Currently there’s a great hue and cry emanating from the world press in relation to Pope Benedict xvi’s reaction—or rather perceived lack of reaction—to the publicity being given to pedophilia charges brought against certain priests in Europe. The loudest clamor surrounds cases in Germany, particularly in Benedict’s old diocese of Freiburg, Bavaria.
Nothing justifies anything but absolute condemnation of the abuse of priestly office. But what is really behind this latest outcry against the Catholic Church and its spiritual leader?
Dig behind the headlines and you see an agenda. It’s an agenda driven by fear of the rising power of the papacy—a power that, in tandem with the elites in Berlin, has succeeded in imposing on Europe an imperialist constitution against the will of much of its electorate. Given its history, this power combine of Rome and Berlin is greatly feared by two movements in Europe: pan-Islamism and the secularists.
To see the current attack on the pope in true context, we need to go back in time to Benedict’s visit in September 2006 to the seat of his main academic experience, the University of Regensburg. In a now infamous speech delivered on that occasion, Benedict conducted a powerfully articulate verbal crusade against both secularists and Muslims. He virtually told the secularists that their only way of survival was to succumb to the superior reasoning capacity of the church. It is their agenda that we shall examine here.
The question that few if any are asking is, why has this rash of alleged pedophile cases, many of them seeming to date from the 1960s and ’70s, suddenly been given prominent publicity? What has caused this sudden coincidence of front-page attention in a host of newspapers highlighting cases of abuse from Germany to Austria, the Netherlands to Poland, from Ireland to Switzerland?
What appears to have happened is that, after being wounded at Regensburg by Benedict’s verbal barbs, the secularists slinked away and started on a scheme to discredit the most powerful right-wing pope to have ascended the papal throne this side of World War ii. The goal of the embattled liberal rationalists of the anti-church secular movement in Europe is to denigrate their chief enemy—the Vatican and its papal leader, who are so well advanced in the fulfillment of their grand imperial dream to revive, yet one more time, the Holy Roman Empire.
The secularists realize that unless they can denigrate Pope Benedict in the eyes of the public to the point that the powerful influence of the Vatican in all affairs European is significantly damaged if not broken, then they are cooked geese. To this end, the secularists have cultivated the ear of a sympathetic liberal press and mass media.
Simply put, the secularists have found a sympathetic press and mass media at a time when sales of newspapers and magazines are tanking and ratings for television news channels sliding amid grave economic crisis. Sex sells, and perverted sex sells even more so. Add religion to this equation and suddenly the press and mass media have a tale of salacious proportions to appeal to the ignorant masses. Sales soar!
In the meantime, the real story goes begging.
Here it is.
Up to the time of the pope’s Regensburg speech, most high-profile publicity given to cases of pedophilia in the church was concentrated in the United States. This was simply the legacy of liberalism. Following Vatican ii in 1962, powerful liberal elements had arisen in the church opening the way for the homosexual movement to infect the priesthood in the following two decades. The rash of pedophilia cases publicized over the past 10 years is the result of that phenomenon.
Joseph Ratzinger, previously known as the pope’s enforcer in his role as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the Vatican’s old department of the Inquisition), was largely charged with the job of routing the arch-liberals from the church. Having succeeded significantly in that effort with the total support of Pope John Paul ii, Ratzinger, very early in his own papacy, publicized his determination to clean up the dregs of liberalism, which he referred to as “the filth” remaining in the church. This gave fair warning to the homosexual priests and those bishops who had protected them that this pope had them in his sights.
In quite a balanced report on the current furor stirred up by the liberal press against Pope Benedict, the National Catholic Reporter wrote recently, “Benedict’s handling of the sexual abuse crisis has often been touted as a bright spot, one case, at least, … of a firmer hand on the rudder. That background makes the scandals now engulfing the church in Europe especially explosive; … they threaten to once again make Benedict seem more like part of the problem than the solution.” The author points out that “Benedict xvi became a Catholic Elliot Ness—disciplining Roman favorites long regarded as untouchable, meeting sex abuse victims in both the United States and Australia, embracing ‘zero tolerance’ policies once viewed with disdain in Rome, and openly apologizing for the carnage caused by the crisis” (March 17).
Pope Benedict has long regarded the high publicity given to the priestly abuse of minors as part of a deliberate agenda to discredit the church. While still operating in his role as prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, he maintained, “[T]he constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information or to the statistical objectivity of the facts. Therefore, one comes to the conclusion that it is intentional, manipulated, that there is a desire to discredit the church.”
The National Catholic Reporter notes that John Paul ii had given the green light to Ratzinger to rout the pedophiles with a legal document titled “Sacramentum Sanctitatis Tutela.” “Technically known as a motu proprio, the document assigned juridical responsibility for certain grave crimes under canon law, including sexual abuse of a minor, to Ratzinger’s congregation” (op. cit.). From that time on, Ratzinger appeared driven to clean up that which he later referred to, upon becoming pope, as the “filth in the church.” The Reporter notes that under Ratzinger’s aggressive leadership, “In the complex world of court politics at the Vatican, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith became the beachhead for an aggressive response to the sexual abuse crisis.” Intent on cleaning up the priesthood, Ratzinger adopted a “one strike and you’re out” approach.
The highest-profile cases of priestly abuse of recent date have been in Ireland and Germany. The Reporter notes, “By the time the crisis in Ireland erupted last year, a new Vatican script seemed to be in place. Papal statements of concern were quickly issued, and a summit of Irish bishops and senior Vatican officials was swiftly convened for mid-February. Similarly in Germany, Zollitsch [archbishop of Freiburg] was in the pope’s office briefing him on the crisis less than a month after it first blew up. For anyone who recalled the slow and defensive response to the American situation eight years earlier, the change in Rome seemed almost Copernican” (ibid.).
The pope issued a letter to the Catholic Church in Ireland on March 19 and will now have to turn his attention quickly to the matter in his own home state of Bavaria. In the meantime, the media machine will milk as much from this story as it can, to the delight of the embattled secularists.
However, the secularists, pushed onto the back foot by this right-wing Bavarian pope, appear ignorant of at least one significant fact of history. The Vatican has been repeatedly attacked since Martin Luther nailed his famous thesis to the cathedral door in 1517. The reality is that, following each attack, the Vatican has emerged, eventually, stronger than ever. That will be the case with this current scenario. In fact, following this current, and perhaps final, attack on the pope and the Catholic Church, the Vatican—and the pope—will emerge stronger than ever in its entire history!
How do we know?
Your Bible says so!
You need to read our booklet Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? to understand more about what is really behind the headlines surrounding a seeming embattled Pope Benedict today. ▪