1927 – Joseph Ratzinger is born in Bavaria, Germany
1941 – Joins the Hitler Youth aged 14 (as was compulsory)
1945 – Fights for the regular German Infantry against the Americans on the Western front and is taken prisoner
1951 – Ordained as a Priest
1977 – Becomes Archbishop of Munich & Freising
1981 – Appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) – formerly known as the inquisition
2002 – Named Dean of the College of Cardinals
2005 – Begins reign as 265th Pope
2013 – Resigns as Pope aged 85
Joseph Ratzinger condemned condom use as a sin, even to stop the spread of HIV. He even went as far as propagating the Catholic dogma that condom usage increases the rate of HIV infection because latex is porous to the virus. He said:
“If there is no human dimension, if Africans do not help, the problem cannot be overcome by the distribution of prophylactics: on the contrary, they increase it.”
Ratzinger insisted that the only solutions were abstinence and prayer.
It’s impossible to quantify just how many lives have been and will continue to be lost because of Ratzinger’s insistence during a trip to Africa that condoms are worse than AIDS, but as this is the only advice available on sexual health in many places, one must presume his input to be a significant factor in the early, painful deaths of millions.
On Women & Abortion
He is against the idea of women being allowed to become Priests, supporting the churches stance that women do not have the moral capacity for spiritual leadership.
He is also against all abortions, even in cases of rape, and so supports depriving women of control over their own bodies, to say nothing of condemning hundreds of millions to poverty and starvation.
He is against IVF treatment because it interferes with God’s plan.
He is opposed to life-saving embryonic stem cell research because he thinks 1 day old embryos have a soul.
Joseph Ratzinger denounced homosexuality in the following ways:
“A deviant trend”, “Without any social value”, “An intrinsic moral evil”, “Contrary to human love”, “An expression of an anarchic freedom that wrongly passes for true freedom.”
As a consequence he actively encouraged discrimination, stating:
“Sexual orientation is not equivalent to race or ethnicity…it is not unjust discrimination.”
He clearly enjoyed mocking same-sex marriages, referring to them often as ‘pseudo-matrimonies’. He also claimed same-sex marriage was a threat to world peace and threatened to excommunicate anyone within the church who supported gay rights.
On Catholic History
In 2007, whilst in Brazil, Ratzinger remarked:
“…native populations had been silently longing for the Christian faith brought to South America by colonizers. The proclamation of Jesus and of his Gospel did not at any point involve an alienation of the pre-Columbus cultures, nor was it the imposition of a foreign culture.”
As the colonisation of South America involved one of the worst genocides known to humanity, this hardly surprisingly gave rise to calls for an apology for a blatant attempt to re-write history. The apology has yet to come.
It was often argued that Ratzinger’s eye-witness experiences of Nazi Germany would make him more sensitive towards Jewish people. However, a couple of events raised some eyebrows. Firstly, he re-introduced a prayer containing the words “lift the veil so that Jews may be delivered from their darkness,” implying that darkness is where they currently are. Previous Popes had stopped using this out of respect for Jewish people.
He also lifted the excommunications of four bishops who are members of the notoriously anti-Semitic Society of St Pius X. At least one of these is an outspoken holocaust denier.
Upon his arrival in the UK in 2010, presumably in response to calls for his arrest for complicity in crimes of child abuse from prominent British atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, Ratzinger gave a speech in which he blamed the crimes of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union on atheism.
On Sexual Abuse Crimes within the Catholic Church
Joseph Ratzinger’s career in the Catholic Church could have been known as the one which sharpened its resolve to fight the evil of homosexuality as they see it. However, his 34 year long (that we know of) commitment to the concealment of sex crimes against children and the protection of paedophiles will surely usurp anything he did or said against gay people. What follows are just a few examples of his approach toward such matters:
In 2001, Pope John Paul II placed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in charge of the investigation of child rape and torture by Catholic priests. Ratzinger was head of this department and immediately issued a letter to every bishop reminding them of the extreme gravity of the crime of reporting rape and torture to the police. Ratzinger said in the letter that the problem of child abuse was only treatable within the church’s jurisdiction. Any sharing of the evidence with legal authorities was utterly forbidden. He said that it was to be handled…
“…in the most secretive way … restrained by a perpetual silence … and everyone … is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office … under the penalty of excommunication.”
In 1980, an 11-year-old German boy was taken on a vacation to the mountains by Father Peter Hullermann. The boy was locked in a room, given alcohol and forced to perform fellatio on the priest. The offending cleric was transferred to another district by then-Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, rather than being reported to the police. In no time at all, the priest resumed his career of sexual assault on young boys in the new district.
In 1982 Bishop John Cummins of Oakland, California wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger to request the defrocking of Priest Stephen Kiesle under his jurisdiction because he had admitted to and been prosecuted for the molestation of two young boys aged 11 and 12. Ratzinger replied that he needed time to think about it, saying:
“…the good of the universal Church needed to be considered.”
In the two years that passed before Ratzinger was eventually pressured into authorising the defrocking, Kiesle was put out to volunteer at another Parish where it was later found that he committed multiple acts of abuse against children.
In 1996 Ratzinger over-ruled a request from US Bishops to defrock Priest Lawrence Murphy from Wisconsin. Murphy had admitted to abusing 200 deaf boys throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. Ratzinger however accepted Murphy’s pleas in a letter that he was old and simply wanted to die with dignity.
Joseph Ratzinger’s whole career appears to have been dedicated to the proliferation of the very worst evils. He hates women, he makes no secret of his pathological disgust of homosexuals, he knowingly assisted the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa and throughout the world with his preaching’s against condom use, and he wrote and signed a letter that makes it clear that he believed the church’s reputation comes before the protection of young children from rapists. He was also, along with his brother Georg who was eventually forced to apologise for his habit of slapping around young boys at the choir school he ran, a capricious bully and a compulsive liar.
It’s a blessing he has gone – and hopefully now that he is no longer protected by the preposterous Vatican status of head of state, he can be brought to justice in criminal courts (or at a minimum personally sued) for the failure to report sexual abuse crimes of which he knew, for ordering and assisting in the cover up of those crimes, and for enabling their continuity.