by Jay Nelson

from RenegadeCatholic Website



Ratzinger helped accidentally start them.

He's already ended them, too.



Shocking as these statements may be, there is a clear chain of evidence that backs them up. Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, bears a unique personal responsibility for the entire mess.

Moreover, his responsibility has nothing at all to do with his current position as Supreme Pontiff.


His actions forty years ago helped set the stage of the crisis in the first place. And it was his efforts to begin to undo the effects of those actions twenty years later that will inevitably cause the scandals to end.

Outrageous? Impossible? Crazy?


Consider the following historical items and connect the dots yourself. It all hinges on the fact that the Inquisition (now called the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" or CDF) has been running the cover-up since the counter-Reformation – a fact that has recently been acknowledged by a leading expert, Tom Doyle.

If you wish more detail on how the cover-up worked and why it failed, much more will be forthcoming in a book soon.

A Brief Timeline


Before the Scandals

"No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

There were few clergy abuse scandals for hundreds of years simply because clergy sexual abuse was covered up at first by the Inquisition and later by the secret system it had created.

  • 1478 – The Spanish Inquisition is founded by Ferdinand and Isabella. Run and jealously guarded by the crown, its prime focus is mainly on protecting the state from divisions caused by converted Jews and Moslems, as well as heresy and clergy misconduct.

  • 1542 – The Roman Inquisition is revived by Pope Paul III in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. From the beginning, the Roman version is mainly concerned with intellectual dangers to the Church at large, such as Lutheranism and modern science as well as clerical discipline. It publishes the Index of Forbidden Books, and remains to this day (although under a different name) as it began: the most powerful department of the Vatican.

  • 1559 – Pope Pius IV authorizes the Spanish Inquisition to actively seek out and punish priests who seduce women through misuse of the sacrament of Confession, known as "solicitation in the confessional."

  • April 15, 1561 – The pope, pleased by its success, extends its sexual jurisdiction over all Spanish dominions. The recently revived papally-run Roman Inquisition is given similar broad powers.
    The crime of solicition is first published as one that must be denounced to the Inquisition under penalty of excommunication. This causes such a sensation in Spain that the scribes are overwhelmed by the number of women complaining. It would be quietly removed from the list, even while later popes extended the powers and jurisdiction of the Inquisition over clergy sex cases.
    Around 1565, the confessional booth is invented in Milan by St. Charles Borromeo, as a screen between two chairs. The idea is to prevent sexual contact between priests and penitents. Within half a century, the Vatican would order them installed in every church in the world.

  • 1622 – Pope Gregory XV decrees that priests are still obliged to individually inform pentitents of their duty to inform on sexually predatory clergy, but the whole process becomes cloaked in secrecy. In areas where no Inquisition is active, bishops are empowered to set up their own secret tribunals and inflict the most extreme punishments.

  • 1646 – The Piarists, a highly successful order teaching poor boys across Italy, is abolished by the pope for child sexual abuse. Founded by the patron saint of Catholic education, St. José Calasanz, the order had been taken over by a pedophile ring, and finally busted by the Roman Inquisition. The order will be quietly revived later, but these scandals are successfully concealed until the opening of the Inquistion's own archives at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

  • 1820 – The Spanish Inquisition is abolished by decree. Archives show its continual intervention in clergy sex cases until the very end.

  • 1836 – "Maria Monk," an alleged escapee from a Canadian convent, is the first to break silence about sexual and other abuse in nunneries. She is nearly universally reviled and disbelieved.

  • 1867 – American historian Henry Charles Lea publishes a three-volume study on celibacy in the Catholic Church which reveals the long and often futile struggle to impose chastity on clerics, including the involvement of the Inquistion, and is largely ignored.

  • 1880 – Personal friend of Lincoln and former American priest, Charles Chiniquy, bitterly complains of the current ongoing dangers and results of solicitation in The Priest, The Woman, and the Confessional.

  • 1908 – The now-Universal Roman Inquisition is renamed the "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office" and given authority across the globe.

  • 1922 – Any knowledge at all of the Holy Office's role in sex crimes is now deemed too scandalous. New rules were written. They have never been released.

  • 1947 – The Servants of the Paraclete, a religious order dedicated to helping fallen priests, is established with headquarters in Jemez Springs, New Mexico by Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald.

  • 1954 – An American ex-Franciscan, Emmett McGloughlin, in his autobiography first reveals the existence of the Jemez Springs establishment as one "ecclesiastic prison" among others where priests are sent without trial for sexual offenses, alcoholism, and insubordination.

  • 1962 – Reporting laws that mandate disclosure of sex abuse appear for the first time and McGloughlin publishes another book with a few more details on Jemez Springs. Prophetically, he writes, "The sexual affairs of priests in the U.S. are more closely guarded secrets than the classified details of our national defense."

  • On March 16, Cardinal Alberto Ottaviani, the head of the Holy Office, presents Pope John XXIII with Crimen sollicitationis, in English, Instruction on the Manner of Proceeding in Cases of Solicitation. This is a highly secret document containing instructions for bishops on how to proceed trying cases of sexual abuse and homosexuality among clerics.

  • In October, the Second Vatican Council begins.



Vatican II...

The secret system was inadvertently broken during the Ecumenical Council.


Though it happened as an unintended consequence of trying to protect progressive theologians, Joseph Ratzinger was undoubtedly largely responsible for this.

  • Immediately after the Council began, the head of the liberal faction, Cardinal Josef Frings of Belguim, opposes Ottaviani's proposed plan of discussion. Ottaviani boycotts the Council for weeks out of pique, giving liberals the chance to determine their own agenda. Among them is Joseph Ratzinger, one of Frings' trusted theological advisors.

  • On November 8, 1963, Frings gives a rousing speech that Ratzinger wrote calling for reform of the Holy Office and its "medieval ways." It is enthusiastically applauded. Pope Paul VI calls Frings that evening to tell him that the reform will go through.

  • Heated discussions over celibacy and the clergy also consume the Council. Finally in the Decree on the Life and Ministry of Priests, carefully coded language reveals that 1) priests will no longer be punished for sexual transgressions but treated with "with fraternal charity and magnanimity" and 2) celibacy is not necessary for the priesthood but would still be demanded of Latin-rite priests. This sets the stage for the great clergy exodus.

  • On December 7, 1965, the very last day of the Council, the reform of the Holy Office is announced. It will henceforth be called the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" (CDF). Some secrecy will be ended, priests would be given certain rights of appeal and representation, and the Index of Forbidden Books will be discontinued. Ominously, the CDF is given the power of questioning faith and morals anywhere in the entire Church. Only the Pope retains more power.


... and After

It took some time for the "secret system" to break down after Vatican II. It took just as long for Cardinal Ratzinger to fix it.

  • June 14, 1967 – Finally bowing to pressure, Pope Paul IV issues an encyclical that removes the restrictions of the Holy Office on clergy wishing to leave, and the flight of disgruntled religious begins.

  • 1968 – Returning to academic life, Ratzinger is traumatized by anticlerical student protesters. His doubts about the direction of the Council grow, and he becomes a reactionary.

  • Mid-1970s – With few other options available, the Paracletes' Jemez monastery becomes a major center for treating priests with sexual problems, over the objections of founder Fitzgerald, who wanted to imprison them on an island for life. Instead, the order opens up more treatment centers, even halfway houses, and loans priests in treatment out to local communities without warning anyone. At some point, they are advised to destroy most of their files by the bishops, and advised the New Mexico archdiocese to do the same.

  • 1981 – Pope John Paul II names Ratzinger as Prefect of the CDF. The former protestor is now the "Vatican's enforcer." He begins a highly publicized series of campaigns against liberal causes that have sprung up since the Council – and many of his former allies, too, such as Hans Kung and Karl Rahner. National bishops councils established by the Council are also opposed as threats to papal power.

  • 1983 – Canon Law (pdf) is revised, complete with a statute of limitations for clergy sex crimes.

  • 1984 – The first significant modern scandal begins with the exposure of Gilbert Gauthe, a serial child molester in Louisiana. His attorney, Ray Mouton, calls for help. Priests Tom Doyle, then working in the nunciature in Washington, and Michael Peterson, a psychiatrist who had recently founded a treatment center for troubled priests, become involved. Together, they write a proposal for American bishops, The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy: Meeting the Problem in a Responsible Manner, most simply known as The Manual (link). It calls for a "crisis control team" to fly around the country putting out hotspots, with little concern for victims.

  • 1985 – The Manual is presented to the bishops at their June meeting. It would even be shown to Pope John Paul II. Nothing happens.

  • 1992 – The scandals first receive extensive national media attention when the notorious James Porter cases surface. His tracks lead to Jemez Springs, which leads to scandals breaking out in New Mexico. By this time, some 1,200 other religious had also passed through their programs.
    American bishops find themselves again frustrated by Rome, which blocks their proposals.

  • 1993 – Archbishop Robert Sanchez of New Mexico becomes the first high-ranking prelate to fall as his affairs are exposed on CBS' 60 Minutes.

  • At World Youth Day in Denver, Pope John Paul II infamously dismisses the crisis as a largely North American affair due to a corrupt secular society.

  • Late 1990s – Despite the pope's wishful thinking, the crisis becomes truly global. Scandals continue throughout the United States, too many to mention, but also break out across Canada, Ireland, Australia, Austria, even Poland.

  • The Servants of the Paraclete scale back their treatment progams in New Mexico. Meanwhile, two priests, a former client and one of their own, are murdered in separate events by men claiming they were abused by them.

  • 1997 – Ratzinger opens the Inquisition's own secret archives to select scholars, allowing for the rediscovery of the Inquisition's role in the cover-up.

  • April 30, 2001 – The CDF secretly issues Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela, or Safeguarding the Sanctity of the Sacraments (link) under Pope John Paul II's name. This replaces Crimen sollicitationis with a policy even more secret and ruthless than before. All priestly sex crimes are to be placed under the CDF, which usually will authorize the bishops to conduct trials themselves. However, clerical homosexuality is not even mentioned.

  • May 18, 2001 – Ratzinger quietly adds the cover letter (pdf) for the new policy, making cases "subject to the pontifical secret." In other words, absolute secrecy is imposed on all who know about them under pain of automatic excommunication that only the pope can forgive.

  • 2002 – American bishops issue the so-called "Dallas Charter" calling for audits and zero tolerance.

  • 2002 – The scandals reach Boston (again) with John Geoghan and other cases. Cardinal Bernard Law, exposed as a prime enabler of the cover-up, resigns and is compensated with a major post in the Vatican.

  • 2003 – Crimen sollicitationis is discovered among diocesan legal papers in Boston.

  • 2004 – Pope John Paul II apologizes for the excesses of the Inquisition and asks for forgiveness.

  • The National Review Board issues a report claiming 10,000 child sexual abuse victims of nearly 4,000 Catholic priests just in the United States over the last 50 years, undoubtedly gravely underestimated.

  • April 19, 2005 – Ratzinger ascends the papal throne as Benedict XVI.

  • In June, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops finally gets a toothless version of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People approved.

  • 2007 – David Yallop, in his critical biography of John Paul II, reports that there are so many referrals for action against priests to the CDF that it takes 18 months just to get a reply.

  • 2008 – The Vatican reports that for the third year in a row, the number of new cases has gone steadily down, despite record high financial settlements.

Note: more money, but fewer cases, and many more priests being reported to Rome.


This is exactly what should be expected if the secret system is once more in place. And Joseph Ratzinger, who helped accidentally dislodge it, is the one largely responsible for doing so.

One can only shudder at what he may accomplish as pope.

The Roman Catholic Church, it seems, is quietly once again dispensing its "justice" privately, unobserved and therefore unchecked and unbalanced. Once again, it asserts its clerical "privileges" – that is to say, private laws for the good of the clerical class, not the secular society. And certainly not for the boys and girls, women and men, who are have been or will be, its victims.

Is this at all tolerable in a modern democratic society that upholds one law for all people?

More than anything else – and there are plenty of other good reasons, too – that is why this ecclesiastical tyrant must be opposed.


Pope Benedict XVI is on his way to Australia for World Youth Day, July 20, 2008.

His first visit Down Under promises to be quite the event, full of pontifical pomp, with hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic Catholic adolescents hanging on his every word.

Yes, quite a busy week for His Holiness, to be sure.

But apart from wearing the nice white suit, does this man really deserve this attention?

If only the kids knew that the sex scandals that have rocked their country and much of the rest of the world are in some small part due to him. And that's just one of the many reasons. Thus, the BOYCOTT BENEDICT campaign.


Before he became Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger served as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which at one time had been called the Holy Office of the Universal Roman Inquisition. Yes, that Inquisition.


The one that silenced Galileo and burnt Bruno. It was also the one that kept the lid on clergy sexual abuse for over 400 years.

As head of the CDF, Ratzinger deliberately cranked the clock back to the Middle Ages. Or at least long before the Second Vatican Council. He personally helped squash most of the progressive hopes that he himself had promoted during the Council. It reads like a litany of the damned.


Among them are:

  • Liberation theology, taking the "preferential option for the poor" of the Gospel seriously, was condemned. Along the way, so too were his old friends and allies from the Council, including Leonardo Boff, Hans Kung, and Karl Rahner.

  • Women's ordination hopes were dashed by raising the doctrine of verismilitude – that possession of a penis like Jesus, even if unused, was somehow vitally important to the office of priest – to near-dogmatic status.

  • Gays were denied any participation unless totally celibate. Quite a bit of hypocrisy there as many experts reckon that well over half of the clergy itself is homosexual, and most of them are active.

  • Ecumenical flowerings withered on the vine by suggesting that any Christian denomination denying the pope were somehow lacking. It is, by the way, now an offense worthy of automatic excommunication and a secret trial for any priest who participates in a Mass with non-Roman Catholics – on the same level as a Black Mass or sexual abuse.

  • Inter-religious relations haven't flourished either, especially with the Muslims, whom Benedict managed to insult by calling Muhammad an evildoer. Nor have the Jews been pleased by his promotion of the idea that Catholics continue to pray for their conversion.

And the main reason:

  • Clergy abuse cases are once again handled secretly, with automatic excommunication incurred by anyone who violates it.

Not only that, he is simply one evil-looking dude.

The Campaign

To join the campaign is simple:

  • Don't participate in any papal events.

  • Don't contribute to any special papal monetary collections – including the Peter's Pence drive.

  • Do something pleasant instead.

  • Do show your feelings!

One Scary Pontiff
A Gallery of Pictures of Pope Benedict XVI

Would you buy a used religion from this man?
Yes, anyone can have a bad hair day. Anyone can have fun with a silly hat.



But how is that someone who is supposed to be the representative of God on Earth can look so consistently evil?

True story: the day Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope, someone replaced his picture on his page at Wikipedia with this one of Senator Palpatine from Star Wars.


It went unnoticed for some time. It's an appropriate comparison, seeing as both started off as champions of the underdog and became spooky-looking, power-mad tyrants.


And indeed, the graphic comparison to the evil Emperor is uncomfortably apt.



Of course, it's easy to exaggerate the look with Photoshop...

But below are a series of photos of Benedict collected from the Internet. Judge for yourselves if they are fake or real.


Such a charming smile, and so humble too...

No, it's not "Evil Santa"...

It's good to be the Pope.


He certainly has fun with the job, loves waving at the crowds, and displaying himself for their adulation.

If he just didn't look so creepy...


Here's an interesting sequence. Enjoying the crowd's worship during a visit to his old stomping grounds in Munich, Benedict looks both happier and nastier by the second.

"Ego sum papa."



I'm surprised the kids aren't crying....

"Trust me! I'm the Pope!"