Thought you would find of interest this
article sent to us by a priest friend in Zaragoza (Spain). The
article appeared in one of the largest Spanish daily papers, "El
Paris," on November 7, 1984."
CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER, PREFECT OF HOLY
OFFICE, SEVERELY CRITICIZES THE RESULTS OF VATICAN COUNCIL II
The German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect
of the Sacred Congregation for the Faith, previously the Holy Office,
the highest doctrinal authority in the Church, after the Pope, has spoken
out strongly against the results of Vatican II. In a long interview
conceded to the weekly "Jesus," he speaks of the urgency of
"restoring" the Church, he criticizes the episcopal conferences
and the American theologians, he calls some non-christian religions
"reigns of terror," he warns against the danger of an African
council, and admits that a real personal devil exists. These statements
by the so-called "gendarm of Pope Wojtyla," have had a strong
impact in the Vatican, especially in the more progressive circles who
are inspired by the Secretary of State, Cardinal Casaroli. Our thanks to Mr.
E.A. Wilson who sent the foregoing article to us!
The affirmations of Ratzinger, as theologian
and the first German to head the most important congregation of the
Roman Curia, whose actual real head is the Pope himself, are a resume
of an interview lasting several hours, and which will be published in
the form of a book.
One of the most disconcerting chapters, and
which will not fail to raise a strong controversy, is the one which
attacks the episcopal conferences, and which calls for returning to
the old system which reserved more power to the individual bishop. "The
episcopal conferences," affirms Ratzinger, "have no theological
basis, as do on the contrary the individual bishops; they have only
existence for practical reasons, and it is important not to forget this.
In many of the episcopal conferences the espirit de corps, perhaps
the desire to get along well with the group, or even a compulsion to
conform, pressures the majority to accept avant garde positions
of the minorities."
As regards Vatican Council II, Ratzinger
affirms: "The results were totally opposite to the hopes of all."
He adds, "We had hoped in renewed Catholic unity and the results
have been a pattern of autocriticism leading to self-destruction. We
had hoped for a new enthusiasm, but the results have been discouragement
and boredom." He concludes that the post-conciliar period has been
"decidedly negative for the Catholic Church." And this for
the entire Church, for the Prefect of the Holy Office affirms that there
is a crisis of faith in all of the continents with one exception, namely
Communist countries where "the Church is persecuted."
In Latin America the crisis is due, according
to Ratzinger, to "Marxist influences," and affirms that dialogue
with the liberation theologians is impossible since "they accept
as fact the illusionary goal of utilizing the class struggle as a means
of achieving reforms and eliminating misery and injustice." In
Europe and the United States, the crisis lies in "permissive morality"
and blames North American theologians, "who have not been capable
of defending Catholic ethics as being reasonable."
What we need badly now, says Ratzinger, is
to create bishops "who are capable of opposing with strength the
negative worldly tendencies," in as much as "he is totally
ignorant of the nature of the Church and the nature of the world, who
believes that these two can meet without conflict or that they be somehow
mixed." Therefore we must urgently oppose "the many worldly
cultural tendencies adopted by post-conciliar euphoria."
Extremely harsh also
were the words used by Ratzinger in passing judgment on other religions:
"After the Council," he says, "their value has been over
emphasized; paganism painted as being serene and innocent is one of
the illusions of our time. In fact, there exists the active presence
of the devil, and from this only Christ can free us. For this reason
we must continue to preach Christianity to these non-Christian religions
which are in many instances reigns of terror."
The first reactions in the Roman Curia have
been of surprise. Some are questioning the prudence of a personage such
as Ratzinger, who is charged with vigilance over Catholic orthodoxy,
should express himself publicly in this manner, giving the impression
of wishing to stigmatize nothing less than Vatican II itself, and criticizing
the episcopal conferences, which are the only democratic structures
instituted by the Council for the Church. And all of them wonder if
this interview has been made public with or without the knowledge of
the Pope, although it is acknowledged that Cardinal Ratzinger above
all others enjoys the confidence of Pope John Paul II, and is considered
a "theological bastion."
When the sex scandals erupted around the world at the turn of the millennium, the current Pope Benedict XVI 'obstructed' the criminal investigations.
Confidential letter reveals Ratzinger ordered bishops to keep allegations secret
by Jamie Doward, religious affairs correspondent (for The Observer of London, U.K. )
Sunday April 24, 2005
Pope Benedict XVI faced claims last night he had 'obstructed justice' after it emerged he issued an order ensuring the church's investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret. The order was made in a confidential letter, obtained by The Observer, which was sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001. It asserted the church's right to hold its inquiries behind closed doors and keep the evidence confidential for up to 10 years after the victims reached adulthood.
[from http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1469055,00.html ]
Lawyers acting for abuse victims claim it was designed to prevent the allegations from becoming public knowledge or being investigated by the police. They accuse Ratzinger of committing a 'clear obstruction of justice'.
Ratzinger's letter states. . . the church's jurisdiction 'begins to run from the day when the minor has completed the 18th year of age' and lasts for 10 years. It orders that 'preliminary investigations' into any claims of abuse should be sent to Ratzinger's office, which has the option of referring them back to private tribunals in which the 'functions of judge, promoter of justice, notary and legal representative can validly be performed for these cases only by priests'.
'Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret,' Ratzinger's letter concludes. Breaching the pontifical secret at any time while the 10-year jurisdiction order is operating carries penalties, including the threat of excommunication.
An article by ABC news has reported that
"Powerful Cardinal in Vatican Accused of Sexual Abuse Cover-Up
By Brian Ross
April 26 , 2002
A trusted ally of Pope John Paul II has been accused of sexually abusing boys a half-century ago at an elite seminary for the Catholic Church. See washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/22/AR2005052200966.html .
The alleged victims say the Vatican knew of the allegations against Father Maciel Degollado, the founder of the very conservative "Legion of Christ", a rapidly growing Roman Catholic order with 650 priests and 2,500 seminarians in 20 countries, and chose not to pursue them. In fact, the pope has continued to praise 82-year-old Maciel, a Mexico native, as an effective leader of Catholic youth, despite detailed allegations sent to the Vatican four years ago saying the man was also a long-time pedophile." After Benedict XVI took over, the investigation appears to have been shut down.
Pope John Paul II gives top position to disgraced Boston Cardinal ( Bernard Law)
One of Pope Ratzinger's first public positions was objection to Spain's efforts to treat its gay citizens fairly.