Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI Guilty of Transfering Known Pedophile Priest. Where's the Millstone?

It's time for the rose-colored (Gucci) sunglasses to come off.
     In the history of the Roman Catholic Church, a pope has never resigned.  Well the time has come for that to change.  Pope Benedict XVI has now been connected to the sexual abuse crisis rocking the church and should resign immediately.

     It was only a matter of time that the infallible Vicar of Christ would go down.  It's well documented that bishops covered up sexual abuse of minors by priests for decades and that they knowingly transferred these abusive priests to other parishes, where they abused more children.  Pope Ben was a bishop for many years and, being a company man, would have followed the ecclesial status quo. 

     Now we know that he did.  Hypocrite!

     Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press reports:
     Germany's sex abuse scandal has now reached Pope Benedict XVI: His former archdiocese disclosed that while he was archbishop a suspected pedophile priest was transferred to a job where he later abused children.
     The pontiff is also under increasing fire for a 2001 Vatican document he later penned instructing bishops to keep such cases secret.
     The revelations have put the spotlight on Benedict's handling of abuse claims both when he was archbishop of Munich from 1977-1982 and then the prefect of the Vatican office that deals with such crimes -- a position he held until his 2005 election as pope.
     And they may lead to further questions about what the pontiff knew about the scope of abuse in his native Germany, when he knew it and what he did about it during his tenure in Munich and quarter-century term at the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
     Dana Kennedy of AOL News reports on the details of the case:
    Benedict XVI knew a priest was a pedophile in 1980 but approved a stint in therapy that allowed him to continue in the ministry, where he remains today.
    Benedict was an archbishop in Germany when the case began in 1980. The priest was accused of forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him, the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Friday night. [This is repulsive and not what Jesus had in mine when he ordered Peter (and, according to the RCC, all of his successors, who are the Vicars of Christ/Popes) to feed his lambs. John 21:16-17]
     Benedict approved a decision moving the priest, identified only as "H," to a rectory in Munich where he was to undergo therapy. After about a month, according to a statement issued Friday by the Munich-Freising archdiocese, Monsignor Gerhard Gruber decided to return the priest to a Munich parish.
    But by 1985, new allegations surfaced. In 1986, the priest was convicted of sexually abusing other minors after he had been moved to the town of Grafing to do pastoral work. He received a fine, a suspended prison sentence and more therapy before again returning to pastoral work.
     Monsignor Gruber quickly took the fall for Ben, claiming that he (Gruber) alone is the one responsible for returning "H" to ministry, where "H" went onto abuse more boys.  I don't buy it. 

     The press reports that Ratzinger/Benedict approved the decision to pull "H" from the parish in 1980 and put "H" in therapy.  A month later "H" returned to ministry, by Gruber's (self-proclaimed) approval, but Ratzinger (Ben) was the cardinal/archbishop.  He was the man in charge and responsible for his priests and their welfare, this according to both the church's theology and Canon Law.  If Ratzinger had been privy to the abuse and the decision to pull and put "H" in therapy, how could he not have been aware that a month later "H" was back in the parish with kids?  Bishops have to sign off on major transfers, removals, and placements of priests.  Ben was archbishop there from 1977-1982.  How could he not have been aware that "H" was back in the parish between 1980 and 1982?  It's impossible.  Unless, of course,  Ratzinger was the worst and most uninformed bishop of his age, which would seen to disqualify him for the quick promotions he got to become Lord Inquisitor of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and then Vicar of Christ.

        During those years, how many abusers did Pope Benedict enable?  How many children were used as sexual objects by priests, because the future infallible one chose to protect pedophiles instead of the "lambs" entrusted to to him?

     What was Benedict's response to this breaking story?  It's "reported that the pontiff had expressed 'great dismay and deep shock.'"  What wasn't reported is whether this is shock and awe is because of what was, yet again, done to children by Ben's priests in the name of Jesus Christ or because the world now knows that Ben's hands are dirty, too. 

     Pope Benedict should resign now.  Catholics should be screaming from the pews this weekend.  They should take back control of their church from those who abuse in the name of their god.  They should be protesting and withholding their tithes.  Now that they are aware, if they continue to do nothing, they are culpable. 

     So, what would Jesus do?  Thankfully, this is one case where three of the four gospels agree.
"It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin." -Jesus
How long can you hold your breath, Benny?

Nobel Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu Challenges the World to Support Homosexuals' Civil Rights

I would never worship a homophobic God.
-Archbishop Desmond Tutu

     Imagine if one of the most popular and influential religious leaders in the world came out in favor of homosexual persons and their fight for equal rights.  Imagine a cleric using reason, science, and experience to inform his/her faith to come to the conclusion that gays and lesbians are people too.  Imagine if this person directly challenged the Gospel According to Hate that so many religious people practice.  That day has arrived. 

     Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu taken yet another giant leap for humanity.  Yesterday, he posted an op-ed in yesterday's Washington Post, in which he directly addressed the hatred, bigotry, and ignorance being preached in the name of god to discriminate, intimidate, murder, and deny the "fundamental rights and freedoms" of  homosexuals in "terrible backward steps for human rights in Africa."

     Here are a few passages from Tutu's op-ed in The Washington Post:
     Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity -- or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds. In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied many of them fundamental human rights. We knew this was wrong. Thankfully, the world supported us in our struggle for freedom and dignity.
    That this pandering to intolerance is being done by politicians looking for scapegoats for their failures is not surprising. But it is a great wrong. An even larger offense is that it is being done in the name of God. Show me where Christ said "Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones." Gay people, too, are made in my God's image. I would never worship a homophobic God.
    "But they are sinners," I can hear the preachers and politicians say. "They are choosing a life of sin for which they must be punished." My scientist and medical friends have shared with me a reality that so many gay people have confirmed, I now know it in my heart to be true. No one chooses to be gay. Sexual orientation, like skin color, is another feature of our diversity as a human family. Isn't it amazing that we are all made in God's image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Does God love his dark- or his light-skinned children less? The brave more than the timid? And does any of us know the mind of God so well that we can decide for him who is included, and who is excluded, from the circle of his love?
    The wave of hate must stop. Politicians who profit from exploiting this hate, from fanning it, must not be tempted by this easy way to profit from fear and misunderstanding. And my fellow clerics, of all faiths, must stand up for the principles of universal dignity and fellowship. Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.
     That you Archbishop Tutu for reminding me that the fight for LGBT equality is not with all religious persons, but only with the intolerant, ignorant, and prejudiced ones.

Keep fighting the good fight, Archbishop!
Photo credits:

Nazi Ratzinger's Sieg Heil Photo is a Fake

     In December, I posted about Pope Benedict XVI's Nazi history and how he was a member of Hitler Youth.  There is an unintended mistake in my post.

     During my research the pope's brother Georg Ratzinger, who has landed himself in the middle of the clergy sexual and physical abuse scandal rocking Germany, I found a picture of the Ratzinger brothers celebrating Mass together (supposedly on their ordination day).  Here is the photo, via Getty Images.
Comedy/Drama: a Ratzinger Epiclesis
Georg is the smiling one.  The future Pope Ben the constipated one. 

     This is the picture that I found during my research in December.  This picture is being circulated around the internet as Pope Benedict doing the Sieg heil.
     Do you see what I see? 

     The Sieg heil photo is a crop of the angry epiclesis photo. 

     This doesn't change the fact the Ratzinger was a member of Hitler Youth, that much of what he does as pope is harmful to people, and that he transfered a pedophile priest, who continued to abuse other boys, but it does clarify this photo, which is a fabrication.