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Cardinal Ratzinger
Criticical of Vatican Council II

        The following is an article copied from http://www.sspx.ca/Angelus/1984_December/Article_Interest.htm on Monday, May 16, 2005, and preserved here because of the likelihood that it will disappear, now that Ratzinger has been elected pope:
        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."


Juan Arias, Rome

        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.
        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."

Our thanks to Mr. E.A. Wilson who sent the foregoing article to us!

        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.
       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.

[from http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1469055,00.html ]

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.
        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. 

See washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/22/AR2005052200966.html .

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.

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