Theologian Matthew Fox on Pope Benedict XVI’s complicated legacy

History will remember Pope John Paul II as the person who brought back the Inquisition and who handpicked Cardinal Ratzinger to be its chief Inquisitor as head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, CDF, formerly known as the Office of the Sacred Inquisition.

The name was changed after the Second Vatican Council under Pope Paul VI.  Though the Council had called for freedom of expression and opinions among theologians, all that came to an abrupt halt under JPII and Benedict XVI who as head of CDF and then as Pope Benedict XVI, managed to silence, suppress or expel 107 theologians from countries all around the world, myself included.

I list the names of these persons in my book on Ratzinger, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved. 

As I know from my experience with him, Cardinal Ratzinger was a bully of the first order.  His brother, who was a priest in Germany, admitted to physically abusing boys in his choir though denied he was part of the sexual abuse of the boys that also occurred in that same choir.

NBC News’ Joshua Johnson and Boston Globe former Spotlight editor Walter Robinson discuss Benedict’s admission of presence at a 1980 meeting on priestly pedophilia.

Yale psychology professor Young Shin Kim, an expert on bullying, says 85% of bullying cases happen for the benefit of an audience.  That is clearly a big part of the raison d’etre for Benedict’s actions against Leonardo Boff in Brazil, Eugene Drewermann in Germany and myself in North America.  This same psychologist observes that “bullying is often used to maintain the social pecking order” and there was plenty of that going on in JP II and Benedict’s Vatican.

Criminologist William Black tells us that Bullies play a well known game.  Their strategy is to intimidate…They must be confronted….Bullies are cowards…Giving in to bullies guarantees that they will act ever more abusively…An adult who repeatedly gives in to a bully is a coward. 

Matthew Fox’s archival records, packed up to go to the University of Colorado. Photo by Matthew Fox.

When it comes to Ratzinger and myself, a big synchronicity occurred for me last Friday.  On the exact day that Cardinal Ratzinger died, I finished a major task of sorting my papers and loaded them up in a U Haul for shipping to the University of Colorado in Boulder, where they will be digitized and made available for future generations to study.

A relative of mine who is a practicing Catholic pointed out the special synchronicity of that day because a chunk of my papers (two boxes of 36) holds correspondence twixt Rome, my provincial and myself.  Also, thousands of letters of support written to the Vatican or to Dominican headquarters by Catholics and people of other and no faith traditions supporting my work.

That that journey happened on the same day that Pope Benedict’s soul took its journey is, well, surprisingly synchronistic.

Source: Pope Benedict XVI’s Legacy, continued – Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox

Canadian nun, sexologist: Catholics must increase their sexual maturity 

Immaculate Conception Sister Marie-Paul Ross told the French-language Canadian news agency Presence info that the faithful must accept that ecclesial structures might need to change.

QUEBEC CITY (CNS) — A Canadian nun with a Ph.D. in clinical sexology said the sex abuse crisis in the church does not mean “the end of faith” but rather “the end of a lack of formation and the end of deviance,” and a call to return to Jesus’ message of love.

Immaculate Conception Sister Marie-Paul Ross told the French-language Canadian news agency Presence info that the faithful must accept that ecclesial structures might need to change.

“If we really want to save the faith, the spiritual experience of the people, the depth of Christianity, and focus on evangelical values, we have no choice but to let go of the structures Continue reading “Canadian nun, sexologist: Catholics must increase their sexual maturity “

How abused boy scouts made the French church tremble 

The conviction of the archbishop of Lyon for covering up paedophilia in his diocese is a victory for victim and campaigner Francois Devaux, whose dogged efforts to publicise the abuse have made him a hero — and a reluctant cinema star. Archbishop Philippe Barbarin, 68, the most senior French cleric caught up in an abuse […]

Source: How abused boy scouts made the French church tremble – Journal du Cameroun

The Berlinale presents the Grand Jury Prize to François Ozon for “Thank God”, his film on pedophilia in the Church

On Saturday evening, the Berlin Film Festival awarded the Jury Grand Prize to French director François Ozon’s film “Grace to God” on pedophile scandals in the Catholic Church. The Grand Prix is ​​the second major award of the Berlinale after the Golden Bear. This prize was awarded before a court decision Monday on a possible postponement of the release of the film in France.François Ozon shares the prize with his heroes

“This film tries to break the silence of powerful institutions” on these cases of sexual abuse of children, said François Ozon receiving his reward. “I want to share this award with the free men who inspired me” who “were victims of a pedophile priest,” he added, moved. “Alexandre, François and Pierre-Emmanuel, you are my heroes,” greeted the 51-year-old French director.

“Thanks to God” tells the birth of the association of victims The liberated Word, founded in Lyon in 2015 by former scouts abused by a pedophile priest, Bernard Preynat. In total, the association lists nearly 85 victims of this priest. The film follows three victims, incarnated on the screen by the actors Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet and Swann Arlaud.
The subject is in full relevance in France, while held in early January in Lyon the trial of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, and five other people for not denouncing pedophile sexual assault in this case, so-called Barbarin case . The judgment is expected on March 7th. Charged with sexual assault since January 2016, Father Preynat could be tried this year.
 

Source: The Berlinale presents the Grand Jury Prize to François Ozon for “Thank God”, his film on pedophilia in the Church

Cardinal’s cover-up trial puts French Catholic Church in glare of abuse scandal

The highest-profile Catholic cleric to be caught up in a paedophile scandal in France goes on trial on Monday charged with failing to report a priest who abused boy scouts in the 1980s and 90s.

Source: Cardinal’s cover-up trial puts French Catholic Church in glare of abuse scandal