The Pope (or ‘der Papst’ in his native tongue), formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger, dedicated himself to the Hitler Youth (Hilter Jugend) in 1941 when, according to himself, it became compulsory for all German boys to join. So it is a fair assumption to make, that Ratzinger was subject to a traumatizing influence in his childhood. With this in mind, one could hope he would become sensitive to the subject of child abuse, even wise towards the matter in his mature age. This is however not the case at all.
In 1962, behind the walls of Vatican city, a secret document was written in Latin, and distributed under strict secrecy to Bishops worldwide. They were ordered to keep the memo hidden in the Church vault, for no one but themselves to lay eyes upon. The memo, titled ‘Crimen Sollicitationis’ (“the crime of soliciting”), instructed the Bishops on how to deal with sex scandals within the Catholic Church, including those pertaining to the sexual abuse of children, and how to evade allegations of such perversions. The secret memo also decreed an oath of secrecy on any victim of molestation, priests dealing with allegations of such acts, and any witnesses to any such foul crimes. Furthermore it is written, that anyone breaking this oath of secrecy, must be permanently excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
Download the LATIN PDF HERE and ENGLISH PDF HERE of the ‘Crimen Sollicitationis’.
If only matters could not become more suspect and disgusting. Sadly it is a documented fact, that Ratzinger himself, then serving as Cardinal, enforced the rules of ‘Crimen Sollicitationis’ for 20 years; right up until he won the papal election (the conclave), becoming the Pope in 2005. Interestingly, some of the voting Cardinals, participating in the vote of the papacy, had been relocated by Ratzinger to positions within the Vatican City State, from all over the world, during his 20 year-long career of covering up child abuse cases within the Catholic Church. One such relocated Clergyman was Bernard Francis Law, who fled from Boston and US jurisdiction in 2003, stating in safety from the law at the Vatican: “To all those who have suffered from my shortcomings and mistakes I both apologize and from them beg forgiveness”. Regardless, he remained an active cardinal by the mercy of the Church, and participated in the 2005 papal conclave.
In contrast to the 1962 memo, Ratzinger himself penned the ‘Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics’ in 1975 wherein he completely failed to address the topic of child molestation all together. What he however does condemn (or rather demonizes) in this document, are the acts of masturbation and the “pathology” of homosexuality. This document was supposedly a concise declaration of the Catholic Church’s ethical opinions on immoral matters of a sexual nature… Is there an obvious disproportion with regards to the omission of clerical child-rape..? Indeed so.
Last week, the Vatican amended another Latin-titled memo, the ‘Normae de Gravioribus Delictis’ (“norms towards exceptionally serious crimes”). The new revision includes a paragraph, which imposes the rule that the ordination of women into priesthood, is a sin in the exact same morally unacceptable category as pedophilia. Now, firstly it must be noticed that Ratzinger apparently changed his stance on the rape of children, towards actually condemning it, and in fact did so with the first publication of these norms in 2001. Whether this had any effect on the decree of ‘Crimen Sollicitationis’ is unknown, as the Vatican refuses to comment on that specific matter.
But what really sticks out this time around, for a sane person with a normal nature, is whether one should be appalled on behalf of Women’s rights, or appalled because the Vatican takes pedophilia as lightly as saying it’s no worse than, for example, female Lutheran priests – which in every rationally moral sense, is no crime at all! One can only conclude towards the absolute absurdity of it.
But when returning to the actual crimes of Ratzinger and the Catholic Church, and not just their absurd morality, it is very important that the truth is not flushed out with the holy water. It is equally important that these crimes do not end up going the way of the numerous other hideous crimes to humanity, the Vatican has bestowed on the world through out history, such as the Inquisition and Crusades.
We must insist on justice. We must be brave enough to confront the taboo head-on, and spread the word. We must insist that the pope is arrested.
On this note, all the evidence and insight one possibly can handle, can be gathered from two of the most important embarkations of critical examination of the Catholic Church in recent times: The documentaries “Deliver Us From Evil” (2006) and the BBC-produced “Sex crimes and the Vatican” (2006).
The trailer for “Deliver Us From Evil” speaks for itself:
The most important 10 minutes from the BCC documentary can be viewed here:
The full length of “Sex crimes and the Vatican” (40 min.) can be viewed by following this link