Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Passion of Pope Benedict. Six Accusations, One Question
Chiesa Online ^ | 4/7/10 | Sandro Magister

Posted on 04/07/2010 5:52:21 AM PDT by marshmallow

Pedophilia is only the latest weapon aimed against Joseph Ratzinger. And each time, he is attacked where he most exercises his leadership role. One by one, the critical points of this pontificate.

ROME, April 7, 2010 – The attack striking pope Joseph Ratzinger with the weapon of the scandal posed by priests of his Church is a constant of this pontificate.

It is a constant because every time, on different terrain, striking Benedict XVI means striking the very man who has worked and is working, on that same terrain, with the greatest foresight, resolve, and success.

*

The tempest that followed his lecture in Regensburg on September 12, 2006 was the first of the series. Benedict XVI was accused of being an enemy of Islam, and an incendiary proponent of the clash of civilizations. The very man who with singular clarity and courage had revealed where the ultimate root of violence is found, in an idea of God severed from rationality, and had then told how to overcome it.

The violence and even killings that followed his words were the sad proof that he was right. But the fact that he had hit the mark was confirmed above all by the progress in dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam that was seen afterward – not in spite of, but because of the lecture in Regensburg – and of which the letter to the pope from the 138 Muslim intellectuals and the visit to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul were the most evident and promising signs.

With Benedict XVI, the dialogue between Christianity and Islam, as with the other religions as well, is today proceeding with clearer awareness about what makes distinctions, by virtue of faith, and what can unite, the natural law written by God in the heart of every man.

*

A second wave of accusations against Pope Benedict depicts him as an enemy of modern reason, and in particular of its supreme expression, science. The peak of this hostile campaign was reached in January of 2008, when professors forced the pope to cancel a visit to the main university of his diocese, the University of Rome "La Sapienza."

And yet – as previously in Regensburg and then in Paris at the Collège des Bernardins on September 12, 2008 – the speech that the pope intended to give at the University of Rome was a formidable defense of the indissoluble connection between faith and reason, between truth and freedom: "I do not come to impose the faith, but to call for courage for the truth."

The paradox is that Benedict XVI is a great "illuminist" in an age in which the truth has so few admirers and doubt is in command, to the point of wanting to silence the truth.

*

A third accusation systematically hurled at Benedict XVI is that he is a traditionalist stuck in the past, an enemy of the new developments brought by Vatican Council II.

His speech to the Roman curia on December 22, 2005 on the interpretation of the Council, and in 2007 on the liberalization of the ancient rite of the Mass, are thought to be the proofs in the hands of his accusers.

In reality, the Tradition to which Benedict XVI is faithful is that of the grand history of the Church, from its origins until today, which has nothing to do with a formulaic attachment to the past. In the speech to the curia just mentioned, to exemplify the "reform in continuity" represented by Vatican II, the pope recalled the question of religious freedom. To affirm this completely – he explained – the Council had to go back to the origins of the Church, to the first martyrs, to that "profound patrimony" of Christian Tradition which in recent centuries had been lost, and was found again thanks in part to the criticism of Enlightenment-style reason.

As for the liturgy, if there is an authentic perpetuator of the great liturgical movement that flourished in the Church between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from Prosper Guéranger to Romano Guardini, it is precisely Ratzinger himself.

*

A fourth terrain of attack runs along the same lines as the previous one. Benedict XVI is accused of derailing ecumenism, of putting reconciliation with the Lefebvrists ahead of dialogue with the other Christian confessions.

But the facts say the opposite. Since Ratzinger has been pope, the journey of reconciliation with the Eastern Churches has taken extraordinary steps forward. Both with the Byzantine Churches that look to the ecumenical patriarchate of Constantinople, and – most surprisingly – with the patriarchate of Moscow.

And if this has happened, it is precisely because of the revived fidelity to the grand Tradition – beginning with that of the first millennium – that is one characteristic of this pope, in addition to being the soul of the Eastern Churches.

On the side of the West, it is again love of Tradition that is driving persons and groups of the Anglican Communion to ask to enter the Church of Rome.

While with the Lefebvrists, what is blocking their reintegration is precisely their attachment to past forms of Church and of doctrine erroneously identified with perennial Tradition. The revocation of the excommunication of four of their bishops, in January of 2009, did nothing to the state of schism in which they remain, just as in 1964 the revocation of excommunications between Rome and Constantinople did not heal the schism between East and West, but made possible a dialogue aimed at unity.

*

The four Lefebvrist bishops whose excommunication Benedict XVI lifted included Englishman Richard Williamson, an antisemite and Holocaust denier. In the liberalized ancient rite, there is even a prayer that the Jews "may recognize Jesus Christ as savior of all men."

These and other facts have helped to feed a persistent protest by the Jewish world against the current pope, with significant points of radicalism. And it is a fifth terrain of accusation.

The latest weapon of this protest was a passage from the sermon given at Saint Peter's Basilica on Holy Friday, in the pope's presence, by the preacher of the pontifical household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa. The incriminating passage was a citation from a letter written by a Jew, but in spite of this the uproar was aimed exclusively at the pope.

And yet, nothing is more contradictory than to accuse Benedict XVI of enmity with the Jews.

Because no other pope before him ever went so far in defining a positive vision of the relationship between Christianity and Judaism, while leaving intact the essential division over whether or not Jesus is the Son of God. In the first volume of his "Jesus of Nazareth" published in 2007 – and close to being completed by the second volume – Benedict XVI wrote splendid pages in this regard, in dialogue with a living American rabbi.

And many Jews effectively see Ratzinger as a friend. But in the international media, it's another matter. There it is almost exclusively "friendly fire" that rains down. From Jews attacking the pope who best understands and loves them.

*

Finally, a sixth accusation – very current – against Ratzinger is that he "covered up" the scandal of priests who sexually abused children.

Here too, the accusation is against the very man who has done more than anyone, in the Church hierarchy, to heal this scandal.

With positive effects that can already be seen here and there. Particularly in the United States, where the incidence of the phenomenon among the Catholic clergy has diminished significantly in recent years.

But where the wound is still open, as in Ireland, it was again Benedict XVI who required the Church of that country to put itself in a penitential state, on a demanding path that he traced out in an unprecedented pastoral letter last March 19.

The fact is that the international campaign against pedophilia has just one target today, the pope. The cases dug up from the past are always intended to be traced back to him, both when he was archbishop of Munich and when he was prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, plus the Regensburg appendix for the years during which the pope's brother, Georg, directed the cathedral children's choir.

*

The six terrains of accusation against Benedict XVI just referred to bring up a question.

Why is this pope so under attack, from outside of the Church but also from within, in spite of his clear innocence with respect to the accusations?

The beginning of an answer is that he is systematically attacked precisely for what he does, for what he says, for what he is.

__________


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Theology
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/07/2010 5:52:21 AM PDT by marshmallow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/timeline.htm


2 posted on 04/07/2010 5:59:46 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Renfield

Why does the timeline stop in 2006? BTW, I love Laphroig.


3 posted on 04/07/2010 6:03:06 AM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ConorMacNessa

I don’t know about the timeline.

More to the point, concerning the current Pope, in 1962 he (then a Cardinal) wrote a memo instructing Catholic clergy to cover up crimes of sexual abuse, and to protect the perpetrators from prosecution and exposure. This became official Church doctrine.

To read the memo, go to this address:

http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/Criminales.pdf


4 posted on 04/07/2010 6:06:15 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Renfield

That appears to be a memo from Cardinal Ottaviano, not Ratzinger. Am I missing somthing?


5 posted on 04/07/2010 6:14:05 AM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Renfield
LOL.................what a steaming pile!!! Who told you that nonsense??

In 1962 the current Pope was a young priest, nothing more.

The document at your link was not authored by the current Pope. It is an official Church document called "Crimen Sollicitationis" and it deals with the procedure for handling instances of one particular type of clerical misconduct; solicitation of sex in the confessional.

The reason this occasioned a document all on its own was because the seal of confession can never be broken and special procedures are needed to deal with these accusations.

Your document has nothing to do with regular cases of sex abuse and it was most certainly not authored by the current Pope.

6 posted on 04/07/2010 6:18:32 AM PDT by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Renfield

Dufus, this memo regards the seal of the confessional, and canon law rather than criminal. Read and understand before you make these statements.


7 posted on 04/07/2010 6:20:40 AM PDT by steve8714 (If Lindsay Graham is a conservative, I am not..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ConorMacNessa

According to researcher William H. Kennedy, the actual author of this document was Joseph Ratziger, even though it is credited to Cardinal Ottaviano.


8 posted on 04/07/2010 6:23:56 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Renfield

ROFLMAO.................


9 posted on 04/07/2010 6:24:50 AM PDT by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Renfield

Who is William H. Kennedy?


10 posted on 04/07/2010 6:33:31 AM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Renfield
More to the point, concerning the current Pope, in 1962 he (then a Cardinal) wrote a memo instructing Catholic clergy to cover up crimes of sexual abuse, and to protect the perpetrators from prosecution and exposure.

Nothing about this sentence is correct.

Benedict XVI was a priest and a college professor in Germany in 1962. He wasn't writing any Vatican memos back then.

The memo didn't concern sexual abuse of minors per se, but the crime of solicitation in the confessional.

It didn't encourage anyone to "protect the perpetrators from prosecution and exposure," although solicitation of an adult isn't a civil crime in most jurisdictions anyway, so the issue wouldn't arise.

It did insist that canonical proceedings be kept confidential, which is the only way an accused priest could defend himself, since the seal of the confessional is involved. It specifically exempted the victim from the need to maintain confidentiality. Why is that scandalous?

In other words, you got almost everything wrong.

11 posted on 04/07/2010 7:52:00 AM PDT by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed imposter")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Renfield

Who is William H. Kennedy, and why should we believe him when he claims that a young professor of theology (not even a canon lawyer, AFAIK) in a German university was ghostwriting Vatican documents on canonical procedure in 1962?


12 posted on 04/07/2010 7:53:36 AM PDT by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed imposter")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

That explanation is too clear and logical. Could you muck it up a bit. And Renfield is a very apt tagname.


13 posted on 04/07/2010 9:57:58 AM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...
Why is this pope so under attack, from outside of the Church but also from within, in spite of his clear innocence with respect to the accusations?
14 posted on 04/07/2010 12:01:51 PM PDT by NYer ("Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose of Milan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Renfield; FatherofFive
More to the point, concerning the current Pope, in 1962 he (then a Cardinal) wrote a memo instructing Catholic clergy to cover up crimes of sexual abuse, and to protect the perpetrators from prosecution and exposure. This became official Church doctrine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Benedict_XVI

Little problem with this, He wasn't a Cardinal in 1962 nor even in Rome.

Ratzinger became a professor at the University of Bonn in 1959; his inaugural lecture was on "The God of Faith and the God of Philosophy." In 1963, he moved to the University of Münster.

On 24 March 1977, Ratzinger was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising. He took as his episcopal motto Cooperatores Veritatis (Co-workers of the Truth) from 3 John 8, a choice he comments upon in his autobiographical work, Milestones. In the consistory of the following 27 June, he was named Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino by Pope Paul VI.

So how did he write a document in 1962 as a Cardinal, when he did not become a Cardinal till 15 years later?

BTW since the source was CBS do you beleive this more than their story about Bush avoiding his guard duty?

15 posted on 04/07/2010 2:19:03 PM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Why is this pope so under attack, from outside of the Church but also from within, in spite of his clear innocence with respect to the accusations?

Because there's not a chance he will junk the Church's traditional teachings on morality in favor of Rowan Williams' version. Next difficult question?

16 posted on 04/07/2010 3:16:33 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Espiritu Santo, Espiritu Santo, renueva la faz de la tierra!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick

"He couldn't do that anyway, he doesn't have the eyebrows for it."

17 posted on 04/07/2010 6:01:29 PM PDT by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed imposter")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Campion

Heh, good point. Pope Benedict doesn’t look like a fairy flake *at all*.


18 posted on 04/07/2010 6:23:56 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Espiritu Santo, Espiritu Santo, renueva la faz de la tierra!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
[snort]"That's Druid fairy flake to you, ma'am."
19 posted on 04/07/2010 7:35:29 PM PDT by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed imposter")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Campion

Oh, a higher-class fairy!


20 posted on 04/08/2010 2:30:16 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Espiritu Santo, Espiritu Santo, renueva la faz de la tierra!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow; verga
Why is this pope so under attack

The last Pope helped destroy the Soviet Union, and set back Communism. The Commies are taking a pre-emptive strike at the current Pope.

Pope and Reagan

21 posted on 04/08/2010 9:24:18 AM PDT by FatherofFive (0bama is dangerous and must be stopped.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson