You know, I am having serious doubts His Holiness is gonna make it to heaven.
Fry, you silk swathed, prada pump wearing bigoted fucktardBERLIN — 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.
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.
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 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.”
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.
n 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 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.”
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 bankrupted — 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.”
Sex-Abuse Scandal in the German Church Touches Pope Benedict XVIâ€™s Archdiocese - NYTimes.com
I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.
You know, I am having serious doubts His Holiness is gonna make it to heaven.
I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West
I was about post a story that covers this as well. He's unsurprisingly a dirtbag. And so is his brother.
VATICAN CITY — 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.
Benedict got a firsthand readout of the scandal Friday from the head of the German Bishop's Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who reported that the pontiff had expressed "great dismay and deep shock" over the scandal, but encouraged bishops to continue searching for the truth.
Hours later, the Munich archdiocese admitted that it had allowed a priest suspected of having abused a child to return to pastoral work in the 1980s, while Benedict was archbishop. It stressed that the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger didn't know about the transfer and that it had been decided by a lower-ranking official.
The archdiocese said there were no accusations against the chaplain, identified only as H., during his 1980-1982 spell in Munich, where he underwent therapy for suspected "sexual relations with boys." But he then moved to nearby Grafing, where he was suspended in early 1985 following new accusations of sexual abuse. The following year, he was convicted of sexually abusing minors.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, issued a statement late Friday noting that the Munich vicar-general who approved the priest's transfer had taken "full responsibility" for the decision, seeking to remove any question about the pontiff's potential responsibility as archbishop at the time.
Victims' advocates weren't persuaded.
Story continues below
"We find it extraordinarily hard to believe that Ratzinger didn't reassign the predator, or know about the reassignment," said Barbara Blaine, president and founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
Already, the scandal was inching closer to Benedict after allegations of abuse surfaced at the prestigious choir that was led by his brother, Georg Ratzinger, from 1964 until 1994. Ratzinger has repeatedly said the sexual abuse allegations date from before his tenure as choir director and that he never heard of them, although he acknowledged slapping pupils as punishment.
The pope, meanwhile, continues to be under fire for a 2001 Vatican letter he sent to all bishops advising them that all cases of sexual abuse of minors must be forwarded to his then-office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that the cases were to be subject to pontifical secret.
Germany's justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, has cited the document as evidence that the Vatican created a "wall of silence" around abuse cases that prevented prosecution. Irish bishops have said the document had been "widely misunderstood" by the bishops themselves to mean they shouldn't go to police. And lawyers for abuse victims in the United States have cited the document in arguing that the Catholic Church tried to obstruct justice.
But canon lawyers insisted Friday that there was nothing in the document that would preclude bishops from fulfilling their moral and civic duties of going to police when confronted with a case of child abuse.
They stressed that the document merely concerned procedures for handling the church trial of an accused priest, and that the secrecy required by Rome for that hearing by no means extended to a ban on reporting such crimes to civil authorities.
"Canon law concerning grave crimes ... doesn't in any way interfere with or diminish the obligations of the faithful to civil laws," said Monsignor Davide Cito, a professor of canon law at Rome's Santa Croce University.
The letter doesn't tell bishops to also report the crimes to police.
But the Rev. John Coughlin, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, said it didn't need to. A general principle of moral theology to which every bishop should adhere is that church officials are obliged to follow civil laws where they live, he said.
Yet Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore in Northern Ireland, told a news conference this week that Irish bishops "widely misinterpreted" the directive and couldn't get a clear reading from Rome on how to proceed.
"One of the difficulties that bishops expressed was the fact that at times it wasn't always possible to get clear guidance from the Holy See and there wasn't always a consistent approach within the different Vatican departments," he said.
"Obviously, Rome is aware of this misinterpretation and the harm that this has done, or could potentially do, to the trust that the people have in how the church deals with these matters," he said.
An Irish government-authorized investigation into the scandal and cover up harshly criticized the Vatican for its mixed messages and insistence on secrecy in the 2001 directive and previous Vatican documents on the topic.
"An obligation to secrecy/confidentialtiy on the part of participants in a canonical process could undoubtedly constitute an inhibition on reporting child sexual abuse to the civil authorities or others," it concluded.
In the United States, Dan Shea, an attorney for several victims, has introduced the Ratzinger letter in court as evidence that the church was trying to obstruct justice. He has argued that the church impeded civil reporting by keeping the cases secret and "reserving" them for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"This is an international criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice," Shea told The Associated Press.Church Sex Abuse Scandal 'Has Now Reached' The Pope: AP
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