Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Benedict On Abuse Coverup: I Was Only Following Orders!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 5, 2010

Guess who got thrown under the bus in Pope Benedict’s efforts to absolve himself of any blame in the metastasizing worldwide church sex-abuse scandal?

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — who became Pope Benedict — had tried to investigate the abuses as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to Schönborn. But his efforts had been blocked by “the Vatican”, an apparent reference to John Paul.

Asked by The Sunday Times whether John Paul’s role in the cover-up of abuse should be investigated, Schönborn said: “I have known Pope Benedict personally during 37 years of amiable acquaintance and I can say with certainty that … he made entirely clear efforts not to cover things up but to tackle and investigate them. This was not always met with approval in the Vatican.”

The Groer affair became public in 1995 when former pupils of an elite Catholic school accused him of sexual abuse.

After an outcry, Groer was replaced and made the prior of a convent. He was never punished and issued only a vague apology in 1998 before retreating to a nunnery where he lived until his death in 2003. Some of his victims were offered “hush money” from the church.

Michael Tfirst, 54, one of Groer’s victims, claims to have reported the abuse to highranking church officials from the 1970s onwards. He says the church paid him £3,300 in 2004 under a contract that obliged him to keep quiet.

“There is no question that Ratzinger knew all the details of reports on abuse within the church, as there is no doubt that John Paul, his superior, took part in a massive and systematic cover-up,” Tfirst said.

Somehow I don’t think that “I was only following orders” will work here, especially for those folks who either remember the Nuremberg trials or were taught about them in grade school.

But setting aside that, the whole effort on Benedict’s part to pretend that the abuse scandal is all the fault of his (conveniently dead) papal predecessor falls flat when one notes that abuse scandals were being covered up in Germany in the 1960s — long before JPII ascended to the Papacy.

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