he was "deeply disturbed and distressed" by the report's findings. There was no discussion at this week's meeting about further resignations, said papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi. A group representing alleged victims of abuse said the pope had not gone far enough. Victims are "angered his Holiness did not see fit to take the necessary firm action against those in the Irish church hierarchy who protected pedophiles," said John Kelly, the founder of Irish Survivors of Child Abuse. The pope "has clearly failed the victims and the Irish people," he added. Asking the bishops to address the problem "shows lack of vision, especially as it is the Irish bishops who are themselves the problem," Kelly said in the written statement. The anarchists agree. Too late and not a strong enough condemnation of child abuse from the pope, says Anarchon: The pope has still equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree!
17.02.2010. Catholic scholars urge pope to slow Pius sainthood. Top Catholic scholars have written an unusual and impassioned private letter to Pope Benedict urging him to slow down the sainthood procedure for wartime Pope Pius XII, accused of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust. The letter, which was made available to Reuters by a source familiar with the initiative, is extremely rare because in the past it has mostly been Jewish groups and not Catholic academics who have written to popes about the issue. The 18 Catholic scholars from United States, Germany and Australia, used the word "implore" twice in the letter, saying that if Pius was made a saint before the historical record is cleared up, it could irreparably harm Catholic-Jewish relations. "Holy Father, we implore you, acting on your wisdom as a renowned scholar, professor and teacher, to be patient with the cause of Pius XII," the scholars wrote in their letter.
Many Jews say Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, did not do enough to help Jews facing persecution by Nazi Germany. The Vatican maintains that Pius chose to work behind the scenes, concerned that public intervention would have worsened the situation for both Jews and Catholics in a wartime Europe dominated by Hitler. The Catholic scholars suggested that they had to take a hard-line judgment on Pius until Vatican archives were open for more study by historians. "Currently, existing research leads us to the view that Pope Pius XII did not issue a clearly worded statement, unconditionally condemning the wholesale slaughter and murder of European Jews," the scholars told the German pope.
In December, Benedict angered Jews, anarchists and others when he approved a decree recognizing Pius's "heroic virtues", moving him one step closer to sainthood. The two remaining steps are beatification and canonization. "The movement to press forward at this time the process of beatification of Pius XII greatly troubles us," the scholars told the pope. The scholars included Rev. Dr. John Pawlikowski of the Catholic Theological Union, a leading historian on Judaism and the Holocaust and Dr. Eugene Fisher, the retired expert on Jewish relations for the US Catholic Bishops Conference. Copies of the letter were to be sent to Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican official in charge of relations with Jews, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, a leading figure in Catholic-Jewish dialogue in the United States.
Jews have asked repeatedly that the Vatican's wartime archives be opened for study and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom repeated the request to the pope directly when the pontiff visited Rome's synagogue last month. "We implore you to ensure that such a historical investigation takes place before proceeding with the (sainthood) cause of Pope Pius XII," the scholars told the pope. They said that Pius had become in essence, a de facto "symbol of Christian-anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism" and added: "Proceeding with the cause of Pope Pius XII without an exhaustive study of his actions during the Holocaust might harm Jewish-Catholic relations in a way that cannot be overcome in the foreseeable future." Benedict, a German who was drafted into the Hitler Youth and German army as a teenager during World War Two, has had a more difficult relationship with the Jewish community than his predecessor Pope John Paul II. Many are still seething at his decision last year to start the rehabilitation process of traditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson, who denied the full extent of the Holocaust.
03.02.2010. German Catholic schools at center of abuse scandal. While the focus of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church centered on the United States for several years, abuse scandals have in recent years erupted in other countries as well, including Ireland, the Philippines, Poland, Mexico, Italy, Canada and elsewhere. Anarchon says: The pope and his church have clearly equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree!
In the home country of Pope Benedict XVI, new revelations of child abuse by Roman Catholic priests at German high schools are surfacing almost daily. The Catholic church in Germany - where around 30 percent of people consider themselves Catholic - has apologized for the incidents, but already there are calls for the government to take action because most of the cases date back to the 1970s and 1980s, beyond the reach of statutes and prosecution. The first accusers came forward a month ago in Berlin. Since then, the list of schools and victims who say they were scarred and haunted by alleged abuses has grown.
First it was seven alumni of the prestigious Canisius Kolleg prep school in Berlin. Then it was Aloisius Kolleg in Bonn and then St. Blasien, another Jesuit-run boarding school in the Black Forest as well as other Catholic schools in Hamburg, Goettingen and Hildesheim. Just days ago, the renowned boarding schools Ettal Monastery and St. Ottilien in Bavaria made headlines when allegations about child molestation by Benedictine priests there surfaced. The total number of alleged victims has reached at least 150. Ursula Raue, an attorney appointed by the Jesuit religious order to handle the charges, said she has been overwhelmed by the number of cases that flood her inbox and answering machine daily. "This whole case has taken on a dimension of unbelievable proportions," she said.
Raue said she "heard from mothers, sisters and brothers, whose children or siblings took their own lives or cannot function in daily life because of deep psychological scars." The majority of the victims are male, because most of the schools involved admitted only boys aged 10 to 19 at the time the abuse took place. Many victims have never talked to their wives or friends about the incidents because "they still feel ashamed when the memories of humiliation and powerlessness come back and when they realize that none of those old wounds have healed," Raue said. Miguel Abrantes, now 37 and an actor in Duesseldorf, is one of the few victims able and willing to speak out about the abuse and humiliation he suffered as an 11-year-old boy at Aloisius Kolleg. He said every morning, the boys had to undress and Father Ludger Stueper sprayed them with cold water from the hose, front and back. He said the boys also had to lie down on Stueper's couch where the priest would take their temperature - rectally for seven minutes.
And then there were the photos. "One time Stueper took pictures of a friend and me while we were in the shower. He also made us go outside and we had to pose naked for him, lean against stones and trees in the park, the foam from the shampoo still in our hair," Abrantes said. While the focus of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church centered on the United States for several years, abuse scandals have in recent years erupted in other countries as well, including Ireland, the Philippines, Poland, Mexico, Italy, Canada and elsewhere. Neither the pope nor the Vatican has made any specific remarks about the abuse scandal in Germany, a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said, but he added that Benedict's previous statements on other such scandals - including most recently about Ireland - are certainly valid for Germany.
A Vatican statement last month, after a crisis meeting with Irish bishops, said Benedict called the sexual abuse of children "not only a heinous crime, but also a grave sin which offends God and wounds the dignity of the human person created in his image." So far, the victims have identified 12 Jesuit priests by name and, in some cases, accused women, Raue said, adding that she had not yet found out if all of the accused were still alive. In the US and elsewhere, some members of Catholic women's religious orders have been accused of molesting children, however claims against women have been rare. Among the accused is Stueper, the former director of the Aloisius Kolleg, whom several alumni have charged had them pose against their will for nude photos or forced them to perform oral sex.
The Revs. Peter Riedel and Wolfgang Stab, who both taught at Canisius Kolleg in the 1970s and 80s, have been accused of serial sexual abuse there and at other Catholic youth institutions in Germany, Mexico, Chile and Spain, where they were transferred later in their lives, according to a report Raue published last month. Only in two cases have prosecutors opened investigations: The allegations at Aloisius Kolleg and claims against a member of the Benedictine-run boarding school in Ettal. Bonn prosecutors are investigating the case of a student who is currently still enrolled at Aloisius Kolleg and was allegedly abused by Stueper in 2005. Stueper, 82, is living at a nursing home and is reportedly suffering from dementia. Several German lawmakers, including Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, have called for an extension of the statute of limitations, and the German Bishops Conference recently issued a statement apologizing for the incidents. They have appointed a special commissioner for all questions regarding sexual abuse of children within the church, but have not announced any further consequences.
Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the head of the German Bishops Conference, has reacted defensively to growing criticism of the Catholic church. "Sexual abuse of children is not a specific problem of the Catholic church. It has neither to do with celibacy, nor with homosexuality nor with Catholic sexual doctrine," Zollitsch told weekly Welt am Sonntag earlier this week. For the victims, dialogue with the schools and reform within the Catholic Church are among the most important demands. So far, only few calls for compensation payments were made. "I do want to forgive, but every time I try to get in touch with officials from my old school or the Jesuits in order to establish some kind of communication, I just get turned away," said Georg K., who asked that his last name does not get mentioned publicly to protect his privacy. Georg K., who works in advertising, said that Stueper forced him to have oral sex during the time he was a student from sixth to 10th grades at Aloisius Kolleg in the 1980s. He did not want to elaborate further on the abuse, indicating the memories were too painful. "I have to live with this humiliation every day of my life," the 40-year-old said in Munich. "It is disappointing and it pains me, that I run against a wall of silence every time I want to talk to them." Anarchon says: The pope and his church have clearly equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree!
06.03.2010. The Vatican says it supports efforts in a German diocese to shed light on a sexual abuse scandal in a choir once led by Pope Benedict XVI's brother. The Vatican said Saturday that the "main reason of the church's clarification is to render justice to possible victims." It said it was backing the Regensburg Diocese in its "willingness to analyze the painful question in a decisive and open way." The statement was published in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. The Regensburg Diocese said this week that a former member claims he was abused while singing with Germany's leading Roman Catholic boys' choir. The choir was led for 30 years by the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the pope's brother. Ratzinger told a German public radio he did not know of any abuse cases at the choir. "Too little - too late!!!!" Anarchon says: "The pope and his church have clearly equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree!! The catholic church and its pope are real beasts!!! You know where this ends pope Benedict XVI, alias Mr Ratzinger..."
"By the way, since the priests on a large scale have turned into criminals and rapists, we - the anarchists once more take over, and do the speech this Sunday morning, i.e. without prayers. We let ANARCHON, one of our Nestors, play the POPE and speak our message to the world. ANARCHON thus is the acting REAL POPE IN ROME. Prayers will not help anyway. The future is entirely in our own hands, sorry to say; "Gott mit uns" is on the arch-enemies side, this time as well as most of the times throughout history. By the way ANARCHON in this context means both "without archon = ruler" and "without the primitive, origin, first stage", or put in more poetical terms: THE POINT OF NO RETURN: " ... the Father was always Father; for He is Father of the ever-present Son. To the Son we must pay the due honour, ascribing to Him the gennesis without beginning ([ten anarchon gennesin]), and using of Him only the words 'was' and 'always,' and 'before all time'..". Beautiful poetry, but to anarchists, i.e. atheists, it has no meaning above its metaphorical value!" says a spokesperson for the AIIS: "The Sunday 07.03.2010 speech is this resolution "Anarchist protest against the pope" updated!" ... From Anarchon!!!
10.03.2010. Pope Benedict XVI, alias Mr Ratzinger, and his Roman Catholic church embroiled in European child abuse scandal. An Austrian priest Arch-Abbot Bruno Becker has resigned over child sex abuse allegations dating back 40 years. He is the latest Roman Catholic cleric to caught up in a growing child abuse scandal in Europe which is moving ever closer to the Vatican. Last year Becker is said to have been confronted with the allegations but refused to give up his job. He is then is said to have written and offered a 5,000 euro payment to his alleged victim. Meanwhile in the Netherlands an investigation has been launched into sexual abuse allegations by priests in the 1950s. More than 200 Catholics in the past week have come forward to give evidence after a radio station carried a report on the accusations. The Dutch Catholic church has stressed it wants the investigation to be independent.
But it is in Germany that the scandal has landed at the Vatican's door. Reports of abuse have surfaced at three schools in the southern state of Bavaria. They include Regensburg Cathedral school where the pope's brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger was choir master between 1964-1994. In a newspaper interview he has denied knowing anything about sexual abuse allegations but he has admitted handing out corporal punishment, which in those days was acceptable. He has, however, also said he never believed stories told to him of more extreme and violent treatment inflicted on some pupils.
12.03.2010. Abuse scandal in Germany edges closer to pope Benedict XVI. A widening child sexual abuse inquiry in Europe has landed at the doorstep of Pope Benedict XVI, as a senior church official acknowledged Friday that a German archdiocese made "serious mistakes" in handling an abuse case while the pope served as its archbishop. The archdiocese said that a priest accused of molesting boys was given therapy in 1980 and later allowed to resume pastoral duties, before committing further abuses and being prosecuted. Pope Benedict, who at the time headed the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, approved the priest's transfer for therapy. A subordinate took full responsibility for allowing the priest to later resume pastoral work, the archdiocese said in a statement.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said he had no comment beyond the statement by the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, which he said showed the "nonresponsibility" of the pope in the matter. This is probably not the whole truth, says Anarchon. The expanding abuse inquiry had come ever closer to Benedict as new accusations in Germany surfaced almost daily since the first reports in January. On Friday the pope met with the chief bishop of Germany, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the head of the German Bishops Conference, to discuss the church investigations and media reports.
Problems in the German church have already come close to the pope, whose brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, 86, directed a choir connected to a boarding school where two former students have come forward with abuse claims. In an interview this week, Monsignor Ratzinger, who directed the choir from 1964 to 1994, said the accusations dated from before his tenure. He also apologized for slapping students. Slapping students is a crime and ochlarchy, says Anarchon. At a news conference following a one-on-one meeting with Benedict on Friday, Archbishop Zollitsch said the pope was "greatly upset" and "deeply moved" by the abuse allegations, and had urged the German church to seek the truth and help the victims.
The meeting and news conference occurred before the statement from the Munich archdiocese. Archbishop Zollitsch said the German church had vowed to investigate all allegations of abuse, encouraging victims to identify themselves even if the abuse happened decades ago. In recent weeks, hundreds of people who say they were abuse victims have come forward."The cases are growing every day," said Thomas Pfister, a lawyer appointed by the German church to investigate abuse cases in the Ettal monastery boarding school in Bavaria. He said more than 100 people had contacted him so far.
"Every day I receive e-mails from around the world from people who have been abused," Mr. Pfister said, adding that the school had posted his e-mail address on its Web site to encourage this. "There has been a very big silence. Now they want to have a voice." Experts and anarchists said the scandals could undermine Benedict's moral authority, especially because they cut particularly close to the pope himself. As head of the Vatican's main doctrinal arm, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he led Vatican investigations into abuse for four years before assuming the papacy in 2005."What is at stake, and at great risk, is Benedict's central project for the 're-christianization' of christendom, his desire to have Europe return to its christian roots," said David Gibson, the author of a biography of Benedict and a religion commentator for Politicsdaily.com. "But if the root itself is seen as rotten, then his influence will be badly compromised." The anarchists agree!
When a sex abuse scandal broke in Boston church in 2002, Pope Benedict - then Cardinal Ratzinger - was among the Vatican officials who made statements that minimized the problem and accused the news media of blowing it out of proportion. But as the abuse case files landed on his desk at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, his colleagues said he was deeply disturbed by what he learned. On his first visit to the United States as pope, Benedict met with abuse victims from Boston and said he was "deeply ashamed" by priests who had harmed children. But victims' advocates accuse the pope of doing little to discipline the bishops who permitted abusers to continue serving in ministry. The case in Munich, which was brought to the attention of the diocese by the daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, was a result of "serious mistakes," the archdiocese said in its statement.
In Munich case, a priest from Essen, "despite allegations of sexual abuse, and in spite of a conviction was repeatedly assigned work in the sphere of pastoral care by the then-Vicar General Gerhard Gruber," who worked under Benedict when he was the archbishop. The priest, identified only with the initial "H," was moved to Munich in January 1980, where he was supposed to undergo therapy, a decision that was taken "with the approval of the archbishop," according to the archdiocese's statement. Benedict was archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982. In June 1986, the priest was convicted of sexually abusing minors and given an 18-month suspended sentence with five years of probation, fined 4,000 marks and ordered to undergo therapy.
The former vicar general took full responsibility for the decision to reinstate the priest to pastoral work. "I deeply regret that this decision resulted in offenses against youths and apologize to all who were harmed by it," he said, according to a statement posted on the archdiocese's Web site. There was immediate skepticism that Benedict, as archbishop, would not have known of the details of the case. The anarchists agree! The Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, who once worked at the Vatican Embassy in Washington and became an early and well-known whistle-blower on sexual abuse in the church, said the vicar general's claim was not credible. "Nonsense," said Father Doyle, who has served as an expert witness in sexual abuse lawsuits. "Pope Benedict is a micromanager. He's the old style. Anything like that would necessarily have been brought to his attention. Tell the vicar general to find a better line. What he's trying to do, obviously, is protect the pope." The anarchists agree!
It is unclear how many cases have come to light. At the news conference, the archbishop said that the Bishops Conference had sent a questionnaire to dioceses to determine which kinds of abuse cases emerged, not how many, and was awaiting a response. The scandal is not limited to Germany. This week, two dioceses in Austria suspended five priests pending investigations into allegations they had molested students. The church in the Netherlands has said it would open an investigation after more than 200 people came forward in recent weeks. To many observers, the situation in Europe looked unsettlingly similar to that in the United States a decade ago, when a trickle of isolated abuse cases steadily grew into a widespread phenomenon that upended and financially strained many American dioceses.
But in Europe, unlike in common-law countries like the United States, Canada and Australia, defendants cannot sue the church for negligence. "When this first started to break in the United States in the mid-to-late '80s and our bishops went to Rome for help in dealing with it, they were basically told, This is an American problem,' " said Nicholas Cafardi, a canon law expert and emeritus dean of the Duquesne University School of Law. "But human nature being human nature, it wasn't logical to say this only exists in the common-law countries," Mr. Cafardi added. "Our legal system brought it to light more quickly. In fact it's not an American or common-law problem, it's a human problem."
"The catholic pope seems to know more about the child abuses than he admits!" Anarchon says: "The pope and his church have clearly equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree!! The catholic church and its pope are real beasts!!! You know where this ends pope Benedict XVI, alias Mr Ratzinger..."
"By the way, since the priests on a large scale have turned into criminals, ochlarchists and rapists, we - the anarchists once more take over, and do the speech Sunday 14.03.2010, i.e. without prayers. We let ANARCHON, one of our Nestors, play the POPE and speak our message to the world. ANARCHON thus is the acting REAL POPE IN ROME. Prayers will not help anyway. The future is entirely in our own hands, sorry to say; "Gott mit uns" is on the arch-enemies side, this time as well as most of the times throughout history. By the way ANARCHON in this context means both "without archon = ruler" and "without the primitive, origin, first stage", or put in more poetical terms: THE POINT OF NO RETURN: " ... the Father was always Father; for He is Father of the ever-present Son. To the Son we must pay the due honour, ascribing to Him the gennesis without beginning ([ten anarchon gennesin]), and using of Him only the words 'was' and 'always,' and 'before all time'..". Beautiful poetry, but to anarchists, i.e. atheists, it has no meaning above its metaphorical value!" says a spokesperson for the AIIS: "The Sunday 14.03.2010 speech is this resolution "Anarchist protest against the pope" updated!" ... From Anarchon!!!
20.03.2010. The catholic pope's letter of apology disappoints Irish vicitms. Irish victims of clerical child sexual abuse are deeply disappointed by pope Benedict's letter of apology as it fails to address the role of senior church leaders, a group representing victims said on Saturday."My first response was deep disappointment in the letter," said Maeve Lewis, executive director of victims group One in Four. "We feel the letter falls far short of addressing the concerns of the victims," Lewis said. She said the pope's letter focused too narrowly on lower-rank Irish priests without recognizing the responsibility of the Vatican and senior Irish clerics for protecting offenders and dealing with victims."There is nothing in this letter to suggest that any new vision of
leadership in the Catholic church exists," Lewis said. The letter also does not refer to the resignation of the head of the church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, which victims' groups have demanded, she added."It is evident from the Pastoral Letter that Pope Benedict is deeply dismayed by what he refers to as 'sinful and criminal acts and the way the Church authorities in Ireland dealt with them,'" Brady said in his address which went through the papal letter. "Too little, too late" Anarchon says...
25.03.2010. The catholic pope 'failed to act' on sex abuse. Pope Benedict XVI has been accused of failing to act on complaints from two archbishops in the US about a priest who allegedly abused 200 deaf boys. The Vatican newspaper said the move was an "ignoble attempt" to smear the Pope. As a cardinal heading the Vatican office that dealt with sex abuse cases, the future pontiff allegedly failed to respond to letters about the case. A church trial of the priest was halted after he wrote to the then Cardinal Ratzinger pleading ill health. The Holy See has recently been plagued by abuse cover-up claims in Europe, echoing a similar scandal that hit the Church in the US eight years ago. Hardly a day goes by without new allegations of sexual abuse of children by catholic priests somewhere in the world being reported in the media. The pope's spokesman defended Benedict, saying the Vatican department which the future pontiff was in charge of had not been informed of these latest allegations until 1996 - 20 years after the priest's victims first informed the police. But the Vatican's rather lame excuse for lack of any action is that canon law, as Church law is called, "does not envision automatic penalties".
The catholic church teaches that paedophilia is a grave sin, but the evidence is that accused priests were usually moved to another parish rather than punished. While the Pope is now promoting a policy of zero tolerance to clerical abuse, the suspicion remains that for many years he failed to react to the damning evidence which arrived on his desk. For more than 20 years before he was made pontiff, Joseph Ratzinger led the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith - the Vatican office with responsibility, among other issues, for response to child abuse cases. Two archbishops wrote letters to the Vatican watchdog led by Cardinal Ratzinger calling for disciplinary proceedings against Fr Lawrence Murphy, according to Church and Vatican documents. Fr Murphy was a popular priest who is believed to have molested some 200 boys at St John's School for the Deaf in St Francis, Wisconsin, between 1950 and 1974. A canonical trial authorised by Cardinal Ratzinger's deputy was halted after Fr Murphy wrote to the future pope asking that proceedings be stopped.
The accused priest said in the letter that he was ill and wanted to live out the remainder of his time in the "dignity of my priesthood". Victims say Fr Murphy - who died in 1998 - assaulted boys while hearing their confessions, in his office, his car, at his mother's house and in their dormitory beds. He was quietly moved to the Diocese of Superior in northern Wisconsin in 1974, where he spent his last 24 years working freely with children in parishes and schools, according to one lawsuit. Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of five men alleging the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in Wisconsin did not take sufficient action against the priest.
'Fall on the sword'. At a news conference on Thursday in Milwaukee, one of the victims, Arthur Budzinski, said Fr Murphy had begun to assault him when he was 12. Neither the clerical authorities, nor the police had intervened when he reported it, the 61-year-old said. Mr Budzinski was asked through a sign language interpreter what he wanted to see happen now. "Ratzinger can have all of the colonels and lieutenants they want fall on the sword for him, but eventually he has to 'fess up," the interpreter said. Meanwhile, members of a group of clerical abuse victims who denounced Benedict's handling of the case in a news conference outside the Vatican were briefly detained by Italian police for not having a permit.
'Despicable intention'. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said there was no cover-up, denouncing the allegations as "clearly an ignoble attempt to strike at Pope Benedict and his closest aides at any cost". The Pope's official spokesman, Federico Lombardi, called it a "tragic case", but said there was no provision in Church law for automatic punishment. He noted that police did investigate the allegations at the time but did not press charges. The papal spokesman said the Murphy case had only reached the Vatican in 1996 - two decades after the Milwaukee diocese first learned of the allegations and two years before the priest died. The diocese was asked to take action by "restricting Father Murphy's public ministry and requiring that Father Murphy accept full responsibility for the gravity of his acts", he added. Last week the Pope issued an unprecedented letter to Ireland addressing the 16 years of clerical cover-up scandals. He has yet to comment on his handling of a child sex abuse case involving a German priest, which developed while Benedict was overseeing the Munich archdiocese. The Rev Peter Hullermann had been accused of abusing boys when the now Pope approved his 1980 transfer to Munich to receive psychological treatment for paedophilia. The disgraced priest was convicted in 1986 of abusing a youth, but stayed within the Church for another two decades. "Too little, too late" Anarchon says...
"The catholic pope 'failed to act' on sex abuse. The catholic pope seems to know more about the child abuses than he admits!" Anarchon once more says: "The pope and his church have clearly equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree!! The catholic church and its pope are real beasts!!! You know where this ends pope Benedict XVI, alias Mr Ratzinger..."
"By the way, since the priests on a large scale have turned into criminals, ochlarchists, paedophiles and rapists, we - the anarchists once more take over, and do the speech Sunday 28.03.2010, i.e. without prayers. We let ANARCHON, one of our Nestors, play the POPE and speak our message to the world. ANARCHON thus is the acting REAL POPE IN ROME. Prayers will not help anyway. The future is entirely in our own hands, sorry to say; "Gott mit uns" is on the arch-enemies side, this time as well as most of the times throughout history. Our aim is to create heaven on earth", says Anarchon: "The catholic pope and his friend Willamson contribute to create hell on earth."
By the way ANARCHON in this context means both "without archon = ruler" and "without the primitive, origin, first stage", or put in more poetical terms: THE POINT OF NO RETURN: " ... the Father was always Father; for He is Father of the ever-present Son. To the Son we must pay the due honour, ascribing to Him the gennesis without beginning ([ten anarchon gennesin]), and using of Him only the words 'was' and 'always,' and 'before all time'..". Beautiful poetry, but to anarchists, i.e. atheists, it has no meaning above its metaphorical value!" says a spokesperson for the AIIS: "The Sunday 28.03.2010 speech is this resolution "Anarchist protest against the pope" updated!" ... From Anarchon!!! AIIS: It must be clear to all that Anarchon is the real pope in Rome, and not Benedict XVI, alias Mr Ratzinger...
28.03.2010. Clergy abuse threatens to tarnish pope's legacy. The Vatican is facing one of its gravest crises of modern times as sex abuse scandals move ever closer to pope Benedict XVI - threatening not only his own legacy but also that of his revered predecessor. Benedict took a much harder stance on sex abuse than John Paul II when he assumed the papacy five years ago, disciplining a senior cleric championed by the Polish pontiff and defrocking others under a new policy of zero tolerance. But the impression remains of a woefully slow-footed church and of a pope who bears responsibility for allowing pedophile priests to keep their parishes. In an editorial on Friday 26.03.2010, the National Catholic Reporter in the United States called on Benedict to answer questions about his role "in the mismanagement" of sex abuse cases, not only in the current crisis but during his tenure in the 1980s as archbishop of Munich and then as head of the Vatican's doctrinal and disciplinary office.
It all comes down to the question of what the pope knew and when. "The catholic pope seems to know more about the child abuses than he admits," Anarchon once more says. The answer will almost certainly determine the fate of Benedict's papacy. As he approaches Holy Week, the most solemn period on the christian calendar, victims groups and other critics are demanding Benedict accept personal responsibility. A few say he should resign. Some fear the crisis will alienate catholics from the church, with a survey in Benedict's native Germany already showing disaffection among Catholics while there is deep anger in once very Catholic Ireland. As the climate worsens, the Vatican is showing increasing impatience and even anger, denouncing what it says is a campaign to smear the pope. L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, said this week there was a "clear and despicable intention" to strike at Benedict "at any cost."
But as attention focuses on Benedict, a perhaps thornier question looms over how much John Paul II, beloved worldwide for his inspirational charisma and courageous stand against communism, knew about sex abuse cases and whether he was too tolerant of pedophile priests. John Paul presided over the church when the sex abuse scandal exploded in the United States in 2002 and the Vatican was swamped with complaints and lawsuits under his leadership. Yet during most of his 26-year papacy, individual dioceses and not the Vatican took sole responsibility for investigating misbehavior. Professor Nick Cafardi, a canon and civil lawyer and former chairman of the US bishops lay review board that monitored abuse, said Benedict was "very courageous" to reverse Vatican support for the Legionaries of Christ, a sex scandal-tainted organization staunchly defended by John Paul.
John Paul was already ailing from Parkinson's disease when the US scandal erupted, a factor supporters say may have kept him from initially realizing its scope. While Cardinal Bernard Law became the most high-profile church figure to fall, resigning as archbishop of Boston over the scandal, John Paul gave him a soft landing, appointing him as head of a Rome basilica and keeping him on various Vatican committees. The world-traveling John Paul has been put on a fast track for sainthood by Benedict in response to popular demand. Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, the emeritus head of the Vatican's saint-making office, said this week that historians who studied the pope's life didn't find anything problematic in John Paul's handling of abuse scandals.
"According to them there was nothing that was a true obstacle to his cause of beatification. They are very strict," Saraiva Martins said.
For Benedict, a quiet intellectual who will be 83 next month, the scandal must be trying. Until recently, Benedict had received high marks for his handling of sex abuse - seen as a bright spot amid turmoil over his remarks linking Islam to violence and his rehabilitation of an ultraconservative bishop who denies the Holocaust. Shortly before his election as pope in 2005 he had denounced "filth" in the church - widely viewed as a reference to clerics who abused children. He proclaimed a policy of zero tolerance for offenders and met and prayed with victims while traveling in the United States and Australia. Benedict won praise for moving against the Legionaries of Christ, the conservative order once hailed by John Paul that fell into scandal after it revealed that its founder had fathered a child and had molested seminarians.
The Vatican began investigating allegations against the Rev. Marcial Maciel of Mexico in the 1950s, but it wasn't until 2006, a year into Benedict's pontificate, that the Vatican instructed Maciel to lead a "reserved life of prayer and penance" in response to the abuse allegations - effectively removing him from power. But reaction changed as the abuse scandal moved across Europe and into Benedict's native Germany in recent months, touching the pontiff himself with a case dating to his tenure as archbishop of Munich. The former vicar general of the Munich archdiocese has absolved the pope of responsibility in the case of the Rev. Peter Hullermann, accused of abusing boys.
While then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was involved in a 1980 decision to transfer Hullermann to Munich for therapy, Ratzinger's then-deputy took responsibility for a subsequent decision to let the priest return to pastoral duties. Hullermann was convicted of sexual abuse in 1986. However, the New York Times reported Friday that Ratzinger was copied in on a memo stating Hullermann would be returned to pastoral work within days of beginning psychiatric treatment. The archdiocese insisted Ratzinger was unaware of the decision and that any other version was "mere speculation." In another case, documents show the Vatican office responsible for disciplining priests, while headed by Ratzinger, halted a church trial of a Milwaukee priest accused of molesting some 200 deaf boys from 1950-1975.
Two Wisconsin bishops had urged the Vatican to approve the proceeding against the Rev. Lawrence Murphy, arguing that even though it was years after the alleged abuse, the deaf community in Milwaukee was demanding justice. The trial was approved in 1997, only to be halted after an appeal by the priest to Ratzinger. Murphy died in 1998. Murphy's eventual punishment was a restriction on celebrating Mass and on visiting the deaf community. Such light disciplinary measures remain the norm in the majority of sex abuse cases. Of the 3,000 cases the Vatican has received since 2001, only 20 percent have gone to a full canonical trial, the Vatican's chief prosecutor Monsignor Charles Scicluna said. Disciplinary sanctions were imposed in 60 percent, such as priests being ordered to live a retired life of prayer and not celebrate Mass publicly; in only 10 percent were the accused priests defrocked.
The abuse crisis in the United States, which involved 4 percent of the American priesthood, showed a pattern of bishops covering for errant clerics, at times moving them from parish to parish. The latest documents point to Vatican complicity, although the Vatican denies there was any cover-up. Defenders of Benedict, such as British Archbishop Vincent Nichols, say that as cardinal he made important changes in church law to crack down on offenders and was not an "idle observer." French bishops rallied around Benedict in a letter on Friday, saying while they deplored clerical sex abuse, the issue "is being used in a campaign to attack you personally."
Still, it is in Germany where Benedict's popularity has taken a real hit. A poll in Stern magazine released this week shows only 39 percent of Germany's Catholics trust the pope, down from 62 percent in late January. Some 34 percent trust the Catholic church as an institution, down from 56 percent in January. The margin of error was 2.5 percentage points. Rainer Kampling, a professor of Catholic theology at Berlin Free University, says the idea that the pope might resign - slipping polls not withstanding - is hardly realistic. "The pope is not a politician," he said. Herbert Kohlmaier, chairman of an Austrian Catholic group that has criticized Benedict, also said a resignation shouldn't be expected. "They certainly won't let a symbolic figure like that go." While church law allows for the resignation of a pope, there are few precedents over the church's two millennium history. The last was by 15th-century Pope Gregory XII, and that was not over scandal but rather a schism in the church.
British protesters demand Pope quits over abuse. British protesters called on Pope Benedict XVI to resign Sunday as they staged a demonstration over the Catholic Church's handling of clerical sex abuse cases. Demonstrators gathered outside Westminster Cathedral to call for action over the scandal, carrying placards displaying messages including "Pope? Nope!" and "Don't Turn a Blind Eye," though fewer than 50 people joined the rally. Revelations of the sexual abuse of children by priests at catholic institutions have swept across Europe, including in the pope's native Germany. Benedict has been criticized over a case dating to his tenure as archbishop of Munich, and his actions when head of the Vatican office responsible for disciplining priests. "The buck stops with him and he should resign," human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said at the London rally. "The pope has played a direct personal role in covering up sex abuse."
However, Benedict won support from Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols who insisted the pope wouldn't - and shouldn't - quit. "The pope will not resign, frankly there is no strong reason for him to do so," he told BBC television. "In fact, it is the other way around. He is the one above all else in Rome that has tackled this thing head on."
Pope Benedict XVI opened Holy Week on Sunday amid one of the most serious crises facing the church in decades, with protesters in London demanding he resign and calls in Switzerland for a central registry for pedophile priests. Benedict made no direct mention of the scandal in his Palm Sunday homily. "Thus, indicating it is a lie that the catholic pope 'tackled this thing head on'," Anarchon, the real pope in Rome, says.
In Austria, where several cases have come out in recent weeks, the archbishop of Vienna announced the creation of a church-funded but clergy-free and independent commission to look into Austrian abuse claims. It will be run by a woman, the former governor of Styria province, and is not meant to take the place of a possible state-run investigative commission, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn told public broadcaster ORF on Sunday.
And in Switzerland, Swiss President Doris Leuthard told the weekly SonntagsZeitung that Switzerland should consider creating a central registry of pedophile priests to prevent them from coming into contact with more children. Church leaders say about 60 people have reported to be victims of priest abuse in Switzerland. "It doesn't make any difference if the perpetrators are from the secular or spiritual world. Both violate Swiss law," she said. "It's important that pedophile priests, like teachers and other guardians, don't come into contact with children." The Vatican has been on the defensive amid mounting questions about the pope's handling of sex abuse cases both when he was archbishop of Munich and when he headed the Vatican's doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Too little - too late!!!!" Anarchon says: "The pope and his church have clearly equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree!! The catholic church and its pope are real beasts!!! You know where this ends pope Benedict XVI, alias Mr Ratzinger..."
29.03.2010. The catholic pope hailed previous 'child abuse cover up pope'. Pope Benedict XVI hailed the legacy of John Paul II Monday five years after his death, while questions swirl over the late pontiff's record in combatting pedophile priests and whether a miracle needed for his sainthood really happened. "No miracle has of course happened, that satisfies real scientific testing. Miracles are practically certain always myths," says Anarchon. During an evening Mass in St. Peter's Basilica to pay tribute to the late pope, Benedict told pilgrims from John Paul's Polish homeland that his predecessor had "without interruption taught us to be faithful witnesses to faith, hope and love." Krakow Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who for decades was John Paul's personal secretary, was among the prelates at the commemoration. Also attending was Cardinal Bernard Law, who after resigning as Boston archbishop in the sex abuse scandal which rocked his diocese, was put in charge of a prestigious Rome basilica by the late pope.
The 84-year-old John Paul died April 2, 2005, after battling Parkinson's disease. The commemoration was early because April 2 this year falls on Good Friday, when Benedict will preside over Lenten services at the Vatican and at the Colosseum in Rome. Immediately after John Paul's death, faithful began clamoring for his sainthood, and Benedict in December signed a decree proclaiming his predecessor "venerable" for his holy virtues. At first, the inexplicable healing of a young French nun from Parkinson's disease had initially seemed like the miracle required for remarkably swift approval for beatification, the last formal step before canonization. The nun, who had prayed to John Paul for years, woke up one morning two months after his death, seemingly inexplicably cured of the progressively degenerative neurological disorder.
But a Polish newspaper recently reported that doubts had been cast about whether the nun might not have had Parkinson's at all. Without citing sources, Rzeczpospolita, one of Poland's most respected and dailies, said the Vatican had summoned new experts to scrutinize the case. The Vatican's former head of its saint-making office, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, indicated two medical consultants might have had doubts. According to the National Parkinson Foundation, an estimated 20 percent of patients thought to have the disease were found at autopsy not to have had it. "Most movement disorders experts would agree that miracle cures of Parkinson or other movement disorders usually have a psychogenic component to the illness," the foundation's Dr. Michael S. Okun said when asked by e-mail by The AP about Parkinson patients.
While another possible miracle might be found from the many allegedly inexplicable healing experienced by those devoted to the late pope, a potentially more serious shadow has been cast on the beatification process. Intense scrutiny is being thrown on how the Vatican handled sex abuse cases from dioceses around the world, particularly an explosion of complaints from US faithful, during John Paul's 26 year papacy. The harsher look at the Vatican's policy on sex abuse has come as Benedict's own record on dealing with the problem is being scrutinized in his native Germany, when he was Munich archbishop, as well as his long tenure at the Vatican as John Paul's watchdog for purity in the Catholic church. John Paul's transfer of Cardinal Law to St. Mary Major's, one of Rome's most storied basilicas, was seen by many abuse victims as rewarding, not punishing, the Boston cleric for a policy by which many molester priests were shuttled from parish to parish, instead of removed from contact with children.
And John Paul held up as a model, the rigorously conservative founder of the Legionaries of Christ, who was later revealed to have fathered a child and had molested seminarians. The Vatican began investigating allegations against the Rev. Marcial Maciel of Mexico in the 1950s, but it wasn't until 2006, a year into Benedict's pontificate, that the Vatican instructed Maciel to lead a "reserved life of prayer and penance" in response to the abuse allegations. A Pole who was honoring John Paul in Monday evening's St. Peter's Basilica commemoration said she had no doubt that her late compatriot was "already a saint." "I hope that he becomes a saint soon, because you feel that the years are going by," Magdalena Wolinska said. "As far as I'm concerned, they are holding back on the beatification, but not because of the sex scandal, but because of other reasons," she said, in a reference to the doubts about a miracle.
More about documents proving the catholic pope, then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, covered up for a child molester. Jeff Anderson has filed thousands of lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests and won tens of millions of dollars for his clients, but he has had a bigger goal in mind for nearly two decades. He wants to bring his career-long legal crusade against misconduct in the Roman Catholic Church right to the top. He would love to question Pope Benedict XVI himself under oath. Though that is extremely unlikely given that the pope is a head of state, documents Anderson has unearthed have the potential to take a scandal that has plagued dozens of dioceses around the world and place it at the doorstep of Vatican leadership. The documents, which became publicly known in the past week after Anderson shared them with The New York Times, show that a Vatican office led by the pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, halted a church trial against a Wisconsin priest accused of molesting some 200 boys at a school for the deaf.
"This is a tipping point," Anderson said. He found the documents in handling one of the dozens of lawsuits he has pending against various church officials, and hopes to use them to bolster a separate federal lawsuit against the Vatican itself. Since 1983, Anderson and the five other attorneys at his downtown St. Paul firm have sued thousands of Catholic priests, bishops, and dioceses over allegations of sexual abuse by priests and other church leaders. He claims to have no idea how much he has won in settlements; in 2002 he estimated that it was around $60 million. "It's not about the money," Anderson said.
More than a decade after his legal battles with church officials began, Anderson's adult daughter revealed that as an 8-year-old she was molested by a therapist she was seeing as Anderson and his first wife were going through a divorce. The therapist, Anderson said, was a former Catholic priest. Anderson, 62, said the pain of that revelation "brought another dimension to the experience." But he said he concluded years earlier that the responsibility for shuffling around problem priests and covering up their indiscretions would extend to the Vatican. "I came to the stark realization that the problems were really endemic to the clerical culture, and all the problems we are having in the US led back to Rome," Anderson said. "And I realized nothing was going to fundamentally change until they did."
The Wisconsin documents tie Benedict, who as cardinal led the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to the decision in the mid-1990s not to defrock the Rev. Lawrence Murphy despite allegations that the Milwaukee priest molested some 200 deaf boys from 1950 to 1975. The Vatican is defending that decision, saying the case reached the Vatican only in 1996, two years before Murphy died. Church officials also say Murphy had repented in a letter to Ratzinger, and that the case's statute of limitations had run out. They decry criticism over the case as an effort to smear the pope. The Milwaukee lawsuit does not name Pope Benedict or other Vatican leaders as defendants, but Anderson hopes to use it to bolster a separate lawsuit filed eight years ago in US District Court in Oregon.
In that case, an unidentified plaintiff claims he was sexually abused as a teenager in 1965 or 1966 by the Rev. Andrew Ronan at St. Albert's Church in Portland, Ore. According to court documents, Ronan was accused of abusing boys in the mid-1950s as a priest in the Archdiocese of Armagh, Ireland. He was transferred to Chicago, where he admitted abusing three boys at St. Philip's High School, and after that was sent to Oregon. The church removed Ronan from the priesthood in 1966. He died in 1982. The lawsuit says the Vatican had to approve the international transfer. The Holy See claims it is protected by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which prohibits US lawsuits against foreign countries. Several lower courts have produced differing rulings on the suit, and the Holy See has appealed to the US Supreme Court to settle the question. The high court has not decided whether it will hear the case.
Anderson said his legal team will attempt to use documents from the Milwaukee lawsuit to show the Vatican was heavily involved in decisions about how to deal with problem priests. Legal scholars have long been skeptical of Anderson's chances of penetrating the Vatican's foreign sovereignty. He said it may be difficult to persuade judges to consider documents from another lawsuit, but added that he feels "closer than we've ever been before." "If there's anyone to press this case, it's Jeff," said David Clohessy, national director for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a longtime ally of Anderson. "Jeff doesn't get sole credit, and he wouldn't claim it, but he was among the very first to see the magnitude of this cover-up and is still among the most dedicated to its undoing."
Criticism of Vatican in Wisconsin over abuse scandal. A man who says he was among some 200 deaf boys allegedly molested by a priest in Wisconsin said Monday the Vatican's defensive responses to revelations about the case make him feel like he did when he was 12, when no one would listen to him about the abuse. Arthur Budzinski, 61, said at a news conference outside the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist that Pope Benedict XVI is trying to protect himself against criticism of his handling of the Wisconsin case against the Rev. Lawrence Murphy. Murphy was accused of molesting some 200 boys at the St. John's School for the Deaf outside Milwaukee from 1950-1975. He never was defrocked. "It's 2010. I'm not trying to hurt the pope," Budzinski said. "The pope should do something. I'm just telling my story. That's all I'm doing," said his 26-year-old daughter Gigi Budzinski, who interpreted his sign language.
Top Roman Catholic officials are rubbing salt "into the already deep wounds of those who have been victimized and disillusioned by the Catholic church" by criticizing those speaking out about the Vatican, said Mary Guentner, a spokeswoman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Guentner, who says she was abused by a nun in a different school, said victims should be praised, thanked and welcomed but instead have been vilified, mischaracterized and insulted for speaking out. "It's ludicrous to claim that these hundreds of once-trusting, devout Catholics are somehow conspiring to hurt the world's most powerful religious figure," she said.
Recently released documents showed a Vatican office led by the pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, halted a church trial against Murphy. Ratzinger's deputy, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, shut the process down after Murphy wrote Ratzinger a letter saying he had repented, was old and ailing, and that the case's statute of limitations had run out. Bertone now serves as the Vatican's secretary of state. The Vatican has said the case only reached the Vatican in 1996, that Murphy died two years later, and that there was nothing in the church's handling of the matter that precluded any civil action from being taken against him. Benedict made no direct mention of the scandal in his Palm Sunday homily, but said Jesus Christ guides the faithful "toward the courage that doesn't let us be intimidated by the chatting of dominant opinions, toward patience that supports others."
The Vatican newspaper recently said there was a "clear and despicable intention" to strike at Benedict "at any cost." Several victims held signs at the Monday news conference that read "Stop attacking us!" and "I'm not despicable." Guentner said when the church attacks victims' motives, it intimidates other victims and witnesses whose information might protect other children. She said she wants Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki to "ask the pope to be transparent, to disclose any involvement in any sexual abuse cases and to stop insulting victims," she said. She also responded to comments made Sunday by former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is currently the New York Archbishop. He said the pope was suffering some of the same unjust accusations once faced by Jesus. "(It) seems a little extreme to me," she said. "I think that seems a little extreme to all of us. We are now feeling persecuted from the response of the Vatican."
30.03.2010. Catholics find ties to the church tested by crisis. An Austrian priest avoids mention of Pope Benedict XVI in his Masses. A Philadelphia woman stops going to confession, saying she now sees priests as more flawed than herself. British protesters call for the pontiff to resign. As the faithful fill churches this Holy Week, many Roman Catholics around the world are finding their relationship to the church painfully tested by new revelations of clerical abuse and suggestions Benedict himself may have helped cover up cases in Germany and the US There are fears that for those whose commitment is already wavering, the scandal could be the final blow, and a growing chorus is clamoring for the church to embrace full transparency, take a hard line against pedophiles, and reconsider the rule of priestly celibacy.
"There's too many victims, and too much lying from the church about what really happened," said Martin Sherlock, a Catholic newspaper vendor in Dublin, Ireland. Experts say the church is facing a crisis of historic proportions. "This is the type of problem that arises really once in a century, I think, and it might even be more significant," said Paul Collins, an Australian church historian and former priest. Collins, 69, said the abuse controversy was not mentioned by the priest in his own church near Canberra on Palm Sunday, but that the congregation discussed it afterward outside. "People are outraged really, they're furious with the complete failure of the church's leadership and their view would be that we are led by incompetent people," Collins said.
Across the Atlantic, Jasmine Co said her faith in the church was badly shaken. The 56-year-old nurse, who recently moved to the US from the Philippines, said she has stopped confessing her sins to priests, and is turning to God directly. "I don't believe in confession to the priest because I don't know if that priest is more of a sinner than I am," Co said after attending a Palm Sunday service in central Philadelphia. As mnetioned on Sunday in London, about 50 protesters staged a demonstration calling on the pope to resign - something that hasn't happened in 700 years. The criticism is also coming from pulpits. Udo Fischer, an Austrian priest known for his liberal views, avoids mentioning Benedict and other church leaders by name during his Masses - at least until he sees stronger signals of remorse from the Holy See.
"We always stress that this is the church of Jesus Christ - that of the Lord Jesus and not that of the Lord Pope," Fischer said after a Palm Sunday service in his parish in Paudorf, a village near Vienna. Parishioners young and old squeezed into pews in Fischer's modern and airy church clutching bunches of pussy willows blessed by the priest. Traditionally Catholic Austria, shaken by clergy abuse claims in past years and again in recent weeks, risks a drop in already dwindling support for the church if no concrete action is taken to prevent further abuse and cover-ups, says Regina Polak of the University of Vienna's Institute for Practical Theology. "The situation is very fragile right now," Polak said. "The potential for frustration is high."
In Spain, a heavily Catholic country where secular lifestyles are eroding church attendance, a coalition of more than 100 liberal-minded lay and clergy-based groups called the Vatican's handling of the scandal "irresponsible and insufficient," saying it failed to "put itself firmly on the side of the victims."
In the mainly secular Anarchy of Norway, Oslo's bishop Bernt Eidsvig told catholics in a letter last week that "the culture of silence that certain bishops advised is a betrayal." Perhaps most ominous is the threat to the pope's own authority. David Gibson, author of "The Rule of Benedict," a biography of the pope, said the criticism focusing on Benedict puts the "the mystique of the papal office" in peril. "And above all, it diminishes his credibility, his ability to convince people of his message, to have people listen to him. It distances many Catholics, I think, even further from the institutional hierarchical church," said Gibson.
Vatican and pope in US lawsuit. Dragged deeper than ever before into the clerical sex abuse scandal, the Vatican is launching a legal defense that the church hopes will shield the pope from a lawsuit in Kentucky seeking to have him deposed. In court documents obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, Vatican lawyers map out a three-pronged strategy - to be formally filed in coming weeks - seeking to dismiss the suit before Benedict XVI can be questioned or secret documents subpoenaed. Vatican lawyers plan to argue that 1) the pope has immunity as head of state, 2) that American bishops who oversaw abusive priests weren't employees of the Vatican, and 3) that a 1962 document is not the "smoking gun" that provides proof of a cover up, the documents reveal.
Three men claiming they were abused by priests brought the suit against the Holy See in 2004, accusing Rome of negligence in failing to alert police or the public about priests who molested children in Kentucky. The preview of the legal defense, provided to the AP by a person familiar with the case, was submitted last month in the US District Court in Louisville. Vatican officials declined to comment. The case is significant because it's the first among a handful of cases targeting Rome in the United States to reach the stage of determining whether the victims actually have a claim against the Vatican itself. Previous cases attempting to implicate the Vatican have failed or are pending at more preliminary stages. In the Kentucky suit, the men argued that US diocesan bishops were employees of the Holy See, and that Rome was therefore responsible for their alleged wrongdoing in failing to report abuse. They charged that a 1962 Vatican document mandated that bishops not report sex abuse cases to police. The Vatican has argued that there is nothing in the document that precluded bishops from reporting pedophiles to police.
01.04.2010. 1963 letter indicates former pope knew of abuse. The head of a Roman Catholic order that specialized in the treatment of pedophile priests visited with then-Pope Paul VI nearly 50 years ago and followed up with a letter recommending the removal of pedophile priests from ministry, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday. In the Aug. 27, 1963, letter, the head of the New Mexico-based Servants of the Holy Paraclete tells the pope he recommends removing pedophile priests from active ministry and strongly urges defrocking repeat offenders. The letter shows that the Vatican knew, or should have known, about clergy abuse in the US decades ago, said Anthony DeMarco, a plaintiff attorney in Los Angeles who provided the letter. The accusation comes as plaintiffs in Kentucky are attempting to sue the Vatican for negligence for allegedly failing to alert police or the public about priests who molested children.
Yet the problem was very well-known to Rome well before the 1960s. The 1917 code of canon law criminalized sexual abuse of minors. Five years later, the Vatican penned a document outlining detailed procedures for handling such cases. In 1962, that document was updated and has been used in many of the lawsuits by victims against US diocese and the Vatican itself. The letter, written by the Rev. Gerald M.C. Fitzgerald, appears to have been drafted at the request of the pope and summarizes Fitzgerald's thoughts on problem priests after his Vatican visit. The letter echoes other Fitzgerald writings about wayward priests. Several news organizations, including the AP, reported last year that Fitzgerald was intent on buying an island where priests attracted to men and boys could be segregated, and even made a $5,000 down payment on a Caribbean island for that purpose.
"It is for this class of rattlesnake I have always wished an island retreat, but even an island is too good for these vipers," he wrote an acquaintance in 1957. In 1960, he sent two priests from the Paracletes to the island of Tortola to investigate the location - but his dream of an island monastery dedicated to trouble priests ended when the new archbishop of Santa Fe overruled him, his successor, Rev. Joseph McNamara, has said in an affidavit. A message left with the Paraclete order at one of their two existing facilities in Missouri was not returned. A number for the second facility was disconnected. The offices of the Vatican spokesman were closed late Wednesday. Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, defended the church and said it was unlikely Paul VI ever saw the 1963 letter.
"The fact of the matter is, the prevailing ideas at the time about how to deal with abusive behavior were not adequate," Tamberg said. "Clearly, society and the church have evolved new understandings of what causes sexually abusive behavior and how to deal with it." Fitzgerald opens the five-page letter by thanking the pope for an audience the day before and says he is summarizing his thoughts at the pope's request on the "problem of the problem priest" after 20 years working to treat them. He tells Paul VI that treatment for priests who have succumbed to "abnormal, homosexual tendencies" should include psychiatric, as well as spiritual, counseling - but goes on to warn about the dangers of leaving those individuals in ministry. The letter also touches on priests who have consensual affairs with women.
"Personally, I am not sanguine of the return of priests to active duty who have been addicted to abnormal practices, especially sins with the young," Fitzgerald wrote. "Where there is indication of incorrigibility, because of the tremendous scandal given, I would most earnestly recommend total laicization," he wrote. "I say 'total' ... because when these men are taken before civil authority, the non-Catholic world definitely blames the discipline of celibacy for the perversion of these men." The letter proves that Vatican officials knew about clergy abuse decades ago and should have done more to protect children, plaintiff attorney DeMarco said. The church has come under fire for transferring priests accused of sexual abuse to other parishes, rather than reporting the abuse to civil authorities and removing them from ministry.
The problem of clergy abuse has been known to Rome well before then. The 1917 code of canon law criminalized sexual abuse of minors. Five years later, the Vatican penned a document outlining detailed procedures for handling such cases. In 1962, that document was updated and has been used in many of the lawsuits by victims against US diocese and the Vatican itself. Fitzgerald's letter shows the pope knew how pervasive and destructive the problem was, DeMarco said. "He says the solution is to take them out of the priesthood period, not shuffle them around, not pass them from diocese to diocese." The letter was released in Los Angeles by attorneys who represented more than 500 victims of clergy abuse in their record-breaking $660 million settlement with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2007.
Attorneys working on the Los Angeles cases found it among court papers related to clergy abuse cases filed in New Mexico in the late 1980s and early 1990s and fought to get it unsealed. Thousands more pages of confidential priest personnel files from the Los Angeles cases were to be released as part of the 2007 settlement after a review by a retired judge overseeing the process. The review, however, has dragged on for nearly three years. The letter released Wednesday is different from a 1957 letter made public last year in which Fitzgerald seeks help from the Bishop of Manchester, N.H. in finding a placement for a priest leaving the treatment program. Attorneys also released a 250-page, redacted transcript of the 2007 deposition of the Rev. Joseph McNamara, who took over the Paraclete order after Fitzgerald.
01.04.2010. The catholic pope avoids talking about the child abuse scandal. The official celebrations of Easter weekend have got underway with Holy Thursday mass in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Contrary to expectations, Pope Benedict did not refer to the child sex abuse scandals which have dogged the catholic church in Europe and the US. The Pontiff instead talked about penitence and suffering leading eventually to a deeper joy. It comes after a lawyer in the US filed a request for the Pope to be called to give evidence in several abuse cases. The Vatican has prepared legal documents cowardly stating that as head of state, the Pope is immune from being called to testify as a witness.
The head of a new commission set up to investigate claims of sexual abuse within the catholic church in Austria has been appointed. Waltraud Klasnic is a former governor of the region of Styria and says she will start work with the church-funded watchdog within the next month: "As the independent authority responsible for victim protection, I will have the right to say what I think, or talk about what I discussed and worked on with my colleagues." she told reporters. It comes after cardinal Christoph Schoenborn acknowledged the catholic church's guilt and asked for forgiveness. Schoenborn has taken the lead in denouncing the scandal and demanding reform: "We confess that we did not want to acknowledge reality, that we kept the truth secret and we covered things up so that some of us were able to carry on lying and continue with their crimes." Figures show more than 53,000 people left the catholic church in Austria in 2009, the highest number in the country's history. Analysts say recent developments could result in an ever higher number.
02.04.2010. More-secular Poland marks pope John Paul's death. A trumpet in Warsaw sounded a mournful tone Friday at 9.37 p.m., marking the minute five years ago when Poland's Pope John Paul II died. Many signs in Poland point to a slow but significant move away from the church five years after John Paul's death. Poland remains perhaps the most religiously observant country in Europe, but churches are slightly less full every year, with studies showing the numbers of those who attend regularly are on a slow decline, said sociologist Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski, a professor and the dean of Collegium Civitas, a Warsaw university. The number of Polish men starting study programs to become priests and monks fell from 1,500 to 953 between 2004, the year before the pope's death, and 2008, according to church figures.
Shopping malls seem to have as many people as pews on Sunday mornings, and teenagers more eagerly point to TV stars as their heroes than to the nation's "greatest authority" of recent times. But even the pro-church Gazeta Polska weekly lamented on Wednesday that "10 years ago it was the Holy Father who was the main authority for school children, after their parents. But, in a survey last year, television stars ranked at the top." Some worry that Poland, which is growing increasingly wealthy, will start to resemble other traditionally Catholic countries, like France and Spain, where church attendance is much lower. "In Europe, churches are becoming increasingly empty," said Kazimierz Kik, a political scientist with Kielce University. "It is possible that Poland will be the very last country where churches will become empty, but still you can see the process of gradual secularization here, especially among young people and chiefly among those who travel to the West."
Vatican waited years to defrock Arizona abuse-priest. The future Pope Benedict XVI took over the abuse case of an Arizona priest, then let it languish at the Vatican for years despite repeated pleas from the bishop for the man to be removed from the priesthood, according to church correspondence. Documents reviewed by The Associated Press show that in the 1990s, a church tribunal found that the Rev. Michael Teta of Tucson, Ariz., had molested children as far back as the late 1970s. The panel deemed his behavior - including allegations that he abused boys in a confessional - almost "satanic." The tribunal referred his case to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would become pope in 2005.
But it took 12 years from the time Ratzinger assumed control of the case in a signed letter until Teta was formally removed from ministry, a step only the Vatican can take. As abuse cases with the pontiff's fingerprints mushroom, Teta's case and that of another Arizona priest cast further doubt on the church's insistence that the future pope played no role in shielding pedophiles. Teta was accused of engaging in abuse not long after his arrival to the Diocese of Tucson, Ariz., in 1978. Among the eventual allegations: That he molested two boys, ages 7 and 9, in the confessional as they prepared for their First Communion.
Bishop Manuel Moreno held a church tribunal for Teta, which determined "there is almost a satanic quality in his mode of acting toward young men and boys." Teta was removed from ministry by the bishop, but because the church's most severe punishment - laicization - can only be handed down from Rome, he remained on the church payroll and was working with young people outside the church. At the time, Ratzinger headed the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the office that typically handled cases of abuse in confessionals. The church considers those more serious than other molestations because they also defile the sacrament of penance.
In a signed letter dated June 8, 1992, Ratzinger advised Moreno he was taking control of the case, according to a copy provided to the AP from Lynne Cadigan, an attorney who represented two of Teta's victims. Five years later, no action had been taken. "This case has already gone on for seven years," Moreno wrote Ratzinger on April 28, 1997, adding, "I make this plea to you to assist me in every way you can to expedite this case." It would be another seven years before Teta was laicized. "There's no doubt that Ratzinger delayed the defrocking process of dangerous priests who were deemed 'satanic' by their own bishop," Cadigan said.
Another Tucson case, that of Msgr. Robert Trupia, shows the fragmented nature of how Rome handled such allegations before 2001, when Ratzinger dictated that all abuse cases must go through his Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Before then, files were sent to varied Vatican departments, as they were in the case of Trupia. Moreno suspended Trupia in 1992, but again faced delays from the Vatican in having him formally removed from the church. Documents show at least two Vatican offices - the Congregation for the Clergy and the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority of the Catholic Church - were involved in the case at least as early as 1995.
Moreno pleaded with the Congregation for the Clergy to do something, writing, "We have proofs of civil crimes against people who were under his priestly care" and warning Trupia could "be the source of greater scandal in the future." Ultimately, the case landed in Ratzinger's office. On Feb. 10, 2003, a day after the Arizona Daily Star reported that Trupia was living in a condo near Baltimore, driving a leather-seated Mercedes-Benz with a rosary hanging from the rearview mirror, Moreno wrote to Ratzinger again, calling him "a major risk factor to the children, adolescents and adults that he may have contact with." There is no indication in the case files that Ratzinger responded.
Sick with prostate cancer and the beginning stages of Parkinson's disease, Moreno was approved for early retirement by Pope John Paul II. Before he was replaced, the bishop wrote Ratzinger yet again. Moreno's replacement, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, sent similarly dire requests to Ratzinger and his subordinates. Finally, in August 2004, Trupia was laicized.
"The tragedy is that the bishops have only two choices: Follow the Vatican's code of secrecy and delay, or leave the church," Cadigan, the victims' lawyer, said Friday. "It's unfortunate that their faith demands that they sacrifice children to follow the Vatican's directions." Fred Allison, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, defended the Vatican's handling of the Teta and Trupia cases. Internal church trials took years and the priests' appeals took years more, Allison said. "There is no indication at all that the Vatican was delaying or dragging its feet," he said.
Trupia's former attorney, Stephen A. Shechtel of Rockville, Md., said Friday that he never dealt with the church on his client's behalf and that Trupia was aware he would be defrocked and didn't fight it. Local dioceses appear responsible for much of the stalling in countless other cases. In one, the Rev. Thomas Laughlin of the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., was arrested and sentenced to six months in jail. The archdiocese placed him on an indefinite leave of absence and on July 8, 1988, five years after the arrest, Archbishop William Levada wrote Ratzinger asking for Laughlin to be laicized.
"The financial cost to the archdiocese has been staggering," Levada wrote, according to a copy of the letter provided to the AP by the advocacy group BishopAccountability.org. "Perhaps more damaging yet has been the public notoriety which has accompanied this case." There is no mention in the letter of the damage done to the victims. Ratzinger appeared to act quickly on his end, removing Laughlin in 1989. Levada was later named to replace Ratzinger at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, a post he still holds.
03.04.2010. Clouds over the Vatican are getting thicker and thicker, as the wave of shameful child abuse revelations is continuing. A preacher, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, however falselsy likened the recent attacks on the pontiff over the catholic child abuse scandal to the "most shameful acts of anti-Semitism". The Vatican, however, rushed to distance itself from Cantalamessa's views, while the Pope avoided touching on it at the Good Friday ceremony held at the Colosseum. In the meantime, further doubt has been cast on the catholic pope's role in shielding pedophiles before he became pope.
The Associated Press as mentioned revealed that then cardinal Ratzinger delayed to take actions against of Rev. Michael Teta of Tucson, Arizona, who was accused of abusing children in the 70s. "There's no doubt that Ratzinger delayed the defrocking process of dangerous priests who were deemed 'satanic' by their own bishop," Lynne Cadigan, an attorney who represented two of Teta's victims, said Friday. In the meantime, the victims of criminal sexual abuse, their friends and families took to the streets of Washington, Chicago and New York demanding transparency. Anarchon repeats: "The pope and his church have clearly equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree!! The catholic church and its pope are real beasts!!! You know where this ends pope Benedict XVI, alias Mr Ratzinger..."
Jews outraged at Vatican scandal comparison. Jewish groups around the world have reacted with shock after Pope Benedict's personal preacher compared attacks on the Church and pope over a sexual abuse scandal to "collective violence" against Jews. "I am absolutely totally astounded by this. This is folly," said Amos Luzzatto, a former president of Italy's Jewish communities. Rome chief rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, who welcomed the pope in the capital's synagogue last January said: "This is really in bad taste." The pope's personal preacher, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, in a Friday sermon in St Peter's Basilica, said attacks on the Catholic Church and the pope over a sexual abuse scandal were comparable to "collective violence" against Jews.
Jewish leaders around the world used words like repugnant, obscene and offensive to describe the sermon, particularly, as Di Segni noted, it came on the day that for centuries Christians prayed for the conversion of the Jews, who [falsley] were held collectively responsible for Jesus' death. "How can you compare the collective guilt assigned to the Jews which caused the deaths of tens of millions of innocent people to perpetrators who abuse their faith and their calling by sexually abusing children?" said Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the international Jewish rights group.
Cantalamessa, speaking with the pope sitting nearby, said Jews throughout history had been the victims of "collective violence" and drew comparisons between Jewish suffering and attacks on the catholic church. "The use of stereotypes, the shifting of personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism," Cantalamessa quoted from a letter from a so called Jew.
Damage control. Vatican spokesman said the comparison "is absolutely not the line of the Vatican and of the Catholic Church." This week's celebrations leading up to Easter Sunday have been clouded by accusations the Church in several countries mishandled and covered up episodes of sexual abuse of children by priests, some dating back decades. Shaken by the crisis, the Vatican has accused the media of an "ignoble" attempt to smear the pope. Some reports have accused him of negligence in handling abuse cases in previous roles as a cardinal in his native Germany and in Rome. Victims of sexual abuse also criticized Cantalamessa. "This ridiculous attempt to hide the crimes of the [church] hierarchy inside of Jewish suffering shows just how far this Pope seems willing to go to stop the truth from emerging," said Peter Isely, a spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
The Vatican has denied any cover-up over the abuse of 200 deaf boys in the United States by Reverend Lawrence Murphy from 1950 to 1974. The New York Times reported the Vatican and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, were warned about Murphy but he was not defrocked. The spiritual head of the Anglican church, Archbishop Rowan Williams, said on Saturday the Catholic Church in Ireland had lost all its credibility over its response to the sex abuse scandals after an apology by the pope about the abuse in Ireland that disappointed victims.
Deposition: Levada defends decision on Oregon. In a newly released court deposition, a top Vatican official who is a former Portland archbishop defends not telling Oregon parishioners about the sex abuse allegations against a priest he restored to duty. The deposition also shows that the official, Cardinal William Levada, insisted he had given complete information to the pastor of the parish about the history of Father Joseph Baccellieri. Documents provided by the archdiocese show his position was parochial vicar, an administrative, not pastoral post. The archdiocese says there were limits on his ministry that no other abuse allegations against him arose. However, there was nothing in records e-mailed by the archdiocese to The Associated Press on Friday showing there was any explicit prohibition on contact between Baccellieri and parishioners. The documents also show that over the years Baccellieri had also been named pastor and co-pastor, before retiring in 2002.
Levada was archbishop of the Portland Archdiocese from 1986-95. He now is head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome and has become a central figure in defending the Vatican in its handling of abusive priests. In 2006, Levada gave a deposition as dozens of Oregon sex abuse lawsuits were pending against the church. In a transcript of his testimony released Friday by one of attorneys in those cases, Levada said Baccellieri had gone through therapy and the recommendation was that "he was not at risk for reabusing and that it would be prudent to reassign him." Jeffrey Lena, a California-based attorney for Levada, deferred immediate comment and told The Associated Press he would try to send a statement about the release of the deposition on Friday but it did not arrive. Lena was traveling over the holiday weekend and had limited cell phone reception.
There was no answer Saturday at Levada's Vatican office; most Vatican offices were closed for Easter. Some Baccellieri case details had been released earlier but this is the first word of Levada's testimony on it. Levada said in the deposition he did not think parishioners needed to be told about the priest's history. "It might give people the implication that if they are being told this, that I am suspecting that he - he may be at risk - he may be a risk to their children," Levada said during questioning by Kelly Clark, one of the attorneys for dozens of men who alleged they were abused by Oregon priests.
The deposition was released by Erin Olson, another attorney who represented abuse victims in the Oregon lawsuit and who was instrumental in getting the testimony from Levada. Olson said parts of the deposition were redacted that made reference to three individuals involved in pending litigation. Olson said she decided to release it because she was angry over Levada's defense of the way the Vatican handled a Wisconsin priest accused of molesting as many as 200 deaf boys. Levada posted a statement on the Vatican Web site saying that Pope Benedict XVI should not be held responsible for a church decision in the 1990s not to defrock the Wisconsin priest.
Levada left Portland to become archbishop in San Francisco in 1995. He took over as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger after Ratzinger was elected pope in 2005. The Wisconsin case had been referred to the Vatican's doctrinal office when Ratzinger was in charge of it. As archbishop in Portland, Levada removed Baccellieri in 1992 after complaints involving teenage boys but allowed him to return on a limited basis under close supervision in 1994. Levada also set conditions for Baccellieri, including continuous counseling and therapy, regular reporting by his therapist to the Archdiocese of Portland, close monitoring, limitations on ministry activities and residence outside a parish setting or under the supervision of other priests.
In the deposition, Levada told attorneys, "If I thought Father Baccellieri would be a risk to any child, I would never have reassigned him." But Clark was critical of Levada during the deposition. "Wouldn't you have some sort of a pastoral moral requirement to let individual parishioners make that determination for themselves?" Clark asked. "I think it was prudent to act the way I did," Levada replied. "I stand on that - on that judgment I made." In a 2004 press release, the archdiocese noted there were no further complaints about Baccellieri before his retirement. Olson and Clark were among the lead attorneys in a 2007 settlement of Oregon sex abuse lawsuits for more than $50 million. The Portland Archdiocese became the first Roman Catholic diocese in the nation to declare bankruptcy on the eve of trial for the first of those lawsuits in July 2004.
AP: Vatican waited years to defrock Arizona priest. The abuse cases of two priests in Arizona have cast further doubt on the Catholic church's insistence that Pope Benedict XVI played no role in shielding pedophiles before he became pope. Documents reviewed by The Associated Press show that as a Vatican cardinal, the future pope took over the abuse case of the Rev. Michael Teta of Tucson, Ariz., then let it languish at the Vatican for years despite repeated pleas from the bishop for the man to be removed from the priesthood. In another Tucson case, that of Msgr. Robert Trupia, the bishop wrote to then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who would become pope in 2005. Bishop Manuel Moreno called Trupia "a major risk factor to the children, adolescents and adults that he many have contact with." There is no indication in the case files that Ratzinger responded.
The details of the two cases come as other allegations emerge that Benedict - as a Vatican cardinal - was part of a culture of cover-up and confidentiality. "There's no doubt that Ratzinger delayed the defrocking process of dangerous priests who were deemed 'satanic' by their own bishop," Lynne Cadigan, an attorney who represented two of Teta's victims, said Friday. The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, called the accusations "absolutely groundless" and said the facts were being misrepresented. He said the delay in defrocking Teta was caused by a hold on appeals while the Vatican changed regulations over its handling of sex abuse cases. In the meantime, he said, cautionary measures were in place; Teta had been suspended since 1990.
"The documents show clearly and positively that those in charge at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith ... have repeatedly intervened actively over the course of the 90s so that the canonic trial under way in the Tucson diocese could dutifully reach its conclusion," Lombardi said in a statement. In the 1990s, a church tribunal found that Teta had molested children as far back as the 1970s, and the panel determined "there is almost a satanic quality in his mode of acting toward young men and boys." The tribunal referred Teta's case, which included allegations that he abused boys in a confessional, to Ratzinger. The church considers cases of abuse in confessionals more serious than other molestations because they also defile the sacrament of penance.
It took 12 years from the time Ratzinger assumed control of the case in a signed letter until Teta was formally removed from ministry, a step only the Vatican can take. Teta was accused of engaging in abuse not long after his arrival to the Diocese of Tucson in 1978. Among the eventual allegations: that he molested two boys, ages 7 and 9, in the confessional as they prepared for their First Communion. Teta was removed from ministry by the bishop, but because the church's most severe punishment - laicization - can only be handed down from Rome, he remained on the church payroll and was working with young people outside the church. In a signed letter dated June 8, 1992, Ratzinger advised Moreno he was taking control of the case, according to a copy provided to the AP from Cadigan, the victims' attorney. Five years later, no action had been taken.
"This case has already gone on for seven years," Moreno wrote Ratzinger on April 28, 1997, adding, "I make this plea to you to assist me in every way you can to expedite this case." It would be another seven years before Teta was laicized. Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said Teta was ordered defrocked in 1997. But Teta appealed, and the appeal remained on hold until the new regulations took effect in 2001. "Starting in 2001, all the appeals that were pending were promptly taken up, and Teta's case was one of the first to be discussed," Lombardi said. But this still took time, he said, because the documentation that had been presented was "especially voluminous." The sentence was upheld and in 2004 Teta was laicized.
The case of Trupia shows the fragmented nature of how Rome handled such allegations before 2001, when Ratzinger dictated that all abuse cases must go through his Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Before then, files were sent to varied Vatican departments, as they were in the case of Trupia. Moreno suspended Trupia in 1992, but again faced delays from the Vatican in having him formally removed from the church. Documents show at least two Vatican offices - the Congregation for the Clergy and the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority of the Catholic Church - were involved in the case at least as early as 1995.
Moreno pleaded with the Congregation for the Clergy to do something, writing, "We have proofs of civil crimes against people who were under his priestly care" and warning Trupia could "be the source of greater scandal in the future." Ultimately, the case landed in Ratzinger's office. On Feb. 10, 2003, a day after the Arizona Daily Star reported that Trupia was living in a condo near Baltimore, driving a leather-seated Mercedes-Benz with a rosary hanging from the rearview mirror, Moreno wrote to Ratzinger again. Sick with prostate cancer and the beginning stages of Parkinson's disease, Moreno was approved for early retirement by Pope John Paul II.
Before he was replaced, the bishop wrote Ratzinger yet again. Moreno's replacement, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, sent similar requests to Ratzinger and his subordinates. "My experience - and as I've looked at the records in our serious cases - the Vatican actually was prodding, through the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and Cardinal Ratzinger, to try to get this case going," Kicanas said. Finally, in August 2004, Trupia was laicized. "The tragedy is that the bishops have only two choices: Follow the Vatican's code of secrecy and delay, or leave the church," Cadigan, the victims' lawyer, said Friday. "It's unfortunate that their faith demands that they sacrifice children to follow the Vatican's directions." Trupia's former attorney, Stephen A. Shechtel of Rockville, Md., said Friday that he never dealt with the church on his client's behalf and that Trupia was aware he would be defrocked and didn't fight it.
Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Moreno's replacement, defended the Vatican's handling of the Arizona cases, citing the prolonged process of internal church trials that he acknowledged could be "frustratingly slow because of the seriousness of the concerns." Kicanas said suggestions that Ratzinger resisted addressing the issues of sexual abuse in the church were "grossly unfair." "Cardinal Ratzinger, as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was always receptive, ready to listen, to hear people's concerns," Kicanas said. "Pope Benedict is the same man."
04.04.2010. Catholics urge Pope to 'accept responsibility'. Pilgrims from all over the world gathered in St Peter's Square in Rome to hear pope Benedict's Easter Sunday address. His failure to comment on the child sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the catholic church has become a matter of concern for many worshippers. Critics continue to accuse the pope of negligence in handling abuse cases. Many of the faithful believe the only way to end the crisis is for the him to accept responsibility. Colombian pilgrim Gloria Arlitz said: "There is a lot of criticism of the Church and I believe the Pope must speak out, because it is the ministers of the church who seem to be most involved in child abuse. He must take measures and at least take responsibility because this cannot keep happening. The church should be the one to show how to respect human rights and the fact that it is seen as the one treading on them is harming all Christians."
Reports about child abuses by catholic clergy arrogantly called "petty gossip" by cardinal. The catholic pope has delivered his traditional Easter blessing to a packed St Peter's Square in Rome. There was no mention of the sex scandal that has engulfed the catholic church but there was an important change of protocol ahead of the pope's address. The Easter Sunday Mass began with a leading cardinal arrogantly saying the church would not be intimidated by what he called "petty gossip" about priests. The surprise speech by cardinal Angelo Sodano is believed to be the first time in recent memory that the ritual of an Easter Sunday Mass has been altered to allow someone to address the pope at the start.
The catholic pope's speech totally ignored demands by victims that he shoulder some responsibility for a common practice by bishops in the past of shuffling pedophile priests from parish to parish rather than sullying the church's reputation by defrocking clergy who raped, sodomized or otherwise sexually abused minors. The accusations against the pope stem from his leadership as archbishop of Munich, in his native Germany, before he came to the Vatican three decades ago, as well as his long tenure in Rome leading the Holy See's office dealing with a growing pile of dossiers about pedophile priests. Sodano's words irked a prominent advocacy group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "When we speak up and tell how our childhood innocence was shattered by sexual assaults by priests, it is not 'petty gossip,'" SNAP president Barbara Blaine said in a statement.
AP: Pope's immunity could be challenged in Britain. Protests are growing against Pope Benedict XVI's planned trip to Britain, where some lawyers question whether the Vatican's implicit statehood status should shield the pope from prosecution over sex crimes by pedophile priests. More than 10,000 people have signed a petition on Downing Street's web site against the pope's 4-day visit to England and Scotland in September, which will cost U.K. taxpayers an estimated 15 million pounds ($22.5 million). The campaign has gained momentum as more Catholic sex abuse scandals have swept across Europe.
Although Benedict has not been accused of any crime, senior British lawyers are now examining whether the pope should have immunity as a head of state and whether he could be prosecuted under the principle of universal jurisdiction for an alleged systematic cover-up of sexual abuses by priests. Universal jurisdiction - a concept in international law - allows judges to issue warrants for nearly any visitor accused of grievous crimes, no matter where they live. British judges have been more open to the concept than those in other countries. Lawyers are divided over the immunity issue. Some argue that the Vatican isn't a true state, while others note the Vatican has national relations with about 170 countries, including Britain. The Vatican is also the only non-member to have permanent observer status at the U.N.
Then again, no other top religious leaders enjoy the same U.N. privileges or immunity, so why should the pope? David Crane, former chief prosecutor at the Sierra Leone war crimes tribunal, said it would be difficult to implicate the pope in anything criminal. "It's a fascinating kind of academic, theoretical discussion," said Crane, who prosecuted Sierra Leone's Charles Taylor when he was still a sitting head of state. "At this point, there's no liability at all." But Geoffrey Robertson, who as a U.N. appeals judge delivered key decisions on the illegality of conscripting child soldiers and the invalidity of amnesties for war crimes, believes it could be time to challenge the immunity of the pope - and Britain could be the place. He wrote a legal opinion on the topic that was published Friday in the US news site The Daily Beast and Saturday in the British newspaper the Guardian.
"Unlike in the United States, where the judges commonly uphold what the executive says, the British courts don't accept these things at face value," Robertson told The Associated Press on Saturday. "The Vatican is not a state - it was a construct of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini." But Jeffrey Lena, the California attorney who argued - and won - head of state immunity for Benedict in US sex abuse cases, said the pope could not successfully be prosecuted for crimes under international law. "Those who would claim that 'universal jurisdiction' could be asserted over the pope appear to completely misunderstand the sorts of violations, such as genocide, which are required to assert such jurisdiction," he said in a statement to the AP.
Still, Israeli officials, including former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, have recently been targeted by groups in Britain under universal jurisdiction. The law principle is rooted in the belief that certain crimes - such as genocide, war crimes, torture and crimes against humanity - are so serious that they are an offense against humanity and must be addressed. It's a tactic that the British government would likely abhor, but British judges have often gone against government wishes in lawsuits. Recent examples include British judges who issued an arrest warrant against Israel's former foreign minister for alleged war crimes, and a British court ruling this year that forced the government to release its intelligence exchanges with US officials about the torture claims of a former Guantanamo detainee.
Prosecution in the deepening cleric sex abuse scandal, however, ultimately rests on the question of immunity. If British judges do challenge the pope's immunity, there are a handful of possible legal scenarios - all of them speculative. The pope could be served for a writ for civil damages, a complaint could be lodged with the International Criminal Court, or abuse victims could try to have Benedict arrested for crimes against humanity - perhaps the least likely scenario. Lawyers question whether an alleged systematic cover-up could be considered a crime against humanity - a charge usually reserved for the International Criminal Court - and whether it could be pursued under universal jurisdiction.
Attorney Jennifer Robinson in London, who has been researching the possibilities, says rape and sexual slavery can be considered crimes against humanity. Others, like Hurst Hannum with the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University near Boston, are skeptical. "No one would question that the Church's response to widespread abuses has been atrocious, but it's very difficult for me to see how that would fit 'crimes against humanity,'" said Hannum. Robertson is more in favor of challenging the immunity question.
"Head of state immunity provides no protection in the International Criminal Court," said Robertson, who represented The Associated Press and other media organizations who sought to make US-U.K. intelligence exchanges public in the case of former Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed. "If acts of sexual abuse by priests are not isolated or sporadic events but part of a wide practice both known to and unpunished by their de facto-authority - i.e. the Catholic Church ... then the commander can be held criminally liable," Robertson said.
Even though the Vatican - like the United States - did not sign the accord that established the international court, a crime would only have to occur in a country which did sign, like Britain. Still, lawyers would have to prove that the crimes or an alleged cover-up occurred or continued after the court was set up in July 2002. In a 2005 test case in Texas that involved alleged victims of sex abuse by priests, the Vatican obtained the intervention of President George W. Bush, who agreed the pope should have immunity against such prosecutions because he was an acting head of a foreign state.
It was around 1929 when Mussolini decided that the Vatican - a tiny enclave about 0.17 of a square mile with some 900 people - was a sovereign state. "The notion that statehood can be created by another country's unilateral declaration is risible," Robertson said. Others say the last 80 years of history have turned the Vatican into a state, and it would be almost impossible to strip the pope of his immunity now. "My guess is the weight of opinion would allow the pope to enjoy immunity," said Hannum. "It's not automatically clear that the Holy See is a state, although it's treated as one for almost every purpose."
Last year, a Palestinian bid to have Barak - the Israeli defense chief who also served as prime minister until 2001 - arrested for alleged war crimes during a visit to Britain failed when the courts determined that he should be given immunity from arrest. But months later, pro-Palestinian activists persuaded a London judge to issue an arrest warrant for Israeli politician Tzipi Livni, who was foreign minister during the 2008-2009 war in Gaza. The warrant was eventually withdrawn after Livni canceled her trip. Spain and Britain jointly pioneered the universal jurisdiction concept when, in 1998, Britain executed a Spanish arrest warrant for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet on torture claims. Pinochet was kept under house arrest in London until he was ruled physically and mentally unfit to stand trial and released in 2000. When he was arrested, however, Pinochet was no longer head of state.
In 2001, activists brought Israel's then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to trial in Belgium in connection with a 1982 massacre at a Beirut refugee camp. Sharon canceled a planned trip to Belgium and was tried in absentia in a Belgian court. He was not convicted but the case provoked diplomatic protests and prompted Belgium in 2003 to tighten the law that had permitted the trial. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has vowed to block private groups from taking legal action against visiting foreign dignitaries but any new law is unlikely before Britain's expected May 6 election. The pope plans to visit Malta, Portugal and Cyprus before traveling to Britain on Sept. 16. A trip to Spain is planned for later in the fall.
AP reports: Levada brought back accused priest with conditions. former Portland archbishop and current top Vatican official once returned a priest accused of sex abuse to administrative duty in Oregon on the condition that he be barred from direct contact with children or teenagers. Cardinal William Levada, as archbishop in Portland from 1986 to 1995, removed Father Joseph Baccellieri in 1992 after learning about 20-year-old complaints involving teenage boys but allowed him to return on a limited basis under close supervision in 1994. The move had conditions, according to a letter released Saturday in defense of Levada, who now oversees the office that handles cases of alleged abuse by priests. The archdiocese's clergy personnel director outlined a plan approved by Levada that prohibited Baccellieri from having contact with children or teenagers.
Other conditions included continuous counseling and therapy, regular reporting by his therapist to the archdiocese, close monitoring, limitations on ministry activities and restrictions on living outside a parish setting or under the supervision of other priests. Levada explained his decision not to tell any parishioners in a 2006 deposition to attorneys handling dozens of lawsuits against the archdiocese claiming abuse by Oregon priests. "It might give people the implication that if they are being told this, that I am suspecting that he - he may be at risk - he may be a risk to their children," Levada said during questioning by Kelly Clark, one of the attorneys for dozens of alleged victims.
"If I thought Father Baccellieri would be a risk to any child, I would never have reassigned him," Levada said. Clark was critical of Levada during the deposition. "Wouldn't you have some sort of a pastoral moral requirement to let individual parishioners make that determination for themselves?" Clark asked. "I think it was prudent to act the way I did," Levada replied. "I stand on that - on that judgment I made." In the deposition, Levada insisted he had given complete information to the pastor of the parish about the history of Baccellieri and that was his standard practice. Documents provided by the archdiocese show Baccellieri was returned as a parochial vicar, an administrative, not pastoral post.
Levada also testified he did not recall whether the allegations against Father Baccellieri were ever reported to law enforcement. He did say that it was his policy at the archdiocese to comply with all requirements for reporting possible crimes, but the allegations happened 20 years before. The deposition was released by Erin Olson, another attorney who represented Oregon abuse victims and was instrumental in getting Levada to testify. Olson said she decided to release it because she was angry over Levada's defense of the way the Vatican handled a Wisconsin priest accused of molesting as many as 200 deaf boys.
Levada succeeded Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith after Ratzinger was elected pope in 2005. The Wisconsin case went to the Vatican office when Ratzinger was in charge. After Olson released the transcript of the deposition late Friday, an attorney for Levada responded with a copy of the letter dated March 16, 1994, to Levada from Father Charles Lienert, then the clergy personnel director, outlining the conditions imposed on Baccellieri to return to duty. Levada's attorney, Jeffrey Lena, noted the alleged abuse by Baccellieri had occurred before Levada arrived in Portland and that Levada pulled Baccellieri from service immediately.
"Only upon receipt of full assurance from qualified psychological counselors was the priest in question re-introduced into limited service, under supervision and with extensive limitations on his access to parishioners, after which he did not re-offend," Lena said in an e-mail. Levada left Portland to become archbishop in San Francisco in 1995. Lena, who was part of the 2006 deposition, noted that Levada was in Portland for only about a year after Baccellieri returned to limited duty but "has always treated these matters with the utmost seriousness and responsibility."
In a 2004 release, the Archdiocese of Portland said the current archbishop, John Vlazny, asked Baccellieri in 2001 to study church law at Catholic University. "In July of 2002, after the United States Catholic Bishops decided upon a policy of 'one strike and you're out,' Father Baccellieri, who was in ill health at the time, was retired," the release said. The Portland archdiocese settled its sex abuse lawsuits for more than $50 million in 2007, after becoming the first Roman Catholic diocese in the nation to declare bankruptcy on the eve of trial for the first of those lawsuits in 2004.
05.04.2010. Analysis by AP: Abuse crisis in Europe much like US 2002. The Roman Catholic sex abuse crisis now unfolding from Ireland to Germany to Denmark has been a near replay of the scandal that hit US dioceses eight years ago. And if the American experience is any indication, European Catholics have a long, painful road ahead. The problem of clergy abuse in the US first became widely known in the mid-1980s because of a predator priest in Louisiana, then exploded in 2002, when a court unsealed files in the case of an accused priest in the Archdiocese of Boston. The documents revealed a pattern of administrators moving guilty clergy among parishes without telling parents or police. Catholics nationwide demanded that their local dioceses explain how they had handled claims. While the intensity of the crisis has eased, there is no endpoint in sight.
US dioceses received nearly 400 claims of abuse last year alone, with the overwhelming majority from adults who said they were molested decades ago as children. The total number of claims since 1950 has reached over 14,000, according to surveys commissioned by the bishops. The US price tag for settlements, legal fees and other abuse-related costs has surpassed $2.7 billion over that same period, according to the surveys and individual dioceses. Revelations of abuse on both continents sparked the same mix of contrition and indignation from church leaders. US and European bishops apologized repeatedly for failures to stop predators, yet often viewed the unrelenting spotlight on the issue as an attack on the church.
In 2007, Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki, a civil and canon lawyer and deputy to Chicago Cardinal Francis George, said "none other than the devil" was behind the unending litigation. Many American dioceses have sold buildings and land to cover settlements. Some of the most outraged church defenders have compared the situation to Henry VIII's seizure of Catholic property in Reformation-era England. The complaints of anti-Catholic persecution reached fever pitch in recent weeks as the scandal moved closer to Pope Benedict XVI, who had served as archbishop of Munich and later as a Vatican cardinal directing the Holy See's policy on handling abuse claims.
Benedict's personal preacher compared the claims against the pope to "collective violence" suffered by Jews, although the Vatican quickly distanced the pope from the remarks. European Catholics struggling to understand how such a tragedy could happen are engaged in the same debates as American parishioners. Was mandatory celibacy to blame? A lack of women in leadership? Or was the real problem lax enforcement of church orthodoxy? American Catholic analysts have in recent weeks been re-publishing their old commentaries on these issues - this time for a European audience. Inevitably, some in Europe will blame the scandal on gay priests, just as some US Catholics did. Researchers from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, hired by US bishops to trace the roots of clergy abuse, found that about 80 percent of American victims since 1950 were adolescent boys. In Europe, many coming forward now with abuse claims are also male.
However, the researchers told US bishops that sexual identity and abuse are separate issues. The prevalence of male victims likely reflects the fact that abusive priests often had more access to boys, the researchers said. Bishops around Europe used Holy Week's solemn call for penitence to pledge transparency in dealing with the abuse. The American church reforms are often mentioned as a model. US bishops developed a national policy in 2002 that bars credibly accused priests from any public church work while claims against them are under investigation. Clergy who are found guilty are permanently barred from public ministry and, in some cases, ousted from the priesthood. The Vatican approved the disciplinary plan as church law for the United States.
Still, victims and church leaders vehemently disagree over how closely American dioceses have followed the policy - keeping the issue in the public eye. In defending their efforts, US church leaders point to the more than $21 million dioceses spent just last year for child protection such as background checks and training for staff. Only a tiny number of abuse allegations now being made involve claims of wrongdoing in recent years. Yet the stain from the scandal remains. American dioceses complain that their efforts to stop abuse have often been ignored. Bishops have tried to regain some moral authority they lost during the crisis, speaking out with renewed vigor on issues such as abortion.
But the prelates are dogged by the scandal any time new major cases come to public attention anywhere. That may be the toughest lesson of all from the United States for the church in Europe: The crisis may wane, but there's no evidence so far that it's ever really over.
Pope visits Malta mid-month, sex abuse cases await. Pope Benedict XVI visits Malta in two weeks, and some victims of sex abuse by priests on the predominantly Roman Catholic island say they want him to use the trip to apologize for their suffering. The trip is the first foreign visit that Benedict will make since the clerical abuse scandal tore across Europe. Noting that he has met with victims and denounced clerical abuse on previous foreign trips, the Vatican on Monday didn't rule out that the pope might break his recent silence on the matter in Malta. Lawrence Grech, a 37-year-old man who says he was abused as a child at a church-run orphanage, has written to the Vatican demanding an apology. He said the pope should use the two-day trip April 17-18 to address himself to victims as he did in his letter to Irish Catholics last month.
"He should recognize that these things happened in Malta, reflect about the victims' suffering and issue a formal apology," Grech said. Grech is one of 10 people who have testified behind closed doors in a case against three priests facing charges of child abuse. The proceedings have been going on for seven years. Last week, as the European church, the Vatican and pope were under fire for accusations of covering up sex crimes by its priests, a response team in Malta announced that it had received 84 allegations of child abuse allegedly involving 45 Maltese priests since it was established by the Maltese Catholic Church 11 years ago.
Vatican statistics list 855 priests on the island as of 2006. A spokesman for the Maltese church, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said the response team's work is carried out in secret. The spokesman did not say how many of the priests investigated were found guilty. He said disciplinary action was taken by the bishops or superiors of religious orders when allegations were proven true, but did not say whether any priest had been defrocked. Retired Judge Victor Caruana Colombo said last week that no criminal action could be taken - even when police were informed - against an abusive priest without the victim's consent. He said he did not feel an obligation to refer sexual abuse cases to the civil authorities because in most cases victims prefer not to involve police and make their suffering public.
Grech says he was sexually abused in the 1980s and early 1990s as a youngster at St. Joseph Home, an orphanage for boys. A Vatican spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was premature to know what the pope would say in Malta. But he noted that Benedict has issued apologies and met with victims while traveling in the US and Australia. On Monday, Benedict again didn't refer directly to the scandal in his public remarks. Speaking from the papal summer retreat in Italy where he is resting after busy Easter Week services, Benedict urged priests to be messengers of love that conquers evil and said Christ supports the church at times of difficulty.
All Christians should be like angels, he said, messengers of Christ's "victory over evil and death, the bearers of his divine love." He added that this was especially true for priests. The Maltese church is traditionally powerful on the island of 400,000 people, 98 percent of whom are Roman Catholic. Divorce and abortion are banned. One prominent case in Malta involved a US congressman, Rep. Mark Foley. The Florida Republican resigned from Congress in 2006 after he was confronted with sexually explicit computer messages he had sent to male teenage congressional pages. His attorneys have said that Foley is gay, suffers from alcohol addiction and was molested by a Catholic priest as a teenage altar boy. The Rev. Anthony Mercieca, who has retired to Malta, has admitted having inappropriate encounters with Foley, including massaging him in the nude and skinny-dipping together. He denies ever having sex with Foley.
06.04.2010. Archbishop Jose Gomez of Opus Dei was named Tuesday to succeed the archbishop of Los Angeles, a Holy See's acknowledgment of the growing importance of Latinos in the American church. The appointment also was evidence that Pope Benedict XVI wants a strong defender of orthodoxy, more correct called fascism, leading the largest diocese in the nation. Gomez, 58, is an archbishop of Opus Dei, the conservative, fascist, movement favored by the Vatican. Anarchists and others accuse Opus Dei and its founder Josemaría Escrivá of right-wing fascist tendencies, based a.o.t. on Josemaría's criticisms of the so called crimes of Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War. Critics also point to a an alleged fascist link, saying that he was a supporter of Francisco Franco. There is also a letter from Josemaría to Francisco Franco which shows this link, i.e. that Escrivá admired Franco. In the letter he wrote to Franco he expressed "Although alien to any political activity, I cannot help but rejoice as a priest and Spaniard" that Spain, through its Head of State, has officially accepted the law of God in accordance with the Catholic faith, i.e. similar to "Gott Mitt Uns" and fascist "law and order" = severe ochlarchy and more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, very evil.
09.04.2010. AP: Future pope Pope Benedict XVI stalled pedophile case. The future Pope Benedict XVI resisted pleas to defrock a California priest with a record of sexually molesting children, citing concerns including "the good of the universal church," according to a 1985 letter bearing his signature. The correspondence, obtained by The Associated Press, is the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican's insistence that Benedict played no role in blocking the removal of pedophile priests during his years as head of the Catholic Church's doctrinal watchdog office. The letter, signed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was typed in Latin and is part of years of correspondence between the Diocese of Oakland and the Vatican about the proposed defrocking of the Rev. Stephen Kiesle.
The Vatican refused to comment on the contents of the letter Friday, but a spokesman confirmed it bore Ratzinger's signature. "The press office doesn't believe it is necessary to respond to every single document taken out of context regarding particular legal situations," the Rev. Federico Lombardi said. "It is not strange that there are single documents which have Cardinal Ratzinger's signature." The diocese recommended removing Kiesle (KEEZ'-lee) from the priesthood in 1981, the year Ratzinger was appointed to head the Vatican office that shared responsibility for disciplining abusive priests.
The case then languished for four years at the Vatican before Ratzinger finally wrote to Oakland Bishop John Cummins. It was two more years before Kiesle was removed; during that time he continued to do volunteer work with children through the church. In the November 1985 letter, Ratzinger says the arguments for removing Kiesle are of "grave significance" but added that such actions required very careful review and more time. He also urged the bishop to provide Kiesle with "as much paternal care as possible" while awaiting the decision, according to a translation for AP by Professor Thomas Habinek, chairman of the University of Southern California Classics Department. But the future pope also noted that any decision to defrock Kiesle must take into account the "good of the universal church" and the "detriment that granting the dispensation can provoke within the community of Christ's faithful, particularly considering the young age." Kiesle was 38 at the time.
Kiesle had been sentenced in 1978 to three years' probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct for tying up and molesting two young boys in a San Francisco Bay area church rectory. As his probation ended in 1981, Kiesle asked to leave the priesthood and the diocese submitted papers to Rome to defrock him. In his earliest letter to Ratzinger, Cummins warned that returning Kiesle to ministry would cause more of a scandal than stripping him of his priestly powers. "It is my conviction that there would be no scandal if this petition were granted and that as a matter of fact, given the nature of the case, there might be greater scandal to the community if Father Kiesle were allowed to return to the active ministry," Cummins wrote in 1982.
While papers obtained by the AP include only one letter with Ratzinger's signature, correspondence and internal memos from the diocese refer to a letter dated Nov. 17, 1981, from the then-cardinal to the bishop. Ratzinger was appointed to head the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith a week later. California church officials wrote to Ratzinger at least three times to check on the status of Kiesle's case. At one point, a Vatican official wrote to say the file may have been lost and suggested resubmitting materials. Diocese officials considered writing Ratzinger again after they received his 1985 response to impress upon him that leaving Kiesle in the ministry would harm the church, Rev. George Mockel wrote in a memo to the Oakland bishop.
"My own reading of this letter is that basically they are going to sit on it until Steve gets quite a bit older," the memo said. "Despite his young age, the particular and unique circumstances of this case would seem to make it a greater scandal if he were not laicized." As Kiesle's fate was being weighed in Rome, the priest returned to suburban Pinole to volunteer as a youth minister at St. Joseph Church, where he had served as associate pastor from 1972 to 1975. Kiesle was ultimately stripped of his priestly powers in 1987, though the documents do not indicate when, how or why. They also don't indicate what role - if any - Ratzinger had in the decision.
Kiesle continued to volunteer with children, according to Maurine Behrend, who worked in the Oakland diocese's youth ministry office in the 1980s. After learning of his history, Behrend complained to church officials. When nothing was done she wrote a letter, which she showed to the AP. "Obviously nothing has been done after EIGHT months of repeated notifications," she wrote. "How are we supposed to have confidence in the system when nothing is done? A simple phone call to the pastor from the bishop is all it would take." She eventually confronted Cummins at a confirmation and Kiesle was gone a short time later, Behrend said.
Kiesle was arrested and charged in 2002 with 13 counts of child molestation from the 1970s. All but two were thrown out after the US Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a California law extending the statute of limitations. He pleaded no contest in 2004 to a felony for molesting a young girl in his Truckee home in 1995 and was sentenced to six years in state prison. Kiesle, now 63 and a registered sex offender, lives in a Walnut Creek gated community, according to his address listed on the Megan's Law sex registry. An AP reporter was turned away when attempting to reach him for comment.
William Gagen, an attorney who represented Kiesle in 2002, did not return a call for comment. More than a half-dozen victims reached a settlement in 2005 with the Oakland diocese alleging Kiesle had molested them as young children. "He admitted molesting many children and bragged that he was the Pied Piper and said he tried to molest every child that sat on his lap," said Lewis VanBlois, an attorney for six Kiesle victims who interviewed the former priest in prison. "When asked how many children he had molested over the years, he said 'tons.'" Cummins, the now-retired bishop, told the AP during an interview at his Oakland home that he "didn't really care for" Kiesle, but he didn't recall writing to Ratzinger concerning the case.
"I wish I did write to Cardinal Ratzinger. I don't think I was that smart," Cummins, now 82, told AP. Documents obtained by the AP last week revealed similar instances of Vatican stalling in cases involving two Arizona clergy. In one case, the future pope took over the abuse case of the Rev. Michael Teta of Tucson, Ariz., then let it languish at the Vatican for years despite repeated pleas from the bishop for the man to be removed from the priesthood. In the second, the bishop called Msgr. Robert Trupia a "major risk factor" in a letter to Ratzinger. There is no indication in those files that Ratzinger responded. The Vatican has called the accusations "absolutely groundless" and said the facts were being misrepresented.
BBC reports: Pope 'letter' reignites abuse row. Pope Benedict XVI has become embroiled in new revelations over child sexual abuse, over a letter he is said to have signed in 1985 before becoming pontiff. Associated Press said it had obtained the letter, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, resisting the defrocking of offending US priest Stephen Kiesle. Cardinal Ratzinger said the "good of the universal Church" needed to be considered in defrocking, AP reported. It said the Vatican had confirmed the cardinal's signature on the letter. However it quoted Vatican spokesman Rev Federico Lombardi as saying it was "not strange that there are single documents which have Cardinal Ratzinger's signature". He added: "The press office doesn't believe it is necessary to respond to every single document taken out of context regarding particular legal situations." The Catholic Church has been hit by a series of child abuse scandals, including in Ireland, the US, Germany and Norway, and has faced criticism for failing to deal adequately with the problem.
AP said the Rev Kiesle was sentenced to three years of probation in 1978 for lewd conduct with two young boys in San Francisco. It said the Oakland diocese had recommended Kiesle's removal in 1981 but that that did not happen until 1987. Cardinal Ratzinger took over the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with sex abuse cases, in 1981.
ALLEGATIONS FACING POPE
AP says the 1985 correspondence, written in Latin, shows Cardinal Ratzinger saying that Kiesle's removal would need careful review. Cardinal Ratzinger urged "as much paternal care as possible" for Kiesle. Kiesle was sentenced to six years in prison in 2004 after admitting molesting a young girl in 1995. Kiesle is now 63 and is on the registered sex offenders list in California. The Vatican on Friday urged Catholic dioceses around the world to co-operate with police investigating sex abuse allegations against priests. Father Lombardi acknowledged that the Church had lost public trust and said Church law could no longer be placed above civil laws if that trust were to be recovered. He also said Pope Benedict was prepared to meet more victims of abuse to offer them moral support.
"This court... deems it necessary to consider the good of the Universal Church together with that of the petitioner"
BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott says this is an abrupt change of tone by the Vatican. He says officials had previously accused critics of trying to smear the Pope personally and only last weekend said he should ignore petty gossip directed at him. Meanwhile Italian media have reported that the Vatican is to issue guidelines on its website on Monday on fighting paedophilia. The Vatican has ruled out any possibility of a papal resignation over the scandals.
Anarchon, the real Pope in Rome, comments: "Too little - too late, false pope Pope Benedict XVI. You have clearly equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, you are a real beast!"
10.04.2010. Euronews reports: Scandal. New claims Pope failed to tackle church sex abuse. The Pope is facing fresh claims he failed to crack down on child sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. The latest bombshell comes in the shape of a letter from 1985 apparently signed by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. In it, he is said to have recommended caution in defrocking a California priest who had admitted molesting children. Associated Press said the Rev.Stephen Kiesle had been sentenced for lewd conduct with two boys in a church rectory. Finally removed in 1987, he was later jailed for molesting a young girl. According to the letter, Cardinal Ratzinger told the then Bishop of Oakland the "good of the Universal Church" must be considered in defrocking the priest.
"It was all moving slowly, yeah," said the former Bishop, John Cummins. "Of course, Cardinal Ratzinger, I guess when we first started moving on Kiesle, he was not on the scene at all. And then when he took over, I think he was following what was the practice at the time, that the Pope John Paul was slowing these things down. You did not just walk out of the priesthood then." Representatives of the former priest's victims however have a different take on the Catholic hierarchy's handling of events. "Their biggest concern was how to protect the universal church from any scandal," said Irwin Zalkin, a lawyer for Kiesle's victims. "Scandal was considered a sin." As accusations multiply of a Catholic church cover- up in several countries, the Vatican says Pope Benedict is willing to meet more victims of sexual abuse.
16.04.2010. Holocaust-denying bishop is fined. BBC reports: A renegade British bishop has been fined 10,000 euros (£8,750) for denying the Holocaust in a case that has acutely embarrassed the Vatican. The case went ahead in a German court without Richard Williamson, whose breakaway Catholic fraternity told him not to testify, his lawyer said. Denying that the Holocaust took place, or questioning key elements, is illegal in Germany. The bishop acknowledged the offending comments in a statement read in court. Williamson, 70, was convicted by the court in the southern German city of Regensburg of inciting racial hatred for stating in a TV interview aired in January 2009 that only "200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps". He also denied the Nazis had used gas chambers.
Imposing the fine in the high-profile proceedings on Friday, presiding judge Karin Frahm said: "The statements by the accused represent a denial of the actions taken under the National Socialist regime. "Bishop Williamson must have assumed that his remarks would draw attention. Williamson knowingly accepted that attention." Williamson was fined 12,000 euros (£12,500) earlier this year for giving the interview in Germany to a Swedish broadcaster. The latest trial was ordered after Mr Williamson, who lives in London, refused to pay. He faced a sentence ranging from a fine to up to five years in prison. Williamson's lawyer, Matthias Lossmann told the court: "Bishop Williamson would gladly have come, but the Saint Pius X Society suggested he did not - to be precise, they forbade him from coming."
'Remarks are unacceptable'. The court on Friday heard an excerpt of the interview, in which Williamson is heard telling the interviewer: "Be careful, this is against the law in Germany." The bishop was told the interview would be aired only in Sweden, Mr Lossmann told the court. He said Williamson could not be held criminally responsible for its release in Germany. "That will be the crux of the case here," he said. "We do not even need to discuss the fact that these remarks are unacceptable, that is completely beside the point." Mr Lossmann read a statement by Williamson in which the cleric acknowledged casting doubt on the Holocaust. "I was aware that it is against German law to express such doubts, so I expressed these doubts for exclusive broadcast on Swedish television" where such remarks are legal, he said.
The Saint Pius X Society, an ultra-conservative [nazi], Swiss-based Catholic fraternity, appointed Williamson a bishop without the pope's blessing after it broke away from Rome over the Vatican II reforms of 1965. Among the reforms rejected by the organisation was a declaration, Nostra Aetate, which ended a Church doctrine by which the Jews were held responsible for killing Jesus Christ. The trial comes at a difficult time for Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican as a sexual abuse scandal rocks the Catholic church. Hundreds of people have come forward in Germany and other countries around the world, saying they were molested by predatory priests. Bishop Williamson's case prompted a rare comment on religious matters by the German chancellor. Angela Merkel called on Pope Benedict to "clarify unambiguously that there can be no denial" that the Nazis killed six million Jews. Williamson has said he wished to apologise to anyone offended by his comments but has refused to retract his assertions, saying only that he would re-examine the historical evidence.
17.04.2010. Pope on pilgrimage in nation hit by sex scandal. Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday began a pilgrimage in Malta, a catholic nation buffeted by the worldwide clerical sex abuse scandal and where victims are hoping to meet with him as a way to deal with their pain. Benedict made no direct comments on the scandals during a five-minute appearance to reporters aboard the flight that took him from Rome, nor in his formal arrival remarks before Maltese officials and foreign diplomats at the airport. The overnight trip is his first foreign travels since the full force of the scandals have rocked the church and threatened to engulf his papacy.
Benedict, for his earlier roles as an archbishop in Germany and later in his long tenure at the helm of the Vatican morals office, has been accused by victim groups of being part of systematic practice of cover-up by church hierarchy for pedophile priests. The groups are demanding he take responsibility for the Vatican as an institution. Recently, the Maltese church announced it had received 84 allegations of child abuse allegedly involving 45 priests over the past decade. Local bishops have apologized for the abuse. Strikingly for such a Catholic country, billboards announcing the visit bearing a large photo of Benedict have been defaced over the past few days, with one giving the German-born pope a Hitler-like mustache.
21.04.2010. Pope Benedict XVI promises action against clerical sex abuse. 'Too little - far too late', says Anarchon. Pope Benedict XVI promised Wednesday that the Catholic Church would take action to confront the clerical sex abuse scandal, making his first public comments on the crisis days after meeting with victims. During his weekly public audience in St. Peter's Square, Benedict recounted his tearful weekend encounter in Malta with eight men who say they were abused as children by priests in a church-run orphanage. "I shared with them their suffering, and emotionally prayed with them, assuring them of church action," Benedict said.
At the time of the private meeting Sunday, the Vatican issued a statement saying Benedict had told the men that the church would do everything in its power to bring justice to abusive priests and would implement "effective measures" to protect children. Wednesday, the public heard the words from the pope himself. Neither Benedict nor the Vatican has elaborated on what action or measures are being considered. Various national bishops conferences have over the years implemented norms for handling cases of priests who sexually abuse children, none more stringent than the zero-tolerance policy adopted by the United States.
The U.S. norms, which are being held up as a model for others, bar credibly accused priests from any public church work while claims against them are under investigation. Diocesan review boards, comprised mostly of lay people, help bishops oversee cases. Clergy found guilty are permanently barred from public ministry and, in some cases, ousted from the priesthood. Victims advocates have demanded the Vatican take stronger action and remove the bishops who shielded known abusers, shuffling them around from diocese to diocese rather than reporting them to police.
On Wednesday, two church officials in Dublin told The Associated Press that the pope had accepted the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty, who admitted in December that he hadn't challenged the Dublin archdioceses' past practice of concealing child abuse complaints from police. A formal announcement is expected from the Vatican on Thursday, the church officials told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Vatican also is expected to accept the December resignation offers of two auxiliary Dublin bishops, Eamonn Walsh and Ray Field, in coming weeks.
All three bishops were identified in an Irish government-ordered investigation published last year into decades of cover-ups of child-abusing clergy in the Dublin Archdiocese. The report found that all bishops until 1996 colluded to protect scores of pedophile priests from criminal prosecution. Last week, the Vatican for the first time issued guidelines telling bishops they should report cases of abusive priests to police where civil laws require it. While the Vatican has insisted that was long its policy, it was never written explicitly and victims, lawyers, government-backed inquiries and grand juries have all accused the church of mounting a cover-up to keep clerical abuse secret and away from civil jurisdiction.
Benedict said in a homily last week that Christians must repent for sins and recognize their mistakes - comments widely interpreted as concerning the scandal. But his comments Wednesday marked his first public and direct remarks on the crisis since March 20, when he wrote a letter to the Irish faithful concerning the abuse crisis in that country. In that letter, Benedict chastised Irish bishops for leadership failures and "gross errors of judgment" in handling abuse cases. But he laid no blame on the church hierarchy, whom critics blame for mandating a culture of secrecy that encouraged bishops to keep abuse quiet.
Three Irish government-ordered investigations published from 2005 to 2009 have documented how thousands of Irish children suffered rape, molestation and other abuse by priests in their parishes and by nuns and brothers in boarding schools and orphanages. Irish bishops did not report a single case to police until 1996 after victims began to sue the church. The reports have faulted Rome for sending confusing messages to the Irish church about norms to be followed and, in general, for what it called the absence of a coherent set of canon laws and rules to apply in cases of abuse.
There has been a wave of allegations that Church authorities in Europe and North and South America failed to deal properly with priests accused of paedophilia, sometimes just moving them to new parishes where more children were put at risk. The Pope himself has been accused of not taking strong enough steps against paedophiles when he had that responsibility as a cardinal in Rome. However, his supporters say he has been the most pro-active pope yet in confronting abuse. That does not mean much, because about no action at all have been the practice.
On Tuesday he accepted the resignation of the bishop of Miami, US, who has been accused of covering up abuse cases, and it is thought he will do the same with an Irish bishop on Thursday. Last week the Vatican made it clear that the policy of zero tolerance of sexual abuse of minors by clergy, adopted by Catholic bishops conferences in the US and in England and Wales, is now applicable worldwide. "Words and promises are not deeds," Anarchon says, about Pope Benedict XVI promises of action against clerical sex abuse... "Too little - far too late", says Anarchon.
22.04.2010. Pope Benedict accepts resignation of third Irish bishop. Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty, the Vatican said Thursday, bringing to three the number of Irish bishops who have stepped down due to the sexual abuse crisis. Moriarty tendered his resignation in December, after an official report named him among Church leaders in the Dublin archdiocese who had covered up cases of child sex abuse by priests for 30 years. He was auxiliary bishop of Dublin from 1991 until his appointment as bishop of Kildare and Leighlin in 2002. Hundreds of cases of sexual and physical abuse of youths in recent decades by priests have come to light in Europe and the United States in the last month as disclosures encourage long-silent victims to finally go public with their complaints. Pope Benedict, under criticism from victims for not taking more energetic steps to counter the sex abuse scandal, pledged Wednesday that the Roman Catholic Church would take action.
In a statement released in Ireland, Moriarty said he was part of the Dublin hierarchy "prior to when correct child protection policies and procedures were implemented." "I accept that from the time I became an auxiliary bishop, I should have challenged the prevailing culture," he said. "I apologize to all survivors and their families." Two other bishops named in the report have also offered to resign, but the Vatican has not yet announced any decision in their cases. Cardinal Sean Brady, the primate of Ireland, has come under heavy pressure to resign because he was involved in having abuse victims sign secrecy agreements decades ago. He has said he would not step down. In Germany, Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa offered his resignation Wednesday evening after admitting he physically abused children while a parish priest decades ago.
23.04.2010. Vatican try to reject accusations of child abuse and rape. The Vatican said a lawsuit accusing it and Pope Benedict XVI of covering up sexual abuse by a priest at a Catholic school in the United States has no merit. "While legitimate lawsuits have been filed by abuse victims, this is not one of them," Vatican lawyer Jeffrey Lena said Friday. "Instead, the lawsuit represents an attempt to use tragic events as a platform for a broader attack." The lawsuit by an unnamed Illinois man demands the Vatican release the names of thousands of Catholic priests that the suit says have "credible allegations of sexual misconduct" against them. The alleged victim, who is now an adult, says he was molested by the Rev. Lawrence Murphy while a student at St. John's School for the Deaf, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
"The defendant, [the] Holy See, has known about the widespread problem of childhood sexual abuse committed by its clergy for centuries, but has covered up that abuse and thereby perpetuated the abuse," the suit says. "The case against the Holy See and its officials is completely without merit," Lena said. "Most of the complaint rehashes old theories already rejected by U.S. courts." Lena added, "With regard to Murphy himself, the Holy See and its officials knew nothing of his crimes until decades after the abuse occurred, and had no role whatsoever in causing plaintiff's injuries." Benedict was named as a defendant because he has the ultimate authority to remove priests and because of his involvement in reviewing sex abuse cases when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the suit says.
Peter Isely, Midwest director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, estimated the Vatican is investigating 4,000 cases of sex abuse by church employees. The lawsuit aims to change church policies and practices that conceal sex offenders, Isely said. "It's going to protect children, we hope, around the world," he said, "This is a historic day and hopefully this is going to result in historic changes." Arthur Budzinski, a deaf man who said he was sexually assaulted and raped by Murphy, stood with Isely at a news conference Thursday.
He said the priest "may have stolen our bodies," but higher clerics such as cardinals, archbishops and the pope "stole our voices." Budzinski, who is not a party to the lawsuit, made his comments in sign language and his daughter, Gigi, interpreted his words. Murphy, who died in 1998, is believed to have molested up to 200 boys, Isely said. The lawsuit said the church "knew that there was a high probability that these clerics would sexually molest more children, but sought to protect itself from scandal, sought to keep its income stream going, at the peril of children." Murphy, it says, was a "top fundraiser and recruiter" for the church and the "Holy See wanted to retain Murphy's services." The same Minnesota law firm representing the Illinois plaintiff also filed suit Wednesday on behalf of a Mexican resident who says he was sexually abused by a priest. The suit alleges Catholic officials in Los Angeles, California, aided and abetted the abuse by moving the priest to different dioceses as allegations piled up against him.
Euronews reports: Scandal. Pope himself knew most about child sex abuse - Küng
euronews: To talk about the challenges the Catholic Church is facing, we turn to Hans Küng, a theology professor in Tübingen. Mr Küng, you've known the Pope for a long time. You two were the youngest members at the Vatican II Council. That time was one of hope; the Church wanted to open up, move closer to people. But now, fifty years later, under the glare of sexual abuse of children, many of the faithful are turning their backs to the Church. Do you understand them?
Hans Küng: Yes. And I fear for our Church. At the time I worked with Joseph Ratzinger on renewal for more understanding between religions. Unfortunately, right after Vatican II, it became clear that the clergy in Rome were correcting the trajectory and preparing a restauration of the old ways, which reached its height under Benedict XVI .
euronews: Coming back to the abuse cases. Does the Pope bear any personal responsibility?
Küng: Effectively, the abuse cases are the most extreme point of the crisis which has begun. And it must be said that the Pope does have a responsibility, because, since he was prefect of the faith, he was shown everything, for the last 22 years. Even as Pope, he knew exactly. In all good conscience, I tell you that no one more than he in the Catholic Church knew more about the abuse cases. However, for a long time he did nothing to unveil this. On the contrary, in 2001 he sent a letter to the bishops ordering that they must handle things while keeping them secret, Sekretum Pontificium. In addition, the bishops followed the order from Rome too obediently. Throughout the world they concealed everything. So, neither the Pope nor the bishops can be absolved of their responsibility.
euronews: Celibacy is once again under debate the law which forbids Catholic priests from marrying. Is it true that celibacy is a great problem for the Church?
Küng: Evidently, celibacy is not the only problem to explain the current crisis or the abuse but it is, all the same, an enormous problem. Both in Latin America and in Europe there are more and more parishes without a priest. There are theologically qualified people in many countries who could be ordained immediately but nothing is happening. They make doctrine of a law from the Middle Ages which the Pope could abolish immediately. We would then have more priests, and more parishes would be livened up, and then we could also think seriously about opening up service in the Church to women, which is happening in a lot of churches.
26.04.2010. Rome priest on trial for abuse in Vatican backyard. The bishop responsible for a politically connected priest accused of molesting seven boys has admitted in court papers obtained by the Associated Press that he knew of the allegations for two years but didn't remove the priest from working with children. The case of Rev. Ruggero Conti, who once advised Rome's mayor on family policy issues, resumes in court on Tuesday after a several-week break as attention increasingly turns to clerical sex abuse in the Vatican's backyard.
Euronews reports - Vaticangate: The sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church
The Catholic Church is in turmoil after a flood of revelations of child sex abuse committed by members of its clergy in Europe and around the world. The scandals have often been hushed up by the clerical hierarchy. And the controversy has even threatened to spill over onto the pope himself, accused in Germany and the United States of playing a role in covering up the crimes.
1985 : The United States. A priest is jailed for 20 years for sexually abusing dozens of children. In the years to come, the scandals would multiply. 2007 : The Archdiocese of Los Angeles undertakes to distribute 660-million dollars to those who survived sexual abuse by its priests since 1940 (a million dollars for each survivor)
2009 : Two reports appear in Ireland - the Ryan Report and The Murphy Report. They reveal an organised system to cover-up instances of paedophilia concerning 14500 children between 1970 and 2000.
2010 : Germany: Around 170 former pupils at Catholic boarding schools decare they were sexually abused. Similar revelations appeared in Austria and the Netherlands.
12th March 2010 : The Archdiocese of Munich acknowledged that allowing a priest accused of abusing children to return to his post to continue his activities was a grave error. The Vatican denied any implication linking Benedict XVI, who was Archbishop of Munich at the time, with the affair.
17th March 2010 : The Primate of All Ireland, Mgr Sean Brady, apologised for his failure to denounce instances of sexual abuse that he knew about at the heart of the clergy during the 1970s and 1980s.
20th March 2010 : The pope addressed a letter to Irish Catholics
25th March 2010 : The American newspaper, the New York Times, reported that Benedict XVI had intervened to hush-up abuse in the US.
12th April 2010 : The second in command at the Vatican, Tarcisio Bertone, maintained in a speech that there was a proven link between homosexuality and paedophilia. [The Anarchist International condemns this false statement]
22th April 2010 : The Vatican retired an Irish bishop, a German offered to step down and prelates in England and Wales apologised for the "terrible crimes" of priests.
28.04.2010. Brazil: Priest charged with 8 abusing boys. A Roman Catholic priest in Brazil is facing charges he abused eight boys in cases dating back to 1995, prosecutors said Wednesday, adding to a growing list of allegations against clergy in Latin America. Father Jose Afonso, 74, is accused of abusing altar boys between the ages of 12 and 16, Sao Paulo state prosecutors said in an e-mailed statement. Prosecutors said the reported abuses occurred this year, in 2009 and in 2001 in the city of Franca, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north of Sao Paulo city. At least one case was reported in 1995 in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais. Afonso remains free while a judge decides if he should be jailed.
Calls to the Franca diocese rang unanswered. After-hours of calls to the offices of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops were not returned. The case is the latest to hit Brazil, which has more Catholics than any other nation, and Latin America as a whole. Earlier this month, 83-year-old Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa was detained in northeastern Brazil for allegedly abusing at least three boys after being caught on video tape having sex with a young man, a former alter boy. He is under house arrest while an investigation continues. Two other priests in the same archdiocese as Barbosa are also accused of abuses.
A priest in Chile was charged recently with eight cases of sexually abusing minors, including a girl he had fathered. Earlier this month Chile's bishops' conference issued a statement apologizing for priestly sexual abuse and vowing a "total commitment" to prevent it in the future. Anarchon says: "We will see deeds - not words in these matters!
Also this month, a Mexican citizen filed a civil lawsuit in US federal court in California against former priest Nicolas Aguilar Rivera and the Roman Catholic cardinals of Mexico City and Los Angeles, claiming they moved the priest between the two nations to hide abuse allegations. Church reaction to the controversy around the globe has angered many who think the Vatican leadership has not acted strongly enough. Pope Benedict XVI's second-in-command outraged many this month in Chile when he said homosexuality and not celibacy was the primary reason for the abuse. The comments by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, were condemned by gay advocacy groups, politicians, anarchists and even the French government.
Late Tuesday, a top Vatican official said the pope may issue a strong apology for the church's handling of clerical sexual abuse cases when he attends a meeting of the world's clergy in June. Cardinal William Levada, who handles the abuse cases as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, made the comments in an interview broadcast on US public broadcaster PBS, his first interview since the scandal erupted several weeks ago. Anarchon says: "Apology? - We will see deeds - not words in these matters!
"It's a big crisis. I think no one should try to diminish that," Levada said. He acknowledged the Vatican was caught by surprise, even though it was well aware of the scope of scandals in the U.S. and Ireland, but he also blamed "a certain media bias" for keeping the story alive. Benedict has come under increasing pressure by anarchists and others to admit some form of higher responsibility on the part of the Vatican for fomenting a culture of secrecy that allowed abuse to fester unchecked for decades. Benedict has expressed sorrow and shame for the abuse, he has wept with victims and promised new measures to protect children and bring justice to pedophile priests. But he has admitted no personal or institutional responsibility, blaming instead the abusers themselves and their bishops for mishandling cases when they arose. Anarchon says: "Apology? Weeping? We will see deeds - not words in these matters! Arrest the criminals! Pay for the abuses!"
Vatican official left abusive priest in pastor job. The pope's hand-picked replacement to oversee abuse cases at the Vatican did nothing to restrict a California priest after learning in 1995 that the priest had molested a 13-year-old boy a decade earlier. Cardinal William Levada, then archbishop of San Francisco, said in a 2005 deposition obtained by the Associated Press that he did nothing and didn't contact police because he trusted the Rev. Milton Walsh would not re-offend and his predecessor handled the case adequately. There were no known allegations of later abuse by the priest and a Vatican attorney says Levada acted appropriately under standards of the time.
When Levada learned of the abuse, Walsh had been pastor for six years at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco, a parish of about 1,000 people. He remained there for two more years and was removed from active ministry in 2002, when U.S. bishops passed a "zero tolerance" policy on sex abuse and police started investigating. Levada is now the highest-ranking American at the Vatican and head of the office that defrocks pedophile priests. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger held the post before he became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
The Vatican's lawyer, Jeffrey Lena, says Levada handled the case properly by the era's norms, which have evolved significantly in recent years. The Holy See told bishops this month they should report abuse to police rather than keep cases quiet as had been the practice for decades. "One thing the law teaches: it is fundamentally unfair to apply standards of conduct retroactively," Lena said. "And yet, even if one were to do so, it must be acknowledged there was no re-offense by the priest. So in this case, the old approach did work." Levada's critics say it's an example of his disregard for abused children. "When it comes right down to it, he absolutely never reached out in this clear-cut case. I think that's typical of Levada and that's perhaps why he's in the position he's in," said Diane Josephs, the attorney for Walsh's victim, Jay Seaman.
Levada's involvement with the San Francisco case began shortly after he left his post as archbishop of the Diocese of Portland, Ore., in the fall of 1995. The victim's aunt wrote Levada to say Walsh molested her nephew in 1984 and complained he was still a minister at St. Mary's. She begged him not to "not let this man slip through the cracks," according to a copy of the Sept. 20, 1995, letter provided by Seaman's attorney. Levada consulted his predecessor, Archbishop John Quinn, who encouraged Levada to speak with the priest, according to Levada's 2005 deposition to attorneys for alleged clergy abuse victims. Walsh confirmed he fondled the boy's genitals when staying with the family but he stopped when the boy objected and returned to his own bed, Levada said.
Letters among the family, Quinn and Walsh show Seaman's parents - who were devout Catholics - decided not to go to the police, but instead sought spiritual guidance. Quinn told them he would make sure Walsh received therapy and with time, "the boy will forget." Walsh soon returned to Rome, where he was studying for his doctorate in theology. He returned the following year and spent four years teaching seminary before being promoted to pastor of the San Francisco cathedral. Quinn, now 81 and retired, declined to comment when reached at his home in Menlo Park. Levada said he trusted Quinn's decision and found Walsh "completely frank and truthful."
"He was completely committed - had repented of that action and was completely committed to - to acting in a way that was entirely above reproach in his ministry going forward," Levada said in the deposition. Lena, the Vatican lawyer, noted that an independent psychiatrist determined the priest was not a pedophile and there was no risk returning him to ministry. In 1995, the recently extended statute of limitations in California could have covered Walsh's 1984 abuse if it had been reported to police. Walsh was eventually charged with two felony counts in 2002, but the charges were thrown out when the US Supreme Court struck down California's law. Walsh, now 58, continues to live "within the archdiocese," spokesman Maurice Healy said. Archdiocese officials did not return calls seeking an interview with him.
An attorney who once represented Walsh did not return a call. Levada now acknowledges that, in hindsight, he could have better handled allegations of sexual abuse when he was an archbishop and he now understands the limits of therapy. The Rev. Thomas Doyle, a leading canon lawyer, said leaving abusive priests in the ministry is a risk too many US bishops took. "In the normal world, if you were a teacher and the superintendent found out one of the teachers was abusing children, do you think he'd leave him in the classroom?" Doyle said. Seaman, now 39, is outraged by Levada's current role. As an altar boy, Seaman dreamed of becoming a priest and considered Walsh his spiritual mentor. He was molested the night of his 13th birthday party. "It really ruined me," said Seaman, who works on a maintenance crew for the Golden Gate bridge. "I believe I'm still a Christian, but I don't go to church to find my religion."
11.06.2010. Pope begs forgiveness, promises action on abuse. 'Too little, far too late,' Anarchon says. Addressing the clerical abuse scandal from the heart of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI begged forgiveness Friday from victims and promised to "do everything possible" to protect children at a Mass celebrated by 15,000 priests from around the world. While symbolic, Benedict's pledge failed to satisfy victims groups who said promises were useless without a clear-cut action plan to root out pedophile priests, expose the bishops who protected them and change the Vatican policies and culture that allowed abuse to continue.
His comments came during a Mass at St. Peter's Square marking the Vatican's Year of the Priest - a year marred by revelations of hundreds of new cases of clerical abuse in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, as well as cover-ups by bishops and evidence of long-standing Vatican inaction. It was the first time Benedict had spoken of the crisis from St. Peter's Basilica, the center of the church. Benedict implied 'the devil' was behind the timing of the scandal, saying the Year of the Priest was supposed to have been a year in celebration of the priesthood and encouragement for new vocations.
Victims groups who had been hoping for a papal mea culpa and clear-cut action plan to protect children weren't satisfied. "A promise is nominally more helpful than an apology. But promises are usually easy to make, hard to keep and broken often if there's no oversight or penalties," said Barbara Blaine, president of the U.S. victims group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Another group, BishopAccountability.org, said the pontiff's remarks were both a disappointment and a squandered opportunity in that he only prescribed an internal step: better screening for priests.
It called for him to tell his bishops to do more: stop opposing legislation to extend statutes of limitations so victims can seek justice from abusers; post information about known abusers on diocesan websites and for the Vatican office that handles abuse cases to do the same. "Once again, the pope focused only on wayward priests, and he once again minimized the sodomizing and abuse of helpless children by calling it a 'sin,'" the group said in a statement. "He said nothing about the core problem: the Vatican's policies and corrupt culture that encouraged bishops worldwide to cover up thousands of child sex crimes."
Benedict's own legacy has been tarnished by the scandal. As archbishop of Munich in the 1980s, he approved therapy for a suspected pedophile who was allowed to resume pastoral duties while being treated. The priest, the Rev. Peter Hullermann, later was handed a suspended sentence for molesting a boy. In addition, Benedict's legacy at the Vatican office that dealt with sex abuse has come under scrutiny. Anarchon, the real Pope in Rome, comments: "Too little - far too late, false pope Pope Benedict XVI. You have clearly equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, you are a real beast!" Anarchon says: "Forgiveness? Promises? We will see deeds - not words in these matters! Arrest the criminals! Pay for the abuses Benedict XVI!"
24.06.2010. Belgian Catholic offices raided in sex abuse probe. Belgian authorities have raided the headquarters of the Belgian Catholic Church during an investigation into child sex abuse claims. Belgium is one of several countries in which a stream of abuse claims have shaken the Roman Catholic Church.
06.11.2010. Anarchist protest against the pope in Spain. More than 100 members of the anarchosyndicalist Spanish labor confederation CGT demonstrated in Barcelona on Saturday November 6, to show protest against the visit of the pope to a city where the libertarian and anticlerical ideas have very important roots and under the slogan "Neither god nor state nor pope." Pope Benedict XVI met Spain's Facebook generation this weekend - setting up a clash of values and lifestyles in a once-staunchly catholic nation that has become one of Europe's most liberal, with a mainly social-democratic marxist system. The visit is part of a major Vatican campaign to make increasingly secular Europe re-embrace its christian roots, but the pope faces a big challenge in a nation that has undergone an extraordinary social transformation in just the past few years - with laws allowing gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier abortions.
These changes are the latest, perhaps most dramatic, chapter in Spain's reinvention after the ultra-fascist dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, who died in 1975. After rigid social and political constraints came an explosion of hedonism and cultural vigor that caused the nation to stray further and further from its religious heritage. It has all horrified the Vatican, which remembers a not-so-distant age when all public schoolrooms had a picture of Franco and a crucifix mounted on the wall. For many Spaniards it's the church's association with the Franco regime that has been a cause for much of the alienation. "This is without a doubt the least catholic Spain in history, and demographic data suggest it will continue to become less and less catholic," sociologist Kerman Calvo said of the country hosting pope Benedict Saturday for a two-day visit. Indeed, church attendance is falling steadily and at mass on Sunday most worshippers have gray hair. Congregations are fast losing young people. And civil ceremonies now outnumber church marriages for the first time.
23.11.2010. Pope Benedict XVI with new book. Anarchist commment. Pope Benedict XVI discusses some of the biggest issues facing the Catholic church in a book of interviews being released Tuesday -- a book that has already caused controversy over his remarks on condoms. The pope says in the book that condoms may be justified in certain exceptional circumstances to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, even though the Roman Catholic Church firmly opposes condoms and other 'artificial' contraception. "There could be single cases that can be justified, for instance when a prostitute uses a condom, and this can be a first step towards a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, to develop again the awareness of the fact that not all is allowed and that one cannot do everything one wants," Benedict says in the book, "Light of the world: The pope, the church, and the signs of the times." "However, this is not the true and proper way to defeat the infection of HIV," he added, saying the "humanization of sexuality" was the best method.
The pope caused a firestorm of protest last year when he spoke out against condoms as a way of controlling AIDS during a trip to Africa, the continent hardest hit by the disease. His comments in the book indicate a possible very small exception. Written by German journalist Peter Seewald, the 239-page book is taken from a week-long series of interviews he had with the pope, according to the book's website. Seewald has twice before interviewed the pope, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and the interviews resulted in two best-sellers.
"Light of the World" is released Tuesday and due to hit bookstores Wednesday. The United Nations program on HIV and AIDS welcomed the pope's comments on condoms and said they could have a huge impact on stopping the spread of the disease. "Take Catholic Relief Services," said Michael Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS. "They are working in more than 62 countries, they have almost 260 projects in community levels where AIDS is having a major impact -- and because of this announcement they've already said that they will look at how they will change their programs that will take into account condom use."
In the book, the pope also talks about the possibility of resigning if he becomes physically or mentally unfit. It's a practical solution to a real possibility, but one that may be unimaginable for many catholics. Other topics include the clerical abuse scandal, dialogue with Islam, homosexuality in the priesthood, and the global climate crisis. While some may see the book as a change in church thinking, Vatican watchers say it simply reveals the nuanced thinking of the pope in confronting modern challenges. "He uses a lot of language -- very direct, very stark language that I think will surprise people on contraception, on homosexuality, on issues where the church, if you like, and politically correct society are very far apart," said Austin Ivereigh of Catholic Voices, a group of Catholics that speak about church policy. "But is this an unprecedented event that we have an interview like this? The answer is yes." Pope Benedict XVI's comments on condom use in "exceptional circumstances" do not represent a U-turn in church teachings, according to moral theologian Emmanuel Agius. "His comments do not surprise me. They are not new. On the contrary they are a continuation of Church teachings," he said.
Anarchon, the real Pope in Rome, comments: "About use of condoms etc... too little - too late, false pope Pope Benedict XVI. You have clearly equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, you are a real beast!"
01.05.2011. The late Pope Jean Paul the 2nd has been beatified at a special mass in St Peter's Square at the Vatican, effectively setting him well on the way to 'sainthood'. He died in 2005. There has been criticism of the speed of the process especially from groups representing victims of clerical child abuse. Jean Paul II was pope when many of these allegations came to light.
13.07.2011. Ireland unveils new report on catholic child abuse. 'This is about Ireland now'. A new investigation into the catholic church's chronic cover-up of child abuse found Wednesday that a rural diocese and its bishop ignored Irish church rules requiring all suspected molestation cases to be reported to police - and the Vatican encouraged this concealment. The government, which ordered the probe into 1996-2009 cover-ups in the County Cork diocese of Cloyne, warned that parishes across Ireland could pose a continuing danger to children's welfare today given Cloyne's claims to be following church child-protection policy while actually ignoring it.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter pledged to pass a new law making it an imprisonable crime to withhold knowledge of suspected child abuse as he published the investigation into the Cloyne diocese in southwest Ireland. Shatter said previous pledges by Irish church leaders to place Irish civil law first and report all abuse cases dating back to 1995 had been "built on sand." He said it was an open question whether other dioceses, 23 of which have yet to be investigated, were still withholding evidence of crimes and presenting an ongoing threat to children.
The 341-page Cloyne report is the fourth state fact-finding probe into how church leaders for decades protected their own reputation - and their own pedophile staff members from the law - at the expense of Irish children. A string of scandals and revelations since 1994 has decimated the church's reputation and standing in this once-devoutly catholic nation. The report by an independent commission led by Judge Yvonne Murphy found that former Cloyne Bishop John Magee and senior aides failed to tell police anything about most abuse reports and withheld basic information in all but one case. Magee, who before becoming Cloyne bishop in 1987 was a private secretary to three popes, resigned last year after a church-appointed commission made similar findings against him.
Wednesday's document detailed the church's suppression of information on 19 suspected child-abusing priests, one of whom is currently facing criminal charges. Another has already been convicted, while most of the others are dead or extremely elderly. Ireland's Supreme Court has already ruled one too old and frail to stand trial. The claims of abuse that the investigators pursued all surfaced from 1996 onward, but sometimes were alleged to have occurred a decade or more previously when the claimants were children.
Shatter and Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald called Magee's failures particularly shocking because, unlike other Irish inquiries, the Cloyne cases were the most recent and occurred after Irish church leaders, including himself, officially committed themselves to inflexible, detailed child-protection policies. The report said Magee repeatedly claimed to be observing these policies but did virtually the opposite. "That's the most horrifying aspect of this document. This is not a catalog of failure from a different era. This is not about an Ireland of 50 years ago. This is about Ireland now," Fitzgerald said.
The report said Magee and his senior aide for handling complaints, Monsignor Denis O'Callaghan, were blind to the reality that their protection of accused priests meant that more children could suffer molestation. It noted that, in one case, O'Callaghan told police the name of an alleged victim - but refused to provide the name of the priest. O'Callaghan conceded in a statement that in some cases he "became emotionally and pastorally drawn to the plight of the accused. ... I did try to respond to victims with kindness and I am deeply sorry that I failed so many of them." The report, anticipating O'Callaghan's words, said it accepted "that he was personally kind in many respects to some complainants, but kindness is not enough when dealing with criminal activity or with people who have been abused."
The primate for Ireland's 4 million catholics, Cardinal Sean Brady, and the official who replaced Magee in Cloyne, Archbishop Dermot Clifford, issued their own apologies and pledged greater openness and cooperation with state authorities. Brady himself last year admitted he helped to conceal the crimes of one serial-rapist priest from Irish authorities in the mid-1970s but rejected calls to resign. Magee, a private secretary to Popes Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II, said he took "full responsibility" for what he called "the flawed implementation of the church procedures." "I now realize that I should have taken a much firmer role in ensuring their implementation," said Magee, who was the fifth Irish bishop to resign amid accusations they encouraged the endangerment of children.
The report condemned Magee's oversight of abuse cases as incompetent and deceptive. It said he took no hands-on interest in enacting the Irish church's child-protection policies until 2008; established a bogus committee for reviewing abuse cases that never met once after 1995; and produced widely differing written records on one priest's case - one for diocesan officials that omitted the priest's face-to-face admission of abusing children, the other a more detailed account for Vatican eyes only. And Irish government leaders and abuse-rights advocates said the Vatican itself bore heavy responsibility for encouraging cover-ups since 1996.
They and the investigators emphasized that Ireland's bishops formally agreed in 1995 to begin reporting suspected child-abuse cases to police in rules that became valid Jan. 1, 1996. The Irish church took that step after the first abuse victims went public with their lawsuits, a development that opened the floodgates for more than 13,000 such cases. But a confidential January 1997 letter from the Vatican's diplomat in Ireland to the Irish bishops warned them that the Irish church's child-protection policies were invalid under Catholic canon law; those internal church laws must be respected foremost; and any accused priests were likely to have any punishments successfully appealed in Rome.
The letter's author, the late Archbishop Luciano Storero, then Pope John Paul II's ambassador to Ireland, dismissed the Irish policy as representing "a study document." The Associated Press reported the contents of that previously secret letter in January, but Vatican officials claimed its meaning was being misunderstood and not a call to secrecy. But the investigators said the Vatican's message was clear - and empowered those church leaders in Ireland who wanted to reject the 1996 policy and keep pedophile priests away from the police's attention. "There can be no doubt that this letter greatly strengthened the position of those in the church in Ireland who did not approve of the (1996) Framework Document as it effectively cautioned them against its implementation," their report said.
Shatter said the Vatican's dismissal of the 1996 child-protection initiative "was entirely unhelpful, giving comfort and support to those who dissented from the guidelines. We want to say as clearly as we can that this approach, when the state was entitled to rely on assurances about the operation of the guidelines, was wholly unacceptable." Vatican officials declined to comment on the findings of the Irish investigation or the government's criticisms.
In his 2010 pastoral letter to Ireland's Catholics condemning pedophiles in the ranks, Pope Benedict XVI faulted bishops for failing to follow canon law and offered no explicit endorsement of Irish child-protection efforts by the Irish church or state. Benedict was widely criticized in Ireland for failing to admit any Vatican role in covering up the truth.
Irish President Mary McAleese, who once represented the catholic church as a lawyer, said children could have been saved from molestation if the Irish church's 1996 guidelines had been accepted from the start. "The narrative set out in the Cloyne report indicates that the leadership of the catholic church needs to urgently reflect on how, by coherent and effective action, it can restore public trust and confidence in its stated objective of putting children first," McAleese said.
Activists seeking the truth on catholic abuse cases in Ireland and abroad expressed deep skepticism that the Vatican and Irish church leaders will ever do this. "The Cloyne report is disheartening confirmation that even today, despite the church's knowledge of the profound anguish of thousands of victims, its reform policies are public relations ploys, not true child protection programs," said Anne Barrett Doyle, Boston-based director of BishopAccountability.org, an online database documenting the Catholic sex-abuse crisis worldwide. Barbara Blaine, president of a US-based pressure group called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the report's conclusion that the Vatican encouraged the Cloyne cover-ups "should surprise no one." "A key reason bishops ignore, minimize and hide child sex crimes," she said, "is because Vatican officials have largely urged, and sometimes insisted, that they do so."
Anarchon, the real Pope in Rome, comments: "This is criminal ochlarchy, also today, false pope Pope Benedict XVI! You have clearly equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree, you are a real beast!" Anarchon says: Arrest the criminals! Pay for the abuses Benedict XVI!"
26.01.2012. German priest jailed for 6 years for child abuse. A German court has convicted a Roman catholic priest of some 250 counts of sexually abusing children over a several-year period and sentenced him to six years in prison. German news agency dapd reported that the state court in Braunschweig on Thursday convicted the priest, who was found guilty of abusing three boys aged 9 to 15 between 2004 and 2011. The 46-year-old priest, who wasn't identified, was arrested in July after one victim told his mother what had happened. He admitted the abuse when he went on trial Jan. 13. He also faces church disciplinary proceedings. Germany, pope Benedict XVI's homeland, was shaken in 2010 by revelations of abuse by clergy going back decades.
29.09.2012. Pope's ex-butler goes on trial. Pope Benedict's former butler
Paolo Gabriele has gone on trial on today on charges of aggravated theft in
one of the most embarrassing episodes in recent Vatican history.
The trial in the Vatican, where Mr Gabriele is accused of stealing sensitive
papal documents and leaking them to the media, started at 9.30am local time.
A group of eight journalists have been allowed into the small courtroom
inside the Vatican and will brief other reporters after the end of the first
session, which is expected to last up to three hours.
The court ruled today that the results of a sensitive separate investigation carried out by cardinals for the Pope will not be admitted as trial evidence. The court rejected a defence request to include the cardinals' investigation. It ruled that the trial will be based only on an investigation by a Vatican prosecutor and Vatican police. Mr Gabriele, wearing a light grey suit and looking pale but smiling often, did not speak at the first session. He is expected to testify when the trial resumes on October 2nd. Mr Gabriele (46), who served the pope his meals and helped him dress, is being tried along with a Vatican computer expert in the city state's little-used tribunal, a small, wood-panelled room with a papal emblem on its ceiling.
Mr Gabriele was arrested in May after police found confidential documents in his apartment inside the Vatican, throwing a global media spotlight on an institution battling to defend its reputation from allegations of graft. A three-judge panel will decide the fate of Gabriele, whom the pope used to call "Paoletto" (little Paul), now described in Vatican documents as "the defendant". The self-styled whistle-blower, who says he was trying to expose graft at the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, is charged with aggravated theft for stealing and leaking the pontiff's personal papers, and could be jailed for four years.
According to an indictment last August, Mr Gabriele told investigators he had acted because he saw "evil and corruption everywhere in the Church" and wanted to help root it out "because the pope was not sufficiently informed". The documents pointed to a power struggle at the Church's highest levels. Mr Gabriele, who said he saw himself as an "agent of the Holy Spirit", is widely expected to be found guilty because he has confessed. Since the papal state has no prison, Gabriele would serve time in an Italian jail, though the pope is widely expected to pardon him.
The trial will be based on a 19th-century Italian penal code. Claudio Sciarpelletti, the computer expert charged with aiding and abetting Mr Gabriele, could be jailed for up to a year. It is not clear how long the trial might last. Mr Gabriele, a father of three who lived a simple but comfortable life in the city-state, told investigators after his arrest in May that he believed a shock "could be a healthy thing to bring the Church back on the right track". His arrest capped nearly five months of intrigue and suspense after a string of documents and private letters found their way into the Italian media.
The most notorious of the letters were written to the pope by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, currently the Vatican's ambassador to Washington, who was deputy governor of the Vatican City at the time. In one, Archbishop Vigano complains that when he took office in 2009, he discovered corruption, nepotism and cronyism linked to the awarding of contracts to outside companies at inflated prices. The archbishop later wrote to the Pope about a smear campaign against him by other Vatican officials who were upset that he had taken drastic steps to clean up the purchasing procedures. Sources: Reuters & Irishtimes.com.
06.10.2012. Pope's ex-butler jailed for theft. Pope Benedict's ex-butler Paolo Gabriele has been found guilty of stealing confidential papers from him and sentenced to 18 months in jail. Gabriele's lawyer Cristiana Arru said she did not intend to appeal against the verdict, Reuters reported. Her client would serve his sentence under house arrest in his Vatican apartment while awaiting a possible papal pardon, she said. Gabriele is "very likely" to be pardoned by Pope Benedict, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said, though it is not clear when this might happen.
11.02.2013. Pope Benedict stepping down, cites poor health. Pope Benedict shocked the world on Monday 11.02.2013 by saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to cope with his ministry, in an announcement that left his aides "incredulous" and will make him the first pontiff to step down since the Middle Ages. The German-born pope, 85, hailed as a hero by conservative roman catholics and viewed with suspicion by liberals and libertarians, told cardinals in Latin that his strength had deteriorated recently. He will step down on February 28 and the Vatican expects a new pope to be chosen by the end of March 2013.
25.02.2013. Archbishop resigns. Britain's most senior Roman catholic cleric, cardinal Keith O'Brien, is stepping down as leader and archbishop of the Scottish catholic church. He had been accused of inappropriate behavior towards priests dating back to the 1980s - claims he contests. Cardinal O'Brien, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, apologized to "all whom I have offended" for "any failures" during his ministry. He will not take part in electing a new pope, leaving Britain unrepresented.
13.03.2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has been elected the next pope. He has taken the name Francis. He is the first South American pope. Until last year, Bergoglio was the archbishop of Buenos Aires before stepping down because of his age. He is 76. Bergoglio is considered a straight-shooter who calls things as he sees them and a follower of the church's most arch-conservative, reactionary, wing. He had close connection to the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina som years ago. Similar to Pope Benedict, pope Francis is most likely a rightwing extremist fascist, with equal to or more than 666 per thousand authoritarian degree.
28.06.2013. A senior Italian cleric has been arrested in connection with an inquiry into a Vatican bank scandal over allegations of corruption and fraud. Monsignor Nunzio Scarano works in the Vatican's financial administration. A secret service agent and a financial broker have also been arrested. They are suspected of trying to move 20m euros ($26m; £17m) illegally. Source: BBC.
15.01.2015. Pope Francis is not for real freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is a right, but there are limits when it comes to insulting faiths, pope Francis told reporters today, referring to events surrounding the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris. "One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people's faith, one cannot make fun of faith," Francis said. Likewise, he said, people have religious liberty, but "one can't kill in the name of God." He said this after a reporter asked him about religious liberty and freedom of expression. The pope made the comments on a trip to the Philippines. Source: CNN.
06.06.2015. Prosecutors in Minnesota brought criminal charges on Friday 05.06.2015 against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing it of failing to protect children from a priest who pleaded guilty in 2012 to sexual abuse. Prosecutors found "a disturbing institutional and systemic pattern of behavior" over the course of decades at the highest level of leadership in the archdiocese, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said."The facts that we have gathered cannot be ignored, they cannot be dismissed and are, frankly, appalling," Choi told a news conference. "And, more importantly, our community cannot allow them to be repeated." The charges against the archdiocese, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, are the latest development in the child sexual abuse scandal involving the Catholic Church in many U.S. cities. Source: Reuters.
02.02.2017. An inquiry examining institutional sex abuse in Australia has heard 7% of the nation's Catholic priests allegedly abused children between 1950 and 2010. In one religious order, over 40% of church figures were accused of abuse. Over 4,440 people claim to have been victims between 1980 and 2015, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse was told. The commission, Australia's highest form of inquiry, is also investigating abuse at non-religious organisations. It has previously heard harrowing testimony from scores of people who suffered abuse at the hands of clergy. The full scale of the problem emerged on Monday, when the commission released the statistics it has gathered. Gail Furness, the lead lawyer assisting the commission in Sydney, said more than 1,000 Catholic institutions across Australia were identified in claims of sexual abuse, with a total of 1,880 alleged perpetrators between 1980 and 2015. The average age of the victims was 10.5 for girls and 11.5 for boys. On average, it took 33 years for each instance of abuse to be reported. The royal commission also detailed the number of abuse claims against 10 religious orders, with data showing that four orders had allegations of abuse against more than 20% of their members. The royal commission, set up in 2013, is investigating allegations of sexual and physical abuse across dozens of institutions in Australia, including schools, sports clubs and religious organisations. Ms Furness said on Monday that 60% of all survivors of abuse were from faith-based organisations. Of those, nearly two-thirds concerned the Catholic Church. Source: BBC.
22.05.2018. Australian archbishop Philip Wilson guilty of concealing child sex abuses. An Australian court has found a Catholic archbishop guilty of concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s. Philip Wilson, now archbishop of Adelaide, becomes the most senior Catholic in the world to be charged and convicted of the offence. He was found to have covered up the abuse of altar boys by a paedophile priest colleague in New South Wales. During his trial he denied being told about the abuse by some of the victims. Wilson will be sentenced in June and faces a maximum two-year jail term. Last month, Wilson told the Newcastle Local Court he had no knowledge of priest James Fletcher's actions, which took place when he was an assistant priest in Maitland, 130km (80 miles) north of Sydney. Fletcher was later convicted of nine child sexual abuse charges in 2004, and died in jail in 2006.
One of his victims, former altar boy Peter Creigh, told the court he had described the abuse to Wilson in detail in 1976, five years after it took place. Magistrate Robert Stone rejected Wilson's claims that he had no memory of the conversation, and said he had found Mr Creigh to be a reliable witness. The priest knew "what he was hearing was a credible allegation and the accused wanted to protect the Church and its reputation", Magistrate Stone said. Another victim, who cannot be named, told the court he disclosed the abuse in the confessional box when he was 11 years old. He said Wilson told him he was telling lies and to recite 10 Hail Mary prayers as punishment. In a statement issued by the Church on Wednesday, Wilson said he was "obviously disappointed" with the verdict and would consider his legal options. His lawyers had tried to get the case thrown out on four occasions, after the 67-year-old was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Child sexual abuse survivors praised the verdict in emotional scenes outside the court following the decision. "The decision will hopefully unravel the hypocrisy, the deceit and the abuse of power and trust that the Church has displayed," Mr Creigh told reporters.
In 2012, then PM Julia Gillard set up a royal commission, the country's highest form of public inquiry, to look into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. By the time it had published its final report in December last year (2017), it had handled 42,000 calls and referred more than 2,500 cases to the authorities. It said institutions including churches, schools and sports clubs had "seriously failed" to protect children. Catholic institutions came in for particular criticism. The president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, offered an "unconditional" apology. PM Malcolm Turnbull said "a national tragedy" had been exposed.
The first cases of molestation by priests came to light in the 1980s. In the 1990s, revelations began of widespread abuse in Ireland, with cases spreading to more than a dozen countries this century. Ireland, the US and Australia have carried out national inquiries, and there have been cover-up scandals such as in the Archdiocese of Boston in the US. Although there have been convictions of priests for sexual abuse, in many cases accused clergymen were either moved or retired by their Church, with financial settlements agreed in some cases, particularly in the US. Victims rights groups have complained the convictions do not often extend beyond priest level, with few senior figures brought to account, although a number have left their positions over their actions in sexual abuse cases, including Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston. One of the most high-profile recent cases has been in Chile. All of its 34 Catholic bishops offered to resign. Pope Francis had handed them a 10-page document accusing Chile's Church hierarchy of negligence in sexual abuse cases. Source: BBC.
23.06.2018. A former Vatican diplomat has been sentenced to five years in prison for child pornography offences. Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella pleaded guilty at a Vatican court, which heard that dozens of pornographic photos and videos were found on his mobile phone. He said he had suffered a personal crisis while working at the Vatican embassy in Washington DC. The priest was recalled from the US last year after authorities notified the Vatican of their suspicions. The US had asked that Capella's diplomatic immunity be lifted so he could face charges there. Canadian police later issued an arrest warrant for Capella, an Italian. The former diplomat will serve his sentence in the Vatican's small prison, and pay a fine of €5,000 (£4,400; $5,800). Source: BBC.
28.07.2018. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, from the College of Cardinals, ordering him to a “life of prayer and penance” after allegations that the cardinal sexually abused minors and adult seminarians over the course of decades, the Vatican announced on Saturday 28.07.2018. Acting swiftly to contain a widening sex abuse scandal at the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church, the pope officially suspended the cardinal from the exercise of any public ministry after receiving his resignation letter Friday (27.07.2018) evening. Pope Francis also demanded in a statement that the prelate remain in seclusion “until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.” Source: NY-Times.
14.08.2018. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has released a grand jury report detailing sex abuse in the Catholic Church, naming over 300 accused clergymen. The landmark grand jury investigation found more than 1,000 children had been abused by members of six dioceses in the state for the last 70 years. Officials say the probe found systematic cover-ups by the church. The report is the latest inquiry into allegations of sex abuse by Catholic clergy worldwide. After an 18-month investigation, "over one thousand child victims were identifiable, from the church's own records," the grand jury states in the report released on Tuesday 14.08.2018. "We believe that the real number - of children whose records were lost or who were afraid ever to come forward - is in the thousands." The document states that young boys and girls, as well as teenagers, were abused by clergy. "All of them were brushed aside by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all," the report reads. Source: BBC.
27.08.2018. Pope keeps silent on abuse claim letter at end of Irish visit. Pope Francis has refused to respond to claims by a former Vatican diplomat who has called on him to resign. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano also accused the Pope of covering up reports of sexual abuse by a US cardinal. The pontiff was asked about the accusations by reporters on his flight back to Rome after this weekend's Papal visit to Ireland. He said he would not say a single word in response to the 11-page letter from Archbishop Vigano. "I will say sincerely that I must say this, to you," he said, when asked by a journalist about the letter, "and all of you who are interested: Read the document carefully and judge it for yourselves. "I will not say one word on this. I think the statement speaks for itself." The timing of the letter, released as the Pope addressed sexual abuse by priests during his visit to Ireland, has raised questions about whether Pope Francis is facing a coordinated attack from traditionalists within the Catholic hierarchy. "You have sufficient journalistic capacity to draw conclusions," Pope Francis told the reporters on board his plane. "When a little time has passed and you have the conclusions, perhaps I will talk," he added.
What does Archbishop Vigano allege? He says the pontiff knew about allegations of sex abuse by a prominent US cardinal for five years before accepting his resignation last month. Archbishop Vigano says he told Pope Francis in 2013 that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had faced extensive accusations of sexually abusing lower-ranking seminarians and priests. The Pope "knew from at least June 23 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator"., wrote Archbishop Vigano, adding that "he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end". "Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick's abuses and resign along with all of them," the letter says. However, Archbishop Vigano has not produced any written or other evidence to verify his alleged 2013 conversation with the Pope. He served as the Vatican's envoy in Washington from 2011 until 2016. He also says he wrote a memo to senior figures in the Vatican as early as 2006, warning that Theodore McCarrick was suspected of abusing adults at a seminary while he was a bishop in New Jersey between 1981 and 2001. McCarrick, now 88, resigned in disgrace in July. Source: BBC.
'No more apologies': Pope's visit fails to soothe Irish fury over abuse. Delivering Mass under stormy Dublin skies, Pope Francis gave an unplanned speech on abuse to hundreds of thousands of faithful in leafy Phoenix Park and asked for forgiveness. Just 3 miles away, down the winding River Liffey, many of those gathered for an unprecedented protest in the Garden of Remembrance said the Pontiff's words failed to address their fury over a long list of church-related abuses in Ireland. Source: CNN.
31.08.2018. Australia's Catholic Church has rejected calls for priests to be compelled to report child abuse revealed in confessionals. The Church said Friday 31.08.2018 it would accept "98%" of recommendations made by a high-level government inquiry into child sexual abuse, which uncovered shocking accounts of widespread abuse inside Australian religious institutions. But church leaders said that they would maintain the sanctity of confession, arguing to remove it would infringe on religious liberties. "The only recommendation we can't accept is removing the seal of confession," Sister Monica Cavanagh, president of Catholic Religious Australia said at a press conference. The Church's decision to reject the recommendation remains a huge stumbling block for the institution to regain the trust of the public, which has been riven by child abuse scandals in Australia and abroad. It comes amid a tumultuous week for the Catholic Church as pressure builds on Pope Francis to ensure abusers within the church are held to account. Source: CNN.
12.09.2018. More than 3,600 children in Germany were assaulted by Roman Catholic priests between 1946 and 2014, a leaked report has revealed. The study was commissioned by the Church itself, and was due to be published on 25 September. According to the report, some 1,670 clergymen in Germany committed some form of sex attack on 3,677 minors, German outlet Spiegel Online reported. A Church spokesman said it was "dismayed and ashamed" by the findings. The report is the latest in a long series of revelations that have uncovered decades of sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests around the world. Source: BBC.
05.02.2019. Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery. Pope Francis has admitted that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves. He said in that case his predecessor, Pope Benedict, was forced to shut down an entire congregation of nuns who were being abused by priests. It is thought to be the first time that Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by the clergy. He said the Church was attempting to address the problem but said it was "still going on". Pope Francis made the comments on Tuesday to reporters while on a historic tour of the Middle East. He admitted that priests and bishops had abused nuns, but said the Church was aware of the issue and "working on it". "It's a path that we've been on," he said. "Pope Benedict had the courage to dissolve a female congregation which was at a certain level, because this slavery of women had entered it - slavery, even to the point of sexual slavery - on the part of clerics or the founder." Pope Francis said the problem was ongoing but happened largely in "certain congregations, predominantly new ones and in certain regions more than others". Last November, the Catholic Church's global organisation for nuns denounced the "culture of silence and secrecy" that prevented them from speaking out. Just days ago the Vatican's women's magazine, Women Church World, condemned the abuse, saying in some cases nuns were forced to abort priests' children - something Catholicism forbids. The magazine said the #MeToo movement meant more women were now coming forward with their stories. Source: BBC.
15.02.2019. Pope's envoy to France under investigation for sexual assault. The Pope's envoy to France is under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a junior city hall staffer during an event in Paris last month, a judicial source confirmed to Euronews on Friday 15.02.2019. Archbishop Luigi Ventura, 74, has been the Vatican ambassador to France for the past 10 years. He is suspected of having inappropriately touched a junior staff member during Mayor Anne Hidalgo's New Year address on January 17. A city hall official told Reuters that Ventura "caressed in an insistent and repeated manner the young man's buttocks during the ceremony. He put his hands on his buttocks several times." City hall contacted authorities on January 23 and a judicial source confirmed to Euronews that a probe for sexual assault was launched on January 24. The Vatican said on Friday that it "has learned in the press that an investigation has been launched by the French authorities against Msgr. Luigi Ventura, apostolic nuncio to Paris." "The Holy See is awaiting the outcome of the investigations." Source: Euronews.
16.02.2019. US former cardinal McCarrick defrocked over abuse allegations. A former Roman Catholic cardinal has been defrocked after historic sexual abuse allegations. Theodore McCarrick is the most senior Catholic figure to be dismissed from the priesthood in modern times. US Church officials said allegations he had sexually assaulted a teenager five decades ago were credible. Mr McCarrick, 88, had previously resigned but said he had "no recollection" of the alleged abuse. The alleged abuses may have taken place too long ago for criminal charges to be filed because of the US statute of limitations. Mr McCarrick was the archbishop of Washington DC from 2001 to 2006. Since his resignation last year from the College of Cardinals, he has been living in seclusion in a monastery in Kansas. He was the first person to resign as a cardinal since 1927. He is among hundreds of members of the clergy accused of sexually abusing children over several decades and his dismissal comes days before the Vatican hosts a summit on preventing child abuse. The Vatican said Pope Francis had ruled Mr McCarrick's expulsion from the clergy as definitive, and would not allow any further appeals against the decision.
What are the allegations? Mr McCarrick is alleged to have assaulted the teenager while working as a priest in New York in the early 1970s. The claims were made public by the current Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. He said an independent forensic agency had investigated the allegations. A review board, including legal experts, psychologists, parents and a priest, then found the allegations "credible and substantiated". At the time, Mr McCarrick said in a statement that had "no recollection of this reported abuse" and believed in his innocence. Several more men have since said the cleric forced them to sleep with him at a beach house in New Jersey, while they studied for the priesthood as adult seminarians. One man has come forward saying he was assaulted while still a minor. It has also since emerged that financial settlements were reached in at least two cases of alleged sexual misconduct with adults involving Mr McCarrick. They involved "allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago", while he was working as a bishop in New Jersey, bishops in the state told US media. Source: BBC.
26.02.2019. George Pell: Cardinal found guilty of sexual offences in Australia. Cardinal George Pell has been found guilty of sexual offences in Australia, making him the highest-ranking Catholic figure to receive such a conviction. Pell abused two choir boys in the rooms of a Melbourne cathedral in 1996, a jury found. He had pleaded not guilty. The verdict was handed down in December, but it could not be reported until now due to legal reasons. Pell is due to be sentenced on Wednesday. His lawyers say they will appeal against the conviction. As Vatican treasurer, the 77-year-old cardinal is one of the Church's most powerful officials. His trial was heard twice last year because a first jury failed to reach a verdict. A second jury unanimously convicted him of one charge of sexually penetrating a child under 16, and four counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16. Source: BBC.
13.03.2019. Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Vatican official to be convicted of sex abuse to date, has been sentenced to six years in prison for the "callous" assault of two choirboys in the late 1990s. Source: CNN.
14.03.2019. Polish Catholic Church say clergy have sexually abused up to 382 children. Up to 382 children have been sexually abused by clergy in Poland since 1990, the Polish Catholic Church has revealed. It made the claim as it presented findings of an investigation at a press conference on Thursday 14.03.2019. As many as 198 of the victims were below the age of 15, the report said. “This is an especially painful, tragic issue as it is connected with consecrated people, who devoted themselves to serving the church, other human beings. They have social trust and this social trust was so tragically violated,” Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski said in Warsaw. The report is part of an investigation into widespread abuse of children by the clergy in countries such as Chile, the US, Australia, and Ireland, which has shaken the Catholic Church. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe, where priests have a high social status. Nearly 85% of Poland’s 38 million population identify as Roman Catholics and around 12 million attend mass every Sunday. However, Polish church authorities have not yet reached a consensus on how to address the issue of sexual abuse. Source: Euronews.
Anarchist protesta contra el Papa
Papa Benedicto ha beatificado 498 Católica Romana clérigos asesinados durante la guerra civil española y la revolución en la década de 1930. Beatificación es el penúltimo paso antes de la santidad en la Iglesia católica romana. Los sacerdotes, monjes y monjas fueron asesinados en una campaña por izquierdistas y anarquistas -- pero el Papa ha dicho no hay motivo político en la decisión de honor. Dijo que murieron en defensa de su fe. Esto por supuesto no es cierto, esto es un claro apoyo a la dictadura fascista de Franco terroristas. El Papa ya ha canonizado dos sacerdotes y tres monjas. Un sacerdote , Pedro Poveda, fue asesinado en 1936 durante el día de apertura de la Guerra Civil española. La iglesia dice 4.184 religiosos fueron asesinados durante la guerra por la parte gubernamental, que acusaron a la iglesia de respaldo General Franco, que es en general cierto. Estos asesinatos son lamentables, pero el Vaticano apoya el régimen de Franco, todo el tiempo que fuese, y esto es continuo apoyo. Abajo con el Papa, el orador apoya el fascismo. Protestamos contra esta reaccionaria pasar de la papa. (04.11.2007) [Translation to Spanish by CNT-AIT Sagunto (España)]
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