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Pope Benedict retired after inquiry into 'Vatican gay officials', says paper

Pope Benedict retired after inquiry into 'Vatican gay officials', says paper

Pope's staff decline to confirm or deny La Repubblica claims linking 'Vatileaks' affair and discovery of 'blackmailed gay clergy'

John Hooper in Rome; The Guardian, Thursday 21 February 2013 17.27 GMTt

A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders.

The pope's spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called "Vatileaks" affair.

Last May Pope Benedict's butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and charged with having stolen and leaked papal correspondence that depicted the Vatican as a seething hotbed of intrigue and infighting.

According to La Repubblica, the dossier comprising "two volumes of almost 300 pages – bound in red" had been consigned to a safe in the papal apartments and would be delivered to the pope's successor upon his election.

The newspaper said the cardinals described a number of factions, including one whose members were "united by sexual orientation".

In an apparent quotation from the report, La Repubblica said some Vatican officials had been subject to "external influence" from laymen with whom they had links of a "worldly nature". The paper said this was a clear reference to blackmail.

It quoted a source "very close to those who wrote [the cardinal's report]" as saying: "Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments."

The seventh enjoins against theft. The sixth forbids adultery, but is linked in Catholic doctrine to the proscribing of homosexual acts.

La Repubblica said the cardinals' report identified a series of meeting places in and around Rome. They included a villa outside the Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlour in the centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a provincial Italian archbishop.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said: "Neither the cardinals' commission nor I will make comments to confirm or deny the things that are said about this matter. Let each one assume his or her own responsibilities. We shall not be following up on the observations that are made about this."

He added that interpretations of the report were creating "a tension that is the opposite of what the pope and the church want" in the approach to the conclave of cardinals that will elect Benedict's successor. Another Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, alluded to the dossier soon after the pope announced his resignation on 11 February, describing its contents as "disturbing".

The three-man commission of inquiry into the Vatileaks affair was headed by a Spanish cardinal, Julián Herranz. He was assisted by Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, a former archbishop of Palermo, and the Slovak cardinal Jozef Tomko, who once headed the Vatican's department for missionaries.

Pope Benedict has said he will stand down at the end of this month; the first pope to resign voluntarily since Celestine V more than seven centuries ago. Since announcing his departure he has twice apparently referred to machinations inside the Vatican, saying that divisions "mar the face of the church", and warned against "the temptations of power".

La Repubblica's report was the latest in a string of claims that a gay network exists in the Vatican. In 2007 a senior official was suspended from the congregation, or department, for the priesthood, after he was filmed in a "sting" organised by an Italian television programme while apparently making sexual overtures to a younger man.

In 2010 a chorister was dismissed for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting. A few months later a weekly news magazine used hidden cameras to record priests visiting gay clubs and bars and having sex.

The Vatican does not condemn homosexuals. But it teaches that gay sex is "intrinsically disordered". Pope Benedict has barred sexually active gay men from studying for the priesthood.

by Anonymousreply 11202/24/2013

Things are heating up! We all knew His Holy Wickedness didn't just give up the position because he was "tired". Obviously something really big is about to surface and I for one cannot wait for all the details to start leaking out like a faucet. I just wonder if the Church itself will make it out of the scandal intact.

by Anonymousreply 102/21/2013

[quote]a weekly news magazine used hidden cameras to record priests visiting gay clubs and bars and having sex.

This statement is useless without photos.

by Anonymousreply 202/21/2013

Certainly takes the focus of pedophilia. How convenient.

by Anonymousreply 302/21/2013

I love how the Catholic Church is teeming with homosexuals yet they are so fervent in their hatred of out gay people just trying to live their lives.

Sort of parallels the GOP at the moment.

by Anonymousreply 402/21/2013

It ain't for health reasons. They'd have to be catatonic and comatose to abdicate the Mary throne; it's the dream of every caftan queen.

This is unprecendented. I hope people dig deeper, uncover the dirt. And it brings down the whole Catholic church. It's time. They have done so much evil.

by Anonymousreply 502/21/2013

The majority of the Church's patrons are now from Latin America and Africa. Religion thrives on poverty, hopelessness and ignorance. The Pope could brutally rape a 5 year old boy at St. Peter's Basilica on live broadcast television and I bet they still would have devoted followers in third world countries.

What really gets me is the stupid Catholic gay men on my Facebook who are pleading with people to "not disrespect the Pope" and "Innocence before proven guilty". Yeah, because the Pope really gave all the millions of gay people their due by condemning us all the fire and brimstone as a matter of course.

by Anonymousreply 602/21/2013

Is this still big news on TV? I haven't watched television in eight years. Maybe some (increasingly gropey and homo btw) sports shows at the gym. I too want the Vatican to cave in, spectacularly. Maybe the "black pope" prophecy about the Vatican being destroyed during the time of the next pope will come true.

by Anonymousreply 702/21/2013

Again, why would these claims mean he would feel the need to retire? Why would gay Vatican clergy being blackmailed overthrow the pope?

I don't think he's standing down because he's "tired", r1, I think he's standing down because he's 85, has a pacemaker and his physical abilities have become very limited. He's always said, right from the start, that if he felt physically or mentally incapacitated he would stand down and the experience of a blubbering Parikson's Diseased John Paul II as pope, with over 25 years on the papal throne, led many not to want another incapacitated, aged pope. Every decade the Catholic church has a scandal or two, that doesn't mean the pope retires.

by Anonymousreply 802/21/2013

Don't hold your breath r5, the Catholic Church isn't going anywhere.

by Anonymousreply 902/21/2013

r8. The thing is, the Pope does not retire. Never has in over 600 years and that Pope was forced out because he was a false "anti-Pope" who was not canonically elected by the Holy See.

The Church believes that the mission of the Pope is a calling from God. So for a Pope to retire means that he is rejecting God's calling and demand. I'm sure Abraham didn't want to sacrifice his son, but God commanded it...

Now if Popes can just simply retire because they're no longer up to fulfilling God's will then what's the point to it all? The Clergy is like the Mafia, you're in it for life. There is no retirement in the Catholic Church.

This has so much more to do with it than being old.

by Anonymousreply 1002/21/2013

R7 worms her "I haven't watched TV for eight years" brag into every conversation, doesn't she?

by Anonymousreply 1102/21/2013

You just know the Vatican is a hotbed of gay activity.

Wouldn't be a bit surprised of this pompous old windbag wasn't hosting his own Ru Paul style "Drag Race" of his own while the Cardinals sashay chante in from of him.

by Anonymousreply 1202/21/2013

Eat shit, R11, but not for pleasure, like you usually do - I did consider whether or not to post that. The point being - I think the controllers in our culture are going down, and I'm tempted to watch TV again to see how they spin it (being totally corrupt and evil themselves, of course).

by Anonymousreply 1302/21/2013

I wonder how many escorts have been secretly huddled in and out of the Vatican over the years and how much money was spent on their "services" and the extra hush money to keep things discrete.

I wonder if all the tithe givers knew that a part of their money was going towards rich, flamboyant gay men finance their sexual predilections...

by Anonymousreply 1402/21/2013


by Anonymousreply 1502/21/2013

The Italian President would never charge him. Too many Catholics in Italy and he'd get a major backlash.

Unless, the Pope's apparent crimes are so horrendous and the evidence is so solid that nobody could question that he needed to be prosecuted.

by Anonymousreply 1602/21/2013

R10, I know it can be hard to believe, but even the Catholic church "modernises" in its own narrow way. Benedict, appointed at age 78, always said he would stand down if he felt he reached a point where he could not carry on, it's not something that he just decided upon now. Why would these controversies and scandals (nothing new for the Catholic church) make him stand down? Surely, if some scandal was going to break and he wanted to control how it played out he would stay as pope.

In any case, Canon Law in fact allows for the resignation of a the pope. Ratzinger as a "scholar" more than a "theologian" probably feels very comfortable with the legalistic aspect and is less caught up with the theological.

You could pick any point in the Catholic church's history and find that there's always something brewing, supposedly about to break out or whatever.

Oh, and if, as you not entirely accurately say, "the Pope does not retire" and "the Church believes that the mission of the Pope is a calling from God" and "there is no retirement in the Catholic Church" then why is this pope resigning?

by Anonymousreply 1702/21/2013

R16, Vatican City is a sovereign nation. Italian courts has no jurisdiction.

by Anonymousreply 1802/21/2013

I don't think so.

by Anonymousreply 1902/21/2013

r17, the implication is that THIS Pope is retiring because the evidence against him is so damning that this would be the only way to minimize the shit storm that's about to erupt.

by Anonymousreply 2002/21/2013

r18, the Pope could stay within the borders of The Vatican his whole life but he probably doesn't want to, given that he's used to traveling. If he is convicted of some crime, the moment he steps across the border, he could be arrested.

Don't you follow what's going on? He's already asked the Italian President for amnesty for whatever's about to come.

You seem to have a vested interest in protecting your robed master.

by Anonymousreply 2102/21/2013

R14, gay activity has been going on in the church for centuries, why would some "revelation" in 2013 force the pope to retire (and before there have even been any revelations)? The idea that some Catholic clergy are gay and even active would probably shock very few of the faithful.

And, if you think the Catholic church is financed by "tithe givers" then maybe you should learn a little more about it. Did you know that the Catholic church is something like the world's 3rd largest landowner?

Again, r16, if "the Pope's apparent crimes are so horrendous and the evidence is so solid that nobody could question" then wouldn't it be better for him to stay on as pope and not simply be a pensioner or whatever he's going to do?

by Anonymousreply 2202/21/2013

Really, r20, pray do tell, what shitstorm is this exactly? Like, should we expect some major, huge, earth-shattering revelations after 28 February? (Ratzinger eats babies after first chopping off their genitals and pickling them?)

by Anonymousreply 2302/21/2013

Oh, no, r23, that's nothing.

by Anonymousreply 2402/21/2013

I can't see why anyone would want to defend this old hack

by Anonymousreply 2502/21/2013

The papist, wafer eating troll is ruining this thread.

by Anonymousreply 2602/21/2013

R21, credible link, please.

Not that I don't believe there's a whole stinking pile of shit behind this, but I don't think we know what it is just yet.

Or maybe the creep wanted to make a name for himself by historically resigning, since he'd otherwise be seen as a cipher and an embarrassment.

by Anonymousreply 2702/21/2013

These cynical, absolutely corrupt bastards ALWAYS find a way to blame gay people for every problem they create. Sure there's a group of gay men in the Vatican who hang together. There always are gay men in male-dominated institutions, and naturally they find and support each other.

But to suggest that, amid the financial corruption, the abuse of thousands of children, the conspiratorial and illegal cover-ups, the misuse of millions of dollars, the dishonesty, the cruelty, the denial of sense and reality - on top of all this, to suggest that gays caused the pope to turn tail and run, is potent proof that the world could do without this woman-hating, self-serving pile of rotten celibate flesh.

by Anonymousreply 2802/21/2013

Obviously the scandal has to do with the child molestation and Ratzinger's role in that. He was director of the office that overlooked all child molestation cases for the past 20 some odd years. If he's going down, its because he was implicit in knowledge of child molesters within the Church and did absolutely nothing about it and continued to shuffle them from parish to parish instead of kicking them out.

by Anonymousreply 2902/21/2013

He'll be knifed in the back before they arrest him

by Anonymousreply 3002/21/2013

[R28] I gotta agree with you. To let the bottom line become this is because of a group of gays in the Vatican being blackmailed is ludicrous.

This is about deep, long going, financial scandal, laundering money for the Italian mafia, and pedophilia cover up all over the world for decades.

Who all has read the report? All the Cardinals now and the rest of the Vatican powers that be? Is that report what the butler leaked?

by Anonymousreply 3102/21/2013

I was recently discussing this with some Europeans who have some insider knowledge about the Vatican. They claim that there were several times that Ratziner, prior to becoming pope, attempted to do something about child molestation cases and every time, he was shut down by an Italian cardinal who still wields a lot of power. There were thoughts that the cardinal keeps others under his thumb (including Benedict) with info his people have gathered -- along the lines of a J. Edgar Hoover. He's one of the cardinals who will be voting this time. Had this thread appeared two weeks ago, I probably could have provided the name of the cardinal, however I didn't pay close attention to the name since we were mostly taking about Benedict.

by Anonymousreply 3202/21/2013

I think R29 has gotten to what is really behind this. Though it has been known he played this role, I think more detail is going to emerge about what happened to all these thousands of children worldwide, what he knew and what he didn't do....protect them.

Thousands of pages of documents were released in LA a week or two ago. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.

by Anonymousreply 3302/21/2013

Saying that the pope is not resigning because of some scandal but because he genuinely feels physically incapable is not the same thing as defending him, it's stating what I happen to believe is the case. Others might prefer to wait and wait and wait for some huge scandal to be revealed which will somehow engulf him, but I don't believe there is one. That's not to say I don't think the Catholic church is corrupt, hypocritical, abusive, bigoted or even full of shit, because I believe all those things, but I just don't think there is some huge scandal afoot.

R28, I don't think this is specifically about blaming gay men but the usual conspiracy theory nonsense, with the newspapers trying to find yet another "scandal" to gossip about. The child abuse angle was tried and found not be anything to bring the pope down over, then the financial aspect, but again that wouldn't bring the pope down. This story about the gay prelates being blackmailed has been around for years, so they're just picking it up again. It's called gossip and speculation, nothing to do with why the pope's resigning.

R29, but all that is already known, the child abuse has been going on for decades (centuries) and it's all already known. And not just the child abuse is known but the cover-ups and even Ratzinger's toleration and covering up of it.

And, even if there were some huge, unidentified scandal it wouldn't bring the pope down (again, if there were a scandal that directly implicated him then Ratzinger would be best protected by staying on as pope). The Catholic church is perfectly capable of cover-ups and denials and has enough who are willing to protect and defend it. Do any of you even know anything about its history (aside from "the last pope to resign was 600 years ago")?

by Anonymousreply 3402/21/2013

Wow, this is a NO ONE.

And yes, I always love to hear R7 tell us how long he's been sans television.

by Anonymousreply 3502/21/2013

[quote]Do any of you even know anything about its history (aside from "the last pope to resign was 600 years ago")?

I know that the church once approved of same-sex marriage, married clergy (priests and nuns), and trial marriage for one year and a day. This history is well-hidden in Vatican archives but the information can be found if you know the right place to search in the British Isles.

by Anonymousreply 3602/21/2013

All of you that think that there is going to be some big scandalous revelation that led to the Pope resigning are going to be waiting a very long time.

by Anonymousreply 3702/21/2013

Where's that, r36? And, if such approval was so widespread why would there be such little documentary evidence of it, only available in two places? And when you say British Isles, I presume you mean Ireland because on the island of Great Britain they did as much as they could to destroy all traces of Catholicism. Of course, over the millennia, there were different practices regarding marriage to a woman in more isolated areas, but that doesn't mean the Church approved of them. None of this is secret, however, and is well known to historians or anyone else who bothers to read a book or even look it up on Wikipedia. Celibacy has been established since the first church councils and there was no approval of same-sex marriage either, which is a modern concept.

Priests and nuns are not considered clergy in the Catholic church.

But, I wanted to add, before having to get off DL, that Benedict, being an "intellectual" and a "scholar" is also "smart" enough to want to preserve what he sees as his legacy, and the best way to do that is to still be around when his successor is chosen. He's probably aware that he doesn't have too much time left (either of his life or of his abilities) so wants to make sure he can control the process as much as possible.

by Anonymousreply 3802/21/2013

So sorry I bothered people with what I posted R38. You, of course, are 100% correct. I genuflect before you. No doubt we all have a lot to learn from you. Please continue.

by Anonymousreply 3902/21/2013

Pope Benedict will never be as beloved as John Paul the Great but, he was still a good Pope.

by Anonymousreply 4002/21/2013

I can't believe Ratzi's long term romance with his German consort wasn't known prior to electing him Pope. It simply makes no sense that the Vatican Gestapo was totally blind sided by Benni's SO.

by Anonymousreply 4102/21/2013

" gay activity has been going on in the church for centuries, why would some "revelation" in 2013 force the pope to retire (and before there have even been any revelations)? The idea that some Catholic clergy are gay and even active would probably shock very few of the faithful."

Pope Alexander had mistresses and acknowledged children and everyone knew about it. Are you suggesting that what Christendom accepted in 1500 it would accept now?

I don't think so.

by Anonymousreply 4202/21/2013

When you hear that so-and-so's name is "on the list" of candidates for Pope I bet that's their way of telling the world he's being vetted. They have to scrutinize every hair on his ass before a man gets elected Pope

In the olden days, pre-WW I, there were times when popes had mistresses or male lovers, they had kids, they stole money etc. and were generally corruptiblebut in general, a Pope was usually chosen for his piety. He had to be very spiritual.

JP II was very religious, but also cool. A pope who could ski, who wrote books,and sang and was fun when he wasn't being a conservative shit. They use the pope as the public image of the church. JP II was perfect.

Every time a person is up for sainthood they are investigated. John Paul II's investigation must have disclosed some bad shit. Ratzinger was in over his head.

YOu need to watch the documentary: Mea Maxiima Culpa about the sex scandal. There are some evil people in the Vatican, and they hide behind the Pope. I think Benedict was just overwhelmed at the evil and knew he couldn't resolve it. He retreated.

I just hope he set something in motiom that will rip it open and end it. The whole damned Church in Rome needs an exorcism.

by Anonymousreply 4302/21/2013

[quote] the Pope could stay within the borders of The Vatican his whole life but he probably doesn't want to

Of course he doesn't. There is no Prada store in Vatican City.

by Anonymousreply 4402/21/2013

r38 you are so ignorant of basic history that you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself and say ten Hail Marys

by Anonymousreply 4502/21/2013

Pope John Paul was one of the greatest Popes of all time! and soon will be made a Saint!

by Anonymousreply 4602/21/2013

He does like to go out and about

by Anonymousreply 4702/21/2013

I'm sorry if this sounds disrespectful, but he always looks like a bitter queen.

by Anonymousreply 4802/21/2013

[quote]because of some scandal but because he genuinely feels physically incapable is not the same thing as defending him

NO pope, exactly NO pope has felt that way in the past 600 years! if he's THAT incapable, why oh why was he installed in the first place?

by Anonymousreply 4902/21/2013

It's the GAY priests molesting these boys!!!! straight pedos like little girls

by Anonymousreply 5002/21/2013

tHE Next Pope will be from Africa named Peter. He will revitalize the CC

by Anonymousreply 5102/21/2013

yes, r51 - the "black pope", as mentioned in several Catholic prophecies. This black pope, as he is described, is also forecasted to be the last pope, who will leave the Vatican in ruins, "walking over the corpses of cardinals". Or something. It's the 2012 revelation season

by Anonymousreply 5202/21/2013

If the Vatican is truly the snake pit it's reported to be, maybe on the more cunning Cardinals has blackmail info on Ratzinger and is now forcing him out so the cunning Cardinal can become the new Pope.

Sounds like an episode of The Borgias!

by Anonymousreply 5302/21/2013

The Vatican may well follow the US's actions by electing a black Pope. It's all politics.

by Anonymousreply 5402/21/2013

r54, word!

by Anonymousreply 5502/21/2013

If they pick the black Cardinal from Ghana, it will be because he is so vocally anti-gay. The fools may think that's just what they need to get out of this mess

by Anonymousreply 5602/21/2013

Ratzinger is not a fighter. He is a very religious man who probably has used his spirituality to avoid the nasty situations rather than confront and resolve them.

I think that they were of two minds at the Vatican. First,they didn't go after pedophiles because they seemed to feel there was nothing wrong with it.Incredible but true. If you're immersed in that culture, you come to act & believe that what your doing is right & normal.

WHen I saw the documentary about the sex scandal & cover up, the evil,despicable Father Murphy at the Milwaukee School for the Deaf,fter his sick behavior was exposed, someone commented that he never felt he'd done anything wrong. When they talked to him he seemed almost child like. It reminded me of Jerry Sandusky. It gave me a knot in my stomach.

Or if they knew it was wrong, they were afraid to expose some powerful clergy so there was a cover up. when we think power, we think of the Pope. But this documentary clearly showed the Pope had no power over this internal beauracracy, and the network of sick fuckers who obstruct, lie and camflauge deviant behavior.

by Anonymousreply 5702/21/2013

I would imagine that the core scandal is about the money. At the risk of sounding really stupid, there are been rumors for years that the plot of Godfather III was not too far off the truth, including the circumstances behind the death of John Paul I. It wouldn't surprise me that one of the cardinals, or all of them, who wrote the supposed report saw the gay angle as a way to create a cover story, as a poster above suggested. It also makes perfect sense for Benedict to resign under these circumstances, especially since he is clearly in declining health.

by Anonymousreply 5802/21/2013

You're an idiot R57. Benedict has been an ideological incendiary and combative little prick his entire life.

by Anonymousreply 5902/21/2013

r56, racist!!!

by Anonymousreply 6002/21/2013

Whatever he may have done or whatever is going on with gays in the Vatican, the Pope is a very sick old man. He has no strength left, and the job is a great strain even on a healthy man. He will stay in the Vatican to be cared for and also out of subpoena or extradition range of any other courts.

by Anonymousreply 6102/21/2013

Fuck that, neither was the last pope OR the one in the seventies, this pope is running scared. He'll be arrested and that's why he's running.

by Anonymousreply 6202/21/2013

[quote] he was still a good Pope.

no, he wasn't

by Anonymousreply 6302/21/2013

[quote]Or something. It's the 2012 revelation season

well, Geee! that seems a sensible thing to believe.

by Anonymousreply 6402/21/2013

[quote]Ratzinger is not a fighter. He is a very religious man who probably has used his spirituality to avoid the nasty situations rather than confront and resolve them

bullshit, he made his career on being a fighter, being nicknamed, "god's rottweiler"

by Anonymousreply 6502/21/2013

I'm not clear on something. If he were afraid of arrest for his part in covering up pedophile priests, why would he resign? As a head of state, he has diplomatic immunity. Out of office, he'd be vulnerable.

by Anonymousreply 6602/21/2013

Please, all of this "not really a fighter." He's been a theological hard ass for years, a real theological bully to those who dared to disagree. And now he's all "I'm just an old feeble man." Right. He knows exactly what he's doing and he's been working on this for years.

by Anonymousreply 6702/21/2013

[quote] As a head of state, he has diplomatic immunity. Out of office, he'd be vulnerable.

head of state of a REALLY teeny tiny principality.

by Anonymousreply 6802/21/2013

Though it's very, very small, the Vatican is a full, though non-voting member of the United Nations.

by Anonymousreply 6902/21/2013

Pope Benedict is never going to be arrested for anything, no matter how many times some idiots on here say it and hope for it.

by Anonymousreply 7002/21/2013


Didn't he ask for immunity with the Italian government recently. I guess he still want's to be unbothered (officially) by the scandal that looks will be unfolding soon.

Why he is chickening out is a bit unclear to me. He was one of the main people who was pulling the strings with the previous pope. I think he was the main mastermind in covering things up, so the then pope could keep up his PR friendly image.

Both Wojtyla and Ratzinger have been on the same page regarding hush-hush tactics and ultra conservative ideology. Ratzinger is just a bit more rational, even intellectual, Wojtyla was more single-minded, emotionaly religious.

by Anonymousreply 7102/21/2013

The Pope will have immunity from prosecution regarding the mishandling of child sex crimes by staying within the walls of the Vatican, according to an anonymous Vatican source. Reuters reported Friday, Feb. 15, that church sources have explained that the retiring Pope Benedict would be “defenseless” if he leaves the Vatican.

This official news story comes on the heels of a statement issued by the International Tribunal into Crimes Against Church and State (ITCCS) that detailed the legal situation that surrounds the Pope and the Vatican. An unnamed European country and the ITCCShave issued a campaign to hold the Pope accountable for the Vatican’s cover-up of child sex crimes. There was an international arrest warrant secured for the Pope’s arrest:

On Friday, February 1, 2013, on the basis of evidence supplied by our affiliated Common Law Court of Justice (, our Office concluded an agreement with representatives of a European nation and its courts to secure an arrest warrant against Joseph Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict, for crimes against humanity and ordering a criminal conspiracy. The Tribunal and the unnamed European nation intend to take a lien against the property and wealth of the Catholic Church, beginning on Easter Sunday March 31. They are calling it an “Easter Reclamation Campaign," part of which involves citizens seizing the assets of the Church under international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

by Anonymousreply 7202/21/2013

Probably the activist Spanish judge who went after Pinochet.

I think someone should Mossad him to the Hague (or Spain).

by Anonymousreply 7302/21/2013

I read this as "blackmail gay orgy" not clergy.

by Anonymousreply 7402/22/2013

Wouldn't it have been easier to just off Nazi Razzi?

by Anonymousreply 7502/22/2013

Eggs Benedict, please

by Anonymousreply 7602/22/2013

[quote] the International Tribunal into Crimes Against Church and State

which is a private club, formed in 2010, that "indicted" Queen Elizabeth for Catholic church pedophile crimes. Why are you still quoting them as a news source r72?

by Anonymousreply 7702/22/2013

[quote]Wouldn't it have been easier to just off Nazi Razzi?

Maybe he saw it coming, and the one way to finesse what seemed a fait accompli was the unthinkable gambit of retirement.

This way, the plotters know he knows, and Ben will leave a precise record of his findings in a Swiss vault.

He's also very much around to influence the choice of his successor, and further thwart his antagonists. Who will have a stronger voice?

He'll still die quite soon, but on his terms, thanks all the same. Game set and match.

by Anonymousreply 7802/22/2013

When I said he wasn't a fighter I meant internally. He was not able to stand up to the internal network of cardinals, mosignors, bishos, etc.who control things.

Even now, if you're reading recent developments, the latest criticism is that, since becoming Pope, he isolated himself and didn't interact & confer with "the guys."

Yes, to the outside world he was "God's rotweiler" when it came to his theological, intellectual & spiritual activities. It was on those strengths he was elevated to Pope.

It's also alleged now, that he was frustrated and deeply discouraged by the factions, the corruption, and the seeming inability of those who were in a position to effect positive outcomes to do anything.

Because he is in very frail health, and he sees what a fucked up mess things are, and he appreciates his own complicity in not acting or doing enough, he's standing aside.

I also have to wonder about the whole sainthood for John Paul thing. As I said earlier, when a candidate's proposed for sainthood, there's an exhaustive investigation that takes place.

If the results of that investigation indicate John Paul II is dirty, or colluded to support dirty priests, and we all know he did, then that scandal will come out eventually.And this Pope will be an accessory even if he is never persecuted. His public reputation will endure damage that will never be overcome.

Bennie was also, allegedly, profoundly disheartened when his butler leaked stuff to the media last year. He's so isolated, and trusted so few people, staff complained that his apartment, where he lived and wrote, and prayed, was accessible to only ten people. And since this butler was one of those ten, his betrayal was deeply felt.

Aparently in the Vatican, a lot of people were disgruntled by lack of access and their inability to influence the Pope. The more I read, the more "high school" it seems. There was a lot of jockeying for advantage, double-dealing, backstabbing, and chatter. "god's Rotweiler" never was able to assert control and no one internally was afraid of him.

People were unbelieveably petty about access and favor, or the perception of it. I'm not excusing his culpability at all, I'm just saying we all focus on the Pope because he is top guy in charge, but he was never the take charge guy they needed and he didn't find a strong second to to his heavy lifting.

The way it works internally over there is not what we believe it is. He's a spiritual leader. He doesn't run day to day stuff and a lot that was going on, or covered up, wasn't even brought before him. he brought stuff to JP's attention. Then he deferred to JP.

by Anonymousreply 7902/22/2013

No one has anything on me. Just a few petty access grudges. My arse is as clean as a whistle!

Now that Dadda is headed for the waiting room, what do you think should be my next move: a talk show like Anderson & Oprah?

And a parfum and underwear line like Becks?

You know you want it.

by Anonymousreply 8002/22/2013

"Pope Alexander had mistresses and acknowledged children and everyone knew about it. Are you suggesting that what Christendom accepted in 1500 it would accept now?"

No, r42, but that's my point: this idea that there is an expected behaviour of the pope because that's how it's always been is superficial. What people have expected of the pope over the centuries has changed, and papal behaviour has also changed. The example of Pope Alexander only emphasises that the Catholic church is a far more complex, deep-rooted thing that has been able to get away with all sorts of things, as well as to adapt. The idea that some report or some leak in the year 2013 is going to be the most dramatic thing that has ever happened in its almost 2000-year torrid history that it's going to bring down the pope is ridiculous.

In any case,

by Anonymousreply 8102/22/2013

Oops, hit "save post" before finishing.

... In any case, where is this great scandal/leak/report that has supposedly brought down the pope? Why is it taking so long to come out? Supposedly, it was so imminent Benny had to resign almost straight away!

by Anonymousreply 8202/22/2013

February 22, 2013, 2:00 a.m.

It remains to be decided when the Catholic world’s cardinals will lock themselves away in the Sistine Chapel to elect the next pope. But the undeclared candidates to succeed retiring Pope Benedict XVI are already campaigning in the gilded salons of Vatican apartments and over grappa and espresso in restaurant alcoves.

Cardinals have begun descending on the Eternal City to attend Benedict’s last audience at St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday and an informal farewell the next day for the first pope to abdicate in nearly 600 years.

Most will likely remain in Rome until the papal conclave, which under current rules can begin no sooner than March 15. That leaves more than two weeks for the red-robed princes of the faith to caucus and cajole over who among them is best suited to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Openly jockeying for the papal miter is frowned on and rarely successful, Vatican watchers note, reciting the cautionary adage that “whoever enters the conclave a pope comes out a cardinal.”

But behind-the-scenes politicking has been an element of the succession rituals for centuries, and the interregnum between Benedict’s departure and the Sacred College of Cardinals’ sequestered conclave will provide an unusually long opportunity for constituencies to make their case. Conservative status quo or modernization? Experienced father figure or inspiring young reformer? Traditional European leadership or a fresh perspective from the Southern Hemisphere?

Vatican officials are considering a rules change that would move up the conclave, perhaps as early as March 10, ensuring that a new pontiff is in place in time to preside over Holy Week. Some cardinals, though, are embracing the opportunity to extend the vetting.

“The most important thing is to choose well, and we'll take the time necessary to do that,” Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George told reporters Sunday, urging fellow cardinals not to rush the process.

Extra time together in Rome without the solemn atmosphere of mourning might be particularly helpful this time, given the daunting tasks facing a church deeply shaken by clergy sexual abuse and its cover-up, as well as disclosures of corruption in the Vatican administration.

“Cardinals are not really allowed to be political, but in church-speak ‘the murmurings’ have already started,” Father Thomas Rausch, a theology professor at Loyola Marymount University, said of the cardinals huddling in Rome. “This is an opportunity to have an informal kind of convocation in which they try to sound each other out about who would be the best candidate, to see where alliances lie. They might have a little more time to do that this time, which is probably all to the good.”

All 117 cardinals eligible to vote in the conclave were appointed by either Benedict or his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, and all share much of their patrons’ conservative doctrine. The composition is disproportionately Western, with 62 Europeans and 17 from North America. That could prove a barrier to the emergence of a pope from the developing world, where the church is ascendant, such as 64-year-old Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana, 63-year-old Odilo Scherer of Brazil or Luis Antonio Tagle, 55, of the Philippines.

“The thing I’m hoping for most as a Catholic and as an academic is that we get a pope who will take on other issues that are important to Catholics,” said Mathew Schmalz, a professor of religious studies at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. Poverty and injustice are much bigger concerns in Africa, Latin America and Asia, he said, compared with Western congregations’ focus on such divisive sexual issues as celibacy and contraception.

Even in Europe and North America, there is little consensus on controversial matters confronting the church, including homosexuality and the role of women in the clergy, Schmalz said, “and I don’t see there being a critical mass of cardinals” eager to have those conversations.

by Anonymousreply 8302/22/2013

Whoever emerges as pope should have the skills to clean up “the mess” that is the Vatican Curia, the administrative bodies rocked by financial scandals and embarrassing leaks of sensitive documents, even from the pope’s own papers.

While language, administrative and diplomatic skills are all needed, a choice is often made largely on personality and how well a prospect is known outside his archdiocese or Vatican office, Schmalz said.

Christopher M. Bellitto, a papal historian at New Jersey’s Kean University, sees the choice of Benedict eight years ago as the result of indecision among cardinals unwilling to make a bold move toward modernization. He said he hoped the conclave would tackle the church’s problems head-on this time.

“Who is going to get us not just past but through the sex abuse scandal? It’s going to mean someone who can take very strong action against the archbishops who just moved these guys around,” he said of church leaders in Boston, Los Angeles and Ireland who sought to hide pedophile priests rather than turn them over for prosecution. As the cardinals mull the qualifications they seek in a pope, Bellitto said, “I hope to hear words like ‘accountability’ and ‘trust’ being spoken.”

While this run-up to the conclave could be longer and more relaxed in the absence of mourning, Bellitto said he doubted the cardinals would be any more aggressive in their lobbying of favored candidates than if they were gathering for a pope’s funeral.

That said, the selection rituals will be subject to politicking and power-brokering, as they have been since the Renaissance, he said, recalling the brazen influence of the Borgias and Medicis.

“There’s nothing new in that,” Bellitto said of back-room deal-making. “They’ve been doing it for 2,000 years."

by Anonymousreply 8402/22/2013

r28 writes the best post, so far, on this thread and that's saying a lot considering how good the other posts are, too.

I love this scandal. Yes, scandal. It's my favorite DL topic since Tiger Wood's harem was revealed.

I take at face value the "too old and too tired" reason for resignation, however, doing so doesn't preclude my reasonable belief that their is much, much more here then meets the eye and ear.

Someone else upthread was reminded of "The Godfather, Part III" which is a film that, despite its flaws, I still manage to enjoy.

And to the poster upthread that tries to have me see this resignation as Papal "modernisation": Popeycock!

The notion that an act that that hasn't been done for 600 years should be viewed in the light of "modernisation" would be laughable if it weren't so tragic when viewed in the light of the Vatican's refusal to "modernise" it's socially regressive, homophobic, anti-woman, anti-birth control nonsense.

The Pope "resigning" is a modernisation of the Papacy. Otoh, The atttempt to bring socially progessive "modernisation" is an offront to Papal doctrines.


by Anonymousreply 8502/22/2013

r81 You're forgetting something. When those popes and clergy hundreds of years ago did whatever they wanted, there were a few very different things compared to the modern age:

1) 95% of people (at least) were illiterate, ignorant and superstitious.

2) Clergy (and the nobility) were omnipotent.

3) The masses had basically no status, no money, no education and no legal means or avenues to do anything against them.

4) There was no media.

5) The church controlled knowledge and information.

In the 20th century people have become progressively educated, less superstitious, less religious, have more legal and civil rights and media and the flow of information are very developed.

The church has lost some of its greatest weapons:

1) Control over people's sexuality - ALL sexual behavior.

2) Control over reproduction which means control over women.

3) Control over how people lived their lives through the denial of divorce.

4) Control over knowledge.

Just because clergy could do whatever the fuck they pleased up until a few decades ago or a century ago and get away with it, doesn't mean it will be the same forever.

Proof is that numerous millions of Catholics have ditched the church or never bothered with it to begin with.

The fact is that people have lost their fear of and their reverence towards men of faith (of all denominations) and the clergy can't use that fear anymore, the ignorance and secrecy, to shield themselves from being accountable for their crimes.

by Anonymousreply 8602/22/2013

I'm not claiming that the church is having a deliberate modernising effort or that the Catholic church is all-powerful in the lives of the faithful. In fact, what I'm saying is quite similar to what r86 is saying: that the position of the church in (Catholic) society is no longer dominant so saying "the pope cannot resign, it is theologically impossible, Catholics are meant to think the pope is infallible and God's representative on earth" is meaningless because no one believes that anymore. The pope announces his resignation and no one cares, just some speculation about why, with the usual gossip, and lots more chatter about who his successor will be, let's show how the church is "modernising" by choosing a non-European, etc.

And, yes, the church doesn't control all knowledge in 2013. Which is why I'm wondering just when we are going to learn about this earth-shattering revelation which has forced him to resign.

by Anonymousreply 8702/22/2013

Another great documentary on the sex abuse and cover up is titled Deliver Us from Evil. It made me sick to hear a priest tell that he raped a baby and then was moved around from parish to parish to destroy more lives. Eventually he was sent to Ireland to a parish with a school! The church is a sick sick institution.

by Anonymousreply 8802/22/2013

[quote]Because he is in very frail health, and he sees what a fucked up mess things are, and he appreciates his own complicity in not acting or doing enough, he's standing aside.

doesn't hold water. over six hundred years dozens of popes have ben in the same situation, and they stayed

by Anonymousreply 8902/22/2013

My guess is that it is Ireland that is forcing the issue, and it is Italy's courts that have agreed to move forward.

by Anonymousreply 9002/22/2013


by Anonymousreply 9102/22/2013

but, but...we are above the law, we are god!

by Anonymousreply 9202/22/2013

Active sex addicts, mostly gay, in Vatican. Some sought recovery, most not.

by Anonymousreply 9302/22/2013

"Ratzinger eats babies after first chopping off their genitals and pickling them"

So? Maybe he was hungry. Hail Mary!

by Anonymousreply 9402/22/2013

Was there a jockstrap involved?

by Anonymousreply 9502/22/2013


by Anonymousreply 9602/22/2013


by Anonymousreply 9702/22/2013

Meet the man who could be the next pope


When Amanpour asked Turkson about the possibility of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal spreading to Africa, he said it would unlikely be in the same proportion as it has in Europe.

“African traditional systems kind of protect or have protected its population against this tendency,” he said. “Because in several communities, in several cultures in Africa homosexuality or for that matter any affair between two sexes of the same kind are not countenanced in our society.” ....

Turkson acknowledged that many Catholic nuns have been driven out of the church because they are prevented from joining the top levels of the Church and becoming priests, but he defended the practice as part of Catholic tradition.

“If one does not have access to ordination is not discrimination,” he said, but rather “it is just how the church has understood this order of ministry to be.”

by Anonymousreply 9802/22/2013

Turkson is a loose cannon and already has knocked himself out of the running by seeming to campaign for the papacy, a deal killer. His behavior reminds the Italian plurality that, while the Africans are steadfast conservatives doctrinally, they lack discretion, sense and intellectual capacity, and an African pope (among the viable choices now presenting themselves) could not be trusted to be controlled.

My money is still on Scola. After Ratzinger, the curial messes, Bertone's and Sodano's rivalry, and the obvious need to clean up without really cleaning up, an Italian who is close in reactionary alignment but who seems to be a people person would be a strong choice. And Scola fits it. He's just verbose and opaque, though.

I just don't think they'd go for an American or Canadian or Australian. So maybe Schonborn then? He's also spoken strongly for reform (regarding the abuse issues), even if Vienna isn't the best example of success in that regard.

by Anonymousreply 9902/22/2013

In due time we will know who our next Holy Father will be. We need to be patient and wait for the Cardinals and the Holy Spirit to make their choice.

by Anonymousreply 10002/22/2013

(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.

"It is absolutely necessary" that he stays in the Vatican, said the source, adding that Benedict should have a "dignified existence" in his remaining years.

Vatican sources said officials had three main considerations in deciding that Benedict should live in a convent in the Vatican after he resigns on February 28.

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.

"I see a big problem if he would go anywhere else. I'm thinking in terms of his personal security, his safety. We don't have a secret service that can devote huge resources (like they do) to ex-presidents," the official said.

Another consideration was that if the pope did move permanently to another country, living in seclusion in a monastery in his native Germany, for example, the location might become a place of pilgrimage.


This could be complicated for the Church, particularly in the unlikely event that the next pope makes decisions that may displease conservatives, who could then go to Benedict's place of residence to pay tribute to him.

"That would be very problematic," another Vatican official said.

The final key consideration is the pope's potential exposure to legal claims over the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandals.

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 and the Vatican said it was a major victory that proved the pope could not be held liable for the actions of abusive priests.

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.

Another official said: "While this was not the main consideration, it certainly is a corollary, a natural result."

After he resigns, Benedict will no longer be the sovereign monarch of the State of Vatican City, which is surrounded by Rome, but will retain Vatican citizenship and residency.


That would continue to provide him immunity under the provisions of the Lateran Pacts while he is in the Vatican and even if he makes jaunts into Italy as a Vatican citizen.

The 1929 Lateran Pacts between Italy and the Holy See, which established Vatican City as a sovereign state, said Vatican City would be "invariably and in every event considered as neutral and inviolable territory".

There have been repeated calls for Benedict's arrest over sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

When Benedict went to Britain in 2010, British author and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins asked authorities to arrest the pope to face questions over the Church's child abuse scandal.

Dawkins and the late British-American journalist Christopher Hitchens commissioned lawyers to explore ways of taking legal action against the pope. Their efforts came to nothing because the pope was a head of state and so enjoyed diplomatic immunity.

more in the link below

by Anonymousreply 10102/23/2013

What an asshole Turkson is - he makes put that pedophilia and homosexuality are interchangeable terms. ASSHOLE bigot.

by Anonymousreply 10202/23/2013


by Anonymousreply 10302/23/2013

Sodano is a real monster. He should be in jail,not included in any discussions about becoming pope.

After watching these documentaries, and reading etc. I've come to the conclusion that the Pope was isolated. He was supposed to concentrate on the spirituality and theology and let the Sodano & Bertone types handle the rest.

I found it very chilling that in one of thoise documentaries one of the historians or Canon lawyers said pedophilia was so much a part of the internal culture that it was simply dismissed for a very long time as a "boys will be boys."

by Anonymousreply 10402/23/2013

Are people shocked about this? Really? What world are you living in, honey?

by Anonymousreply 10502/23/2013

Who's shocked?

by Anonymousreply 10602/23/2013

Next week, the entire media will be subjecting the world to this "conclave" which is nothing more than a bunch of criminals and perverts staging a drag show the likes of which would put Ru Paul to shame.

Somebody could drop a bomb on Vaticn City and the world would be a much better place without this scum and vermin a part of it.

by Anonymousreply 10702/23/2013

DURING his eight years as pope, Benedict XVI sought rebirth for the Roman Catholic Church by meeting with victims of predator priests and making several apologies for the church’s aching abuse crisis.

ut he failed to buck the logic of apostolic succession, a position that sees cardinals and bishops following in a direct spiritual line from Jesus’ original apostles but has been warped into a de facto immunity given to men of the hierarchy.

Still, Benedict has one last chance to right some of the wrongs of the recent past by forcing out Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals and the man who, more than any other, embodies the misuse of power that has corrupted the church hierarchy.

Cardinal Sodano is hardly alone: a long list of leaders betrayed Catholics everywhere with their pathological evasions, sending known sex offenders into treatment centers to avoid the law, then planting them in parishes or hospitals where they found new victims.

But Cardinal Sodano ranks with the Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony as an egregious practitioner of the cover up. As John Paul II’s secretary of state, he pressured Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict, in two notorious cases.

In 1995, Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër resigned as archbishop of Vienna, trailed by accusations, soon proven, that he had abused young men. Cardinal Ratzinger wanted the pope to speak out; Cardinal Sodano overruled him.

Cardinal Sodano also pressured Cardinal Ratzinger to abort a case filed in 1998 by several men accusing the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, of abusing them as seminarians. Cardinal Sodano was a longtime beneficiary of money and favors from Father Maciel. Priests who left the order told me he received at least $15,000 in cash.

Cardinal Ratzinger tabled the case until 2004 but, with John Paul dying, finally ordered an investigation. In 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict. Cardinal Sodano’s office then announced the Maciel proceeding was over, while people kept testifying. Benedict dismissed Father Maciel from ministry in 2006; he died in 2008. Still, Cardinal Sodano lavished praise on the Legion, despite the news that Father Maciel had several children.

In 2005, Cardinal Sodano was elected dean of the College of Cardinals, which will select the next pope. At 85 years old, he is too old to vote, though he will oversee the conclave, and will surely have his candidate.

Benedict did not do enough as pope to right the church’s ship; he recoiled from using the powers of the pope as, literally, a one-man Supreme Court to force out these who engineered this train of disasters. But he still has time for one last act. As Benedict leaves the crisis he inherited from John Paul to the cardinal who will become the next pope, he should do one sure thing before his Feb. 28 resignation: force out Cardinal Sodano. He owes that to his successor.

by Anonymousreply 10802/23/2013

I have never believed that Chicago's Cardinal Bernadin was the victim of a false accusation. I believe that his accuser was telling the truth, but was paid off or coerced into recanting prior to his death from AIDS.

This all smells like the scapegoating of the gays and a conservative purge and power play. The church will emerge even more hard-lined re: women and gays. Look out.

by Anonymousreply 10902/23/2013

No one HERE is shocked

by Anonymousreply 11002/23/2013

I heard you the first time, honey!

by Anonymousreply 11102/24/2013

you got me, Lana!

by Anonymousreply 11202/24/2013
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