As the Priestly Sex Abuse Scandal Grows...Is the Pope of Rome Guilty?
by Shaun Willcock
The priestly sex abuse scandal is massive, global, and growing. It started some years ago in the United States, then spread to other lands, especially Ireland. And now it seems all of Europe is being rocked by the revelations. It is difficult to predict where it will end, or what the eventual outcome will be; but certainly these are momentous times. “Ireland was the first in Europe to confront the church’s worldwide custom of shielding pedophile priests from the law and public scandal. Now that legacy of suppressed childhood horror is being confronted in other parts of the Continent – nowhere more poignantly than in Germany, the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI. The recent spread of claims into the Netherlands, Austria and Italy has analysts and churchmen wondering how deep the scandal runs, which nation will be touched next, and whether a tide of lawsuits will force European dioceses to declare bankruptcy like their American cousins.”
Beginning in January of this year, from Benedict’s home country of Germany, reports of child sexual abuse by priests at Roman Catholic schools began to pour in, and German prosecutors opened investigations into the allegations. The abuse allegedly occurred from the 1950s to the present. At a Benedictine-run boarding school, the abbot stepped down as the allegations surfaced. Even the sinister Jesuits are not immune: the director of a German Jesuit school is being investigated. By late February, 150 people had come forward to say that they were sexually abused by priests at several Roman Catholic schools across Germany. Victims identified 12 Jesuit priests by name, and accused women in some cases as well. An attorney appointed by the Jesuit Order to handle the charges told the press that the accusations have “taken on a dimension of unbelievable proportions.” And in Holland, there were over 200 reports of alleged priestly sexual abuse by March.
The Vatican was accused of collusion to cover up the abuse in Germany. Predictably, Vatican spokesman, Jesuit priest Federico Lombardi, denied this. But there is nothing new in Rome’s attempts to sweep all such matters under the carpet. Just read ex-priest Charles Chiniquy’s classic book, 50 Years in the “Church” of Rome, and see how it has always been Rome’s policy to simply transfer priests found guilty of such sins to other places, where they continue their wickedness. Or read another book by Chiniquy, The Priest, the Woman, and the Confessional, for still more horrifying details. Rome never changes.
The Evidence Proves It: Yes, of Course the Pope of Rome is Guilty
And as the scandal continues... as reports now flow in of child sexual abuse by priests from one European country after another – Germany especially, but also Austria, Holland, Italy, Spain, Malta, as well as countries elsewhere such as Brazil and Nigeria... as it becomes obvious that the number of children abused by Roman Catholic priests around the world amounts to tens of thousands, in fact hundreds of thousands... the question has arisen: is the pope of Rome himself, Benedict XVI, guilty as well? If not of actually abusing children himself, then at the very least of protecting those who did?
And the short answer is: yes, of course he is. There’s no question about that, and only naive Roman Catholics, and of course the Vatican’s own spin doctors, will continue to deny it in the face of all the evidence.
There are serious – and extremely credible – allegations that Benedict knew about alleged priestly sexual sins, and failed to act; in fact, in at least one case he actually sent the priest back to work with children, where he continued with his sexual abuse!
The idea that the pope of Rome could indeed be guilty of, at the very least, the cover-up of child sexual abusers within the priesthood is only difficult to accept if one already believes, as Roman Catholics do, that the pope of Rome is the very Vicar of Christ on earth, the successor of Peter, the “Holy Father”. When one already believes lies such as these, it is impossible to imagine that such a “holy man” could ever be guilty of crimes against the innocent. But for true Christians, and in fact for anyone who rejects the claims of the pope of Rome about himself, or the claims made on his behalf by Papist doctrine and dogma, it is very easy to accept it. Like every other pope of Rome before him, Benedict is a mere man, after all; a sinful human being. He has been a Romanist all his life. He became a priest in the same way that hundreds of thousands of other men do. He was required to take the vow of celibacy, just as every priest is required to do, and regardless of any feelings, emotions, and sexual desires he had. And as a man he had them, and has them, as all men do. He then rose up through the ranks of the priesthood, becoming in time a bishop and then a cardinal. During all those many years, as his power and influence grew within the religious system he served, he would have been well aware of the sexual goings-on within Roman Catholic seminaries, monasteries, and convents, and in thousands of parish “churches” around the world. Then he became the Inquisitor-General – the head of what is today called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Inquisition – under his predecessor, John Paul II. And in this position, he was responsible for maintaining and enforcing doctrinal orthodoxy, and was in fact responsible for dealing with sex abuse cases for over 20 years before becoming pope of Rome. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the Vatican office which decides whether or not accused priests should be given full canonical trials and defrocked. This means Benedict was “one of the best informed in the Vatican about the extent, and even the detail, of every paedophile scandal reported to Rome.” The bottom line: he knew.
As Vinnie Nauheimer, a Roman Catholic author who has written extensively on the subject of priestly abuse, wrote: “Are we to believe someone astute enough in his old age to orchestrate his election to the position of pope, was, in his prime, unaware of what was going on in his own backyard?”
That he would definitely have known all about the abuses is also evident from the fact that he is a German, he was Romish archbishop of Munich, Germany from 1977 to 1982, and Germany is reeling under the accusations that are surfacing; clearly the scale of abuse in Benedict’s homeland was and is vast. In addition, some of the reports of abuse in Germany were linked to a prestigious choir, the Regensburg Boys’ Choir, run by Benedict’s own brother, priest Georg Ratzinger, from 1964 to 1994. Not surprisingly, the 86-year-old Georg has denied any knowledge of sexual abuse. But of course he knew – and of course his more famous brother knew as well.
“Revelations that Pope Benedict’s brother may be called upon to testify in a church abuse scandal raise valid questions about how much the current Pope knew about the allegations,” said Colm O’Gorman, who campaigns for justice for victims of priestly sexual abuse. “A more revealing line of inquiry would be to examine the extent of the pontiff’s knowledge of the global clerical sexual abuse scandals. In December 2002, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, suggested that media coverage of clerical sexual abuse was a conspiracy to bring down the Catholic Church. At the time he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In this powerful position he was in charge of managing cases of priests who abused children in any Catholic diocese across the world.”
This is always how Rome reacts to these things: “It’s a conspiracy against us!” The first thought of the hierarchy is never for the victims of priestly evil, it is always for their own skins. Benedict’s brother, Georg, displayed this same attitude when he told a newspaper: “I want to note that I sense a certain animosity toward the Church.” Well, yes, you’re right, Mr Ratzinger – the media is often against the Roman Catholic “Church” these days. But can you blame them? As hard-nosed media men look at your “Church”, all they see is a putrefying mass of corruption. Is it any wonder that pressmen the world over are sceptics when it comes to matters of religion?
O’Gorman went on: “...the Pope has failed to put in place and enforce mandatory child protection policy across his church. I asked a senior church figure why this was the case. I was told that to put in place global policy underpinned by church law would admit that the Vatican had the responsibility and the power to do so, and expose it to lawsuits and potentially massive financial losses. So there you have it. It would appear the Vatican values its money and its position more than the safety of children.” Well, of course it does. And this failure on the part of Ratzinger to enforce a child protection policy within the Roman Catholic institution means that he bears vast responsibility for the abuse of children at the hands of priests worldwide.
Here is further evidence, provided by author Vinnie Nauheimer, a Roman Catholic himself:
“As head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for twenty three years, investigating offending priests was his responsibility. Then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict, knew full well there were priests using their powers to debauch children, but he remained silent and refused to clamp down on the permissiveness that allowed them free rein.
“In 2001 under his own signature, Cardinal Ratzinger reaffirmed the validity of Crimen Sollicitationis which imposes the ‘Secrets of the Holy Office’ on anyone with knowledge of priests violating the confessional or sexually abusing children, which means they are silenced forever.
“In 2002, Pope JPII [John Paul II] said that there was no room in the priesthood for those that would abuse children. As head of the CDF, then Cardinal Ratzinger disobeyed a very public command made by the pope by not removing offending priests and bishops who enabled them.
“In 2009: At the Catholic World Youth Day in Australia Benedict said, ‘I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil. Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice.’ To date, none of the offending bishops or cardinals has been brought to justice by either the church or civil law.”
The Vatican Circles the Wagons and Goes into Damage Control Mode
A German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, implicated Benedict in the re-assignment of a paedophile priest, while Benedict was the Romish archbishop of Munich. As the accusations began to swirl, the Vatican circled the wagons and went into full damage-control mode, rushing to its pope’s defence and denouncing what it termed aggressive attempts to drag Benedict into the spreading scandals. It trotted out the usual excuse that the decision to send the priest back was made without Ratzinger’s knowledge. This is a cop-out. Usually, Rome says that bishops know about, and are responsible for and control, everything that happens under them – but when it comes to some priestly sin, suddenly these superiors all know nothing! It’s all about avoiding scandal, and always has been.
The Vatican stated that Benedict had long confronted sexual abuse cases with courage. But this is simply not true. Jesuit priest Fergus O’Donoghue, editor of the Irish Jesuit journal, Studies, admitted the falsehood of this when he said, “The pope was no different to any other bishop at the time. The Church policy was to keep it all quiet – to help people, but to avoid scandal. Avoiding scandal was a huge issue for the Church.” And he added: “Of course there was a cover-up.” But worse, he said, was “the systematic lack of concern for the victims.”
According to Vatican spokesman Lombardi, Ratzinger had done nothing more than welcome the paedophile priest to his diocese in order that the man could undergo psychotherapeutic treatment, but he did not approve the priest’s pastoral re-integration. Rome claimed that it was not Ratzinger who gave a new pastoral assignment to the priest in the early 1980s, but rather the vicar general of the Munich archdiocese at the time, a priest named Gerhard Gruber. And, it said, priest Gruber had assumed “full responsibility.” Gruber stated in the communiqué, “the reassignment of [the paedophile priest] to pastoral work was a grave mistake. I assume full responsibility for this action. I deeply regret that this decision allowed crimes to be committed that involved young people and I ask forgiveness from all those who have been harmed.” Well, maybe it was entirely his responsibility, but then again maybe not. When priest Gruber made this statement, we suspected that pressure was brought to bear on him to “fess up” and take the heat so as to leave Benedict free of any whiff of scandal. After all, as a mere priest Gruber is expendable and if he needs to be sacrificed for the cause, so be it: anything to keep the “Holy Father”, the “Vicar of Christ on earth”, out of the hot seat.
And as it turns out, our suspicions may have indeed been entirely correct. Gruber finally broke ranks and alleged that he was indeed bullied into taking responsibility so as to protect Benedict! His friends told the German publication Der Spiegel that Gruber was under immense pressure to act as a scapegoat and take responsibility for the decision. He wrote to a friend that he had been faxed the statement he made, already prepared for him, in which he assumed “full responsibility”, and that he felt pressure to sign it. But now, according to the magazine, he was greatly upset by the fact that the bishopric had implied that he had acted alone in offering help to the paedophile priest, and had not turned him over to the police.
Vatican spokesman Lombardi tried to tell the world that media attempts to implicate Benedict in cases of priestly sex abuse had failed; but who was believing him? In a communiqué broadcast on Vatican Radio he said: “It is obvious that in recent days there are people who have tried – with a certain tenacity in Regensburg and Munich – to find ways to personally involve the Holy Father in the matters relating to the abuses. For every objective observer it is evident that these efforts have failed.” Well, actually, no – for every objective observer it is very evident that Benedict was involved in some way.
More and More Shocking Revelations Implicating Benedict
Just as Lombardi was doing his duplicitous, Jesuitical best to douse the flames of that scandal, another one broke, again involving allegations that Benedict, before he became pope of Rome, had failed to act in another serious case of priestly abuse, this time at a school for deaf children in Wisconsin, USA. According to “Church” files recently brought to light as part of a lawsuit, a priest, Lawrence C. Murphy, who worked at the school from 1950 to 1974, molested as many as 200 deaf boys at the school, and yet he was not defrocked, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned top Vatican officials – including the cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger – that if they failed to act it would embarrass the “Church”.
It is evident, from the documents of internal correspondence from Wisconsin bishops directly to Ratzinger, that while “Church” officials wrangled over what to do about the priest, their highest priority was protecting the “Church” from scandal – as always. In 1996 Ratzinger failed to respond to two letters about the case from the archbishop of Milwaukee. And then, after eight months, Romish cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the second in command at the Inquisition, instructed the bishops of Wisconsin to begin a secret canonical trial that could lead to priest Murphy’s dismissal.
But – Bertone himself halted the process after priest Murphy wrote to Ratzinger, protesting that he should not be put on trial as he had already repented and was in poor health, and that the case was beyond the “Church’s” statute of limitations! “I simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood,” wrote Murphy. “I ask your kind assistance in this matter.” The files contain no response from Ratzinger – the future Benedict XVI. But Murphy was never tried, nor disciplined, by the “Church’s” own justice system. The documents reveal that three successive archbishops of Wisconsin were told that Murphy was sexually abusing children, but it was never reported to the criminal or civil authorities! In fact, Murphy was quietly moved, by the archbishop of Milwaukee, to another Wisconsin diocese, and there he lived for 24 years, working freely with children, until he died in 1998, still a priest.
Lombardi defended Benedict’s silence in the Murphy case, saying that the Inquisition, responsible for disciplining errant priests, which Ratzinger headed when he was a cardinal, had not been forwarded the case until 1996, which was twenty years after the priest’s victims first informed the police. Asked why priest Murphy had never been defrocked, Lombardi replied, “the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties”, and added that Murphy’s poor health, and the lack of more recent accusations against him, were factors in the decision.
Worse yet, the Wisconsin case was only one of thousands forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith over decades – the Office of the Inquisition, which Ratzinger headed from 1981 to 2005. And only 20% of the 3000 accused priests whose cases went to the Inquisition between 2001 and 2005 were given full “Church” trials, with only some of them being defrocked, according to Romish monsignor, Charles J. Scicluna, the chief internal prosecutor of the Inquisition. An additional 10% were defrocked immediately, and 10% left voluntarily. A large majority, 60%, merely faced what he called “other administrative and disciplinary provisions”, like being prohibited from celebrating mass.
And – yet another scandal: in a signed statement last year, 67 former pupils at a school for the deaf in Verona [Italy] described sexual abuse from the 1950s to the 1980s, naming 24 priests, “brothers” and “lay” religious men at the Antonio Provolo Institute for the Deaf. One of the victims, Antonio Vantini, said that priests sodomised him so relentlessly that he came to feel as if he was dead. “How could I tell my papa that a priest had sex with me?” he said through a sign-language interpreter. “You couldn’t tell your parents because the priests would beat you.” Not only that, but in deeply Roman Catholic Italy, parents would not even believe it possible that a priest would sodomise a child. To them, their priest was “another Christ”, as Romish doctrine states.
Calls for Benedict’s Resignation and Arrest
In the wake of these latest revelations, there have been increasingly vociferous calls for Benedict to resign. Others, equally vociferous, have called for him to be arrested and prosecuted. One who did so was famous atheist, evolutionist and anti-Christian, Richard Dawkins. We have never found ourselves in agreement with Dawkins before, and it is unlikely we ever will be again; and undoubtedly he has his own agenda for his condemnation of Benedict, which is easily discerned; but nevertheless what he said about this whole matter was right on target. He wrote: “‘Should Pope Benedict XVI be held responsible for the escalating scandals over clerical sexual abuse in Europe?’ Yes he should, and it’s going to escalate a lot further, as more and more victims break through the guilt of their childhood indoctrination and come forward. ‘Should he be investigated for how cases of abuse were handled under his watch as archbishop of Munich or as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal enforcer?’ Yes, of course he should. This former head of the Inquisition should be arrested the moment he dares to set foot outside his tinpot fiefdom of the Vatican, and he should be tried in an appropriate civil – not ecclesiastical – court.” And: “‘Should the pope resign?’ No. As the College of Cardinals must have recognized when they elected him, he is perfectly – ideally – qualified to lead the Roman Catholic Church. A leering old villain in a frock, who spent decades conspiring behind closed doors for the position he now holds; a man who believes he is infallible and acts the part... a man whose first instinct when his priests are caught... is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims to silence: in short, exactly the right man for the job. He should not resign, moreover, because he is perfectly positioned to accelerate the downfall of the evil, corrupt organization whose character he fits like a glove, and of which he is the absolute and historically appropriate monarch.
“No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice – the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution – while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.”
Incredible, is it not, that an atheist like Dawkins can see what multiplied millions of ecumenical “Protestants” are blind to. Such strong condemnation should be issuing forth from one Protestant leader after another; but the silence is deafening.
Mike Whitney, of the Center for Research on Globalization, wrote: “Pope Benedict should do everyone a favour and resign. By hanging on, he’s just making matters worse. Who does he think he’s fooling anyway? Everyone knows that he was involved in the sex-scandal cover up. Does he really think that a few papal apologies will make a difference? He was in charge and knew everything that was going on. That makes him responsible. His best option now is to ‘man up’ and face the consequences. He needs to arrange a press conference, tell the truth, and resign. End of story.” He also stated: “Benedict should be prosecuted [for obstruction of justice]. No man is above the law; not even the pope. Religious freedom isn’t licence to rape children.”
Of course, such a thought is unthinkable to a devout Roman Catholic. To him or her, his pope is above the law. But these horrifying revelations are shaking the faith of multitudes in their pope and his filthy, vile “Church”.
As the calls for Benedict to resign started coming from all quarters, the Vatican felt compelled to respond. Its spokesman, the Jesuit Lombardi, gave an interview in which he said that calls for Benedict’s resignation were “obviously coming from those who do not understand the Catholic Church. This is not some multinational company where the chief executive is expected to take responsibility. The pope is not personally directing the actions of priests around the world. He is their spiritual leader, and he is one who has acted very clearly to confront this problem.” This defence said nothing of substance, and was essentially spin. The pope of Rome is the head of the entire Roman Catholic institution. No priest can act outside of what the pope of Rome permits. He is, therefore, personally directing their actions, through all the vast machinery of the Romish institution.
There can be no doubt that the Vatican is partially correct when it states, in its defence, that the media calls for the resignation or arrest of Benedict are not all prompted by concern for the welfare of children. To some extent, the liberal media is merely using the child sex scandal within Roman Catholicism to try to ultimately bring down the “Church” of Rome. After all, much of today’s media serves the interests of powerful organisations and individuals who seek to advance an anti-religious, secular humanist agenda, and they would do anything in their power to weaken the influence of Rome over its one billion followers worldwide. This priestly sex scandal has given them ample ammunition, and they are going to get as much mileage out of it as they possible can. There can be no doubt about this.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that many of those in the media, much of the world’s population, and indeed much of the world’s Roman Catholic population, are absolutely horrified by the Roman Catholic institution’s global cover-up and indeed endorsement of child rape by priests – and they want action.
Bishops and Others Rally to Defend Their Pope
While these global revelations have shocked, angered, and disillusioned many Romanists around the world, influential Roman Catholics, including countless bishops from across the world, have rallied to Benedict’s defence. Robert Moynihan, editor of Inside the Vatican magazine, even brought in a text of Scripture – a verse, be it noted, that is a prophecy about Christ – in an attempt to explain that the calls for Benedict to resign are an attempt to “strike the shepherd”. He quoted Zechariah 13:7, which in the King James Version reads: “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered”. That this is about the Lord Jesus Christ is shown from Matthew 26:31. But Moynihan, quoting the verse from some other version, only quoted what he wanted to quote, as follows: “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd. Strike the Shepherd, that the sheep may be scattered.” Of course, given that Roman Catholics believe their pope to be Christ on earth, applying this verse to him would make sense to them. But it is blasphemous and heretical.
Timothy Dolan, the influential Romish archbishop of New York, rallied to Benedict’s defence during a mass, declaring that the “recent tidal wave of headlines about abuse of minors by some few priests, this time in Ireland, Germany, and a re-run of an old story from Wisconsin, has knocked us to our knees once again.” Thus he dismissed it all as nothing but the sins of “a few priests” and the rehashing of some old story! As New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in response: “A few priests? At this point, it feels like an international battalion.” Or, as another put it: “this is industrial-scale sex abuse, a veritable pedophile conveyer belt!”
Dolan also compared Benedict with Jesus, saying he was “now suffering some of the same unjust accusations, shouts of the mob, and scourging at the pillar”, and “being daily crowned with thorns by groundless innuendo.” As it was “Palm Sunday” in the Papacy’s liturgy when Dolan made these remarks at the mass, they were designed for maximum effect. Again, for Papists it is easy to compare their pope with the Lord Jesus Christ, because they believe him to be the very “Vicar of Christ”, even “Christ on earth”.
In Vienna, Romish cardinal Christoph Schönborn publicly defended Benedict, saying that when Benedict was a cardinal and had tried in 1995 to investigate the former archbishop of Vienna for allegedly molesting youths, he was prevented from doing so by advisors close to John Paul II, the pope of Rome at the time.
The Romish archbishop of Lima, Peru, Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, said at a mass, “The visible head of the Mystical Body of Christ has been mistreated by enemies of the Church, with unheard of lack of respect for the truth and with a display of incredible cynicism. Behind it all we can see an attack on the Church to harm her. We, his children, cannot remain silent.”
The episcopal conference in Paraguay sent a letter to Benedict, affirming “support, communion and solidarity.” The bishops expressed their “communion with the Pope, at this moment of pain because of the attacks he receives in his character of pastor of the universal Church”, which seek “to weaken his voice and moral authority.”
In Santiago, Chile, Romish cardinal Francisco Errázuriz said that “some media try to strike the Pope’s good name accusing him of things for which the Holy Father never had responsibility.” And in Mexico, Romish bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel said during a mass that Benedict had always acted with responsibility in regard to the problem of sexual abuse. “We are suffering from the internal sins that are undeniable, as is also the betrayal of Judas, Peter’s denial and the moving away of the apostles themselves, who left Jesus alone,” he said; and, “They have even wished to splash Pope Benedict XVI with mud,” even though “he always dealt with these cases with extreme care and the highest level of responsibility.” Again we see the comparison with the betrayal of Jesus, and again the certainty expressed that Benedict is innocent – something these men could never be certain of, and indeed contrary to the rapidly accumulating evidence.
In the Dominican Republic, the archbishop of Santo Domingo, Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, said that Benedict had always treated the sex abuse cases with firmness, transparency and severity – which was patently untrue. He spoke of “a confabulation of sectors of European governments and groups of the United States, which do not forgive the Pope or the Church for the firm position in defense of life and rejection of the crime of abortion.” There certainly is truth in this. Secular humanists in positions of power in Europe, the US, and elsewhere would like nothing more than to see the Roman Catholic institution collapse under the weight of this scandal. But this is a typical strategy of deflecting attention away from the cold, hard facts – that the Vatican is guilty of a massive, global cover-up pertaining to priestly sex abuse of children.
In Spain, the archbishop of Oviedo, Jesús Sanz Monte, together with many priests and others, sent a letter to Benedict expressing their respect and filial affection. It said: “The testimony of love for the truth that Your Holiness is transmitting to us with depth and beauty, does not conceal the profound pain that the events that occurred among some priests and consecrated persons have caused to your fatherly heart.” The letter expressed grief for “the unjust and fallacious treatment that some of the media and tendentious groups are giving your person and your long and faultless ministry as archbishop of Munich, as cardinal prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now as Successor to Peter.” Other Spanish ecclesiastical leaders wrote along similar lines.
A leading Romish cardinal, Angelo Sodano, defending Benedict at the latter’s Easter Sunday Mass, said the Roman Catholic institution would not be intimidated by “petty gossip” about the sexual abuse of children by priests. His words were: “Holy Father, the people of God are with you and will not let themselves be influenced by the petty gossip of the moment, by the trials that sometimes assail the community of believers.” And Benedict himself, as these accusations and angry protests swirled around him, spoke publicly of not allowing himself to be “intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion.” Imagine it! This was all he was prepared to say? It is shocking, wicked, mind-numbing in its arrogance. Journalist David Rothkopf wrote: “the problem is not the petty gossip. The problem is the hard and awful fact of decades of abuse of thousands upon thousands of innocent children at the hands of priests in whom they and their families had placed the ultimate trust.
“The problem is not petty gossip. The problem is what would be considered in any other organization to be an apparent conspiracy to cover up grievous crimes and to recklessly endanger innocents. The problem is a culture not of compassion but of one that placed the interests of a rich and powerful organization above those of the individuals it was supposed to be serving. The Church doesn’t need to be protected. The children need to be protected.” Ah, but that’s precisely it: with Rome, it has always only been about protecting its own interests, never about protecting its victims.
And in Rome, Romish cardinal Antonio Canizars Llovera, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, said during the homily of a mass with members of the Italian parliament: “Thank you, Holy Father! With the whole Church, and in a particularly eminent way in the present times, we are with Peter, with the great gift that God has given us in his Successor, our greatly loved Pope Benedict XVI.”
Note how these defences of Benedict all amount to the same thing, i.e. there is a global conspiracy against Benedict and the “Church”. These apologists for Antichrist ignore or play down the global conspiracy within the Romish religion itself to cover up the priestly sexual abuse scandal as much as possible, but they vociferously bleat about a global conspiracy against Rome and its pontiff.
And let’s not forget that many of these high-ranking wolves in sheep’s clothing are rushing to defend Benedict, not necessarily out of any genuine love for him or belief that he is innocent, but because they well know that if he falls, they fall. Huge numbers of them are guilty too. They have a vested interest in propping him up any way they can.
In Italy, an essay in L’Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference which generally reflects the thinking of senior levels of the Italian “Church” and of the Vatican, described a Nazi smear campaign, orchestrated by Joseph Goebbels in 1937, against the Roman Catholic institution, which was based on reports of child-abusing priests; and the essay was clearly designed to hint that modern criticism of the “Church” on the same subject bears striking parallels to that of Goebbels. In other words, this was another attempt, by Rome, to deflect attention from the predator priests themselves, and blame it all on a conspiracy against the “Church” modelled on that of the Nazis!
Let us list the excuses and defences being made for Benedict and for the priesthood under him:
1) The decision to send a paedophile priest back to work with children was taken without Ratzinger’s knowledge.
2) Ratzinger did not know of the vast scale of priestly sex abuse of children. This, even though he headed the organisation tasked with dealing with such things!
3) It’s all a conspiracy against the “Church”. The conspirators, depending on which high-ranking archbishop or cardinal of Rome is speaking, are the media, or the freemasons, or pro-abortion campaigners, or pro-sodomite campaigners, or western governments, or atheists, or Zionist Jews, or liberals, or feminists, or any number of others. Of course, some of these certainly are making use of the revelations of these scandals to advance their own anti-Papal agenda; but these groups are not the ones to be blamed for the sexual abuse of children by priests of Rome – the priests themselves are the guilty ones here!
4) It’s the fault of the child victims themselves, who are accused of supposedly seducing the priests on purpose! Yes, as unbelievable as it seems, some have used this as an excuse.
5) It’s all just “petty gossip.”
Growing Anger and Disillusionment Among Roman Catholics
The Vatican might be in full damage control mode; but within the ranks of the millions of Roman Catholics the anger and disillusionment is real, and it is spreading. Many Papists, priests included, are in shock, confused and uncertain about what to do. Many have stopped attending mass, or stopped going to confession. They speak of the lies they have been told by their religious leaders. The Austrian priest who now avoids mentioning Benedict in his masses would certainly not be an isolated case. Paul Collins, a former priest and Australian church historian, said, “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.” We would hardly say incompetent. We would say evil, arrogant, unregenerate predators.
Opinion polls in the United States and Germany have shown a sharp drop in Benedict’s popularity among Romanists in the aftermath of the crisis. Roman Catholic support for him dropped from 81% to 61%. And this will drop even further as the revelations continue to mount.
Now is a time for Christians to evangelise the Roman Catholic people. They are unhappy, in a state of shock, and for many their world is crumbling around them. They need to hear of the one and only Priest any man needs, the Lord Jesus Christ; He who is holy, harmless, and undefiled; He who alone can hear their confession and forgive them.
It is now patently obvious that this is the deepest crisis faced by the Roman Catholic institution since the Reformation. And it has now reached to the very leader of the Papal religion himself, the man Papists believe to be the Vicar of Christ on earth, the “Holy Father”. As leaders of an organisation of people abused by priests demonstrated in front of St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, the BBC’s Vatican correspondent David Willey wrote, “Pope Benedict only has to look down from his study window overlooking St. Peter’s square to see that the wave of international protest against his silence has arrived on his own doorstep.”
Roman Catholic author Vinnie Nauheimer wrote, correctly and powerfully: “The darkened wasteland of secrecy is the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of nefarious and malignant growths. It is a cesspool fertilizing the dregs of humanity and creating offspring that are as rotten as the offal from which they spring. Such was the abundance of slime generated by the Roman Catholic Church’s cesspool born of secrecy that one day it spilled over its banks and ran into the light where it was laid bare to the world. Even now it is still oozing despite the best efforts of all the pope’s cardinals and all the pope’s bishops and all the pope’s priests. They haven’t been able to contain it again!”
But will all this anger make any difference? Will the pope of Rome, leader of the most powerful religio-political system on earth, be forced to resign?
This is Not the End of the Papacy
There is no reason to believe that the present occupant of the throne of Antichrist will actually resign over this worldwide scandal. As Canon 1404 of the Papacy’s Code of Canon Law states: “The First See is judged by no one.” Who, then, could do it from within the Papal institution itself? No one.
And, setting aside the issue of a particular Roman pontiff’s resignation, is this massive, worldwide scandal actually going to bring down and destroy the entire rotten edifice of the Roman Catholic institution itself? Many have wondered. Many are hoping. One who expressed this longing was columnist Mark Morford of SFGate, home of the San Francisco Chronicle, one who is certainly no Christian and speaks disparagingly of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pulling no punches, he wrote: “Verily, is the Catholic Church and its dank, nefarious heart, the Vatican, with its attendant red-robed apologists, unreformed child rapists and a leader who is, as Richard Dawkins rightly declares, ‘a leering old villain in a frock’... is it safe to say this archaic and vile institution is finally nearing its end? How grand to imagine – even for a moment... even if you think the Church still does some good in the world, somewhere – how utterly uplifting to think that finally, after all these centuries of lies and oppression, intolerance and cover-up, that one of the most dangerous, insular religious monoliths in the world could come tumbling down in a smoldering heap...” And: “How much is enough? Will there ever be a point when all the scandals and lies, rape and abuse finally crash over the enormous legal and pseudo-moral walls that religions are allowed to put up to protect themselves from persecution and justice, with waves high and powerful enough that they could wash away the Vatican once and for all?”
He answered his own musings thus: “The answer is, of course, almost zilch. There is no chance whatsoever. The Catholic Church is simply too enormous, entrenched, global, powerful. What’s more, Ratzinger himself is armored like a tank with wealth, power and papal infallibility.”
We have to concur with him. This scandal, as huge as it is, will not destroy the Roman Catholic institution. It is doing, and will yet do, vast damage. It most definitely is a judgment from God upon the Great Whore, with at least some of her filthy deeds being brought to light for the world to see. But Bible prophecy shows us that this Mother Harlot will be with us till the world’s end. Her destruction is coming, certainly; the decree of God has gone forth, and cannot be altered; her destruction is as certain as the second coming of the Saviour. But revelations of child sexual abuse by priests, as horrifying as they are to millions of Papists and to almost everyone else, will not, on their own, bring down the Vatican edifice.
Still, the world’s hatred for this abominable institution is building up. Perhaps – just perhaps – we are witnessing the very beginnings of the end. It is too soon to be sure, but it is intriguing.
And Yet – the Whore’s Sins Are Open to the World As Never Before!
What is amazing – and wonderful – to see, however, in all of this, is how people all over the world have now had their eyes opened to what Roman Catholicism is like on the inside! As never before, Rome is under intense scrutiny and intense fire. Just a few short years ago, Christians who spoke up against Popery, and described its sins and crimes, were viewed as religious bigots, “Catholic-haters”, evangelical “conspiracy nuts”. Today, although they always will be viewed as such by many, there are now many others who can see that what has been revealed about the Vatican by ex-priests, ex-nuns and other Christians for centuries has been true all along. The Papacy really is a vast cesspool of iniquity, after all! It is the most vile institution to ever disgrace the face of the earth. It is, truly, “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev. 18:2). True Christians must pray for the Roman Catholic people, and preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to them. Take all her filthy deeds and hold them up to the blazing light of God’s truth! Contrast Popery’s darkness with the resplendent rays of the Lord Jesus Christ! Spiritually, “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her” (Rev. 18:7)! Let the world see her bloodstained hands, her deeds of darkness done in corners, and hear the anguished cries of her multiplied millions of victims – victims of her wars, and of her lusts! That false, hypocritical mask of piety worn by this Mother Whore must be ripped off, so that the world can see her for what she really is, and what she has really done and continues to do every single day, behind closed doors.
May the Lord hasten the day when this Babylonian strumpet on the seven hills will be no more!
For further reading by Shaun Willcock (available from Bible Based Ministries):
1) Child Sexual Abuse by Priests: Revelations of Shocking Crimes and Sinful Cover-Ups
2) Homosexuality in the Roman Catholic Priesthood
3) The Massive Scale of Child Abuse by Priests in Ireland
4) The Inquisitor-General Becomes the Pope of Rome
5) What Kind of Pope Will Benedict XVI Be?
Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel, and lives in South Africa. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other news articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ electronic mailing list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
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