February 11, 2013, ABC News
When Pope Benedict XVI resigns at the end of this month, he leaves behind a Church grappling with a global fallout from sex abuse and a personal legacy marred by allegations that he was instrumental in covering up that abuse. For 25 years, Benedict, then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, headed the Vatican office responsible for investigating claims of sex abuse, but he did not act until he received an explicit order from Pope John Paul II. In 1980, as Archbishop of Munich, Ratzinger approved plans for a priest to move to a different German parish and return to pastoral work only days after the priest began therapy for pedophilia. In 1981, Cardinal Ratzinger became head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the office once known as the Inquisition — making him responsible for upholding church doctrine, and for investigating claims of sexual abuse against clergy. Thousands of letters detailing allegations of abuse were forwarded to Ratzinger’s office. A lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of the Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a victims’ rights group, charges that as head of the church body Ratzinger participated in a cover-up of abuse. The suit alleges that investigators of sex abuse cases in several countries found “intentional cover-ups and affirmative steps taken that serve to perpetuate the violence and exacerbate the harm.” “Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, either knew and/or [in] some cases consciously disregarded information that showed subordinates were committing or about to commit such crimes,” the complaint says.
Note: This is one of the few media stories to reveal what may be the real reason for the Pope’s resignation – his direct involvement in protecting priests who were known child sexual abusers. To learn how child sex-abuse rings lead to top levels of leadership around the world, watch the powerful Discovery Channel documentary “Conspiracy of Silence” at this link.
Pope will have security, immunity by remaining in the Vatican
February 15, 2013, Reuters
Pope Benedict’s decision to live in the Vatican after he resigns will provide him with security and privacy. It will also offer legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, Church sources and legal experts say. “His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn’t have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else,” said one Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Vatican police, who already know the pope and his habits, will be able to guarantee his privacy and security and not have to entrust it to a foreign police force, which would be necessary if he moved to another country. The pope’s potential exposure to legal claims over the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals [is a key factor here]. In 2010, for example, Benedict was named as a defendant in a law suit alleging that he failed to take action as a cardinal in 1995 when he was allegedly told about a priest who had abused boys at a U.S. school for the deaf decades earlier. The lawyers withdrew the case last year. Benedict is currently not named specifically in any other case. The Vatican does not expect any more but is not ruling out the possibility. “(If he lived anywhere else) then we might have those crazies who are filing lawsuits, or some magistrate might arrest him like other (former) heads of state have been for alleged acts while he was head of state,” one source said.
Note: To learn how child sex-abuse rings lead to top levels of leadership around the world, watch the powerful Discovery Channel documentary “Conspiracy of Silence” at this link.
RI Records Show Inner Workings of Legion of Christ
February 15, 2013, ABC News/Associated Press
Documents detailing the dubious fundraising practices of a disgraced Roman Catholic religious order called the Legion of Christ were released to the public [on Feb. 15], showing how the organization took control of an elderly woman’s finances and persuaded her to bequeath it $60 million. They shed light on the inner workings of a secretive congregation placed under Vatican receivership after the Holy See determined that its founder was a spiritual fraud who sexually abused his seminarians and fathered three children with two women. A Rhode Island Superior Court judge said last year that the documents raised a red flag because a steadfastly spiritual elderly woman transferred millions to “clandestinely dubious religious leaders.” Pope Benedict XVI took over the Legion in 2010 after a Vatican investigation determined that its founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, had lived a double life. The pope ordered a wholesale reform of the order and named a papal delegate to oversee it. The Legion scandal is significant because it shows how the Holy See willfully ignored credible allegations of abuse against Maciel for decades, all while holding him up as a model of sainthood for the faithful because he brought in money and vocations to the priesthood. The scandal, which has tarnished the legacy of Pope John Paul II, is the most egregious example of how the Vatican ignored decades of reports about sexually abusive priests because church leaders put the interests of the institution above those of the victims.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sex abuse scandals, click here.