Friday, 15 March 2013

Orgies, Incest & More: 15 Biggest Vatican Scandals

You thought a little resignation was bad? How about the pope whose syphilis was so bad he couldn’t preach, or the one who threw orgies, or the one who had a kid with his sister? Caroline Linton runs through the biggest scandals the church has ever seen—from modern pedophilia all the way back to a dead pontiff on trial in 897.

Benedict’s resignation came as a real shock—he’s the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years, with the last resignation being Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 to end a church schism. The 85-year-old pontiff announced he would be stepping aside on Feb. 28 due to declining health, citing his “incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” Taking over in April 2005, Benedict was a surprising pick for pope to begin with: Born Joseph Ratzinger in Germany in 1927, he was a member of the Hitler Youth during World War II, although he insisted he was never part of the Nazi Party. As a cardinal, Benedict was one of the most conservative in the church, making his pick all the more unusual after popular reformer Pope John Paul II.

Victims Groups Implicate Pope Ratzinger in Sex Abuse Cover Up

Pedophilia in the American Church, 2001-present 

There were always the whispers about American Catholic priests sexually abusing children—with one bishop apparently warning of the consequences as far back as the 1950s—but the church’s role in covering up the abuse came to light in 2002 when the Boston Globe published an in-depth investigation into defrocked priest John Geoghan, who had been suspected of molesting an estimated 150 children over a 30-year period. Geoghan would eventually be convicted in criminal court and sentenced to 10 years in prison and murdered two years into his sentence. But the real scandal was that the church had not only known about the allegations against Geoghan, they had moved him from parish to parish, sent him to therapy, and tried to cover it up—even after he was defrocked in 1998. After the Geoghan case, hundreds of other instances were uncovered, including in Los Angeles, where the church agreed to pay over $600 million in 2007 to settle with victims dating back decades.

Vatican Commission Endorses Birth Control—Then Pope Takes It Back, 1960s
The Catholic Church and birth control have had a long, complicated relationship. When the pill was introduced in the 1960s, Pope John XXIII appointed a commission called the Study of Problems of Population, Family, and Birth (featuring one Polish bishop named Karol Wojtyla, who would go on to become Pope John Paul II) to study whether birth control could be incorporated into the church doctrine. But surprise, surprise: the commission recommended to Pope Paul VI, who had taken over in 1963 and expanded the commission to 58 members, that the ban on contraceptives be lifted. The findings were leaked in 1967, making it all the more heartbreaking for Catholics who wanted contraceptives when Paul rejected the findings in a 1968 paper called Humane Vitale. In the 40 years since, it’s believed that up to 98 percent of American Catholics have used artificial birth control at some point in their lifetimes.

Pope Pius XII and Holocaust, 1940s  More

No comments: