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Parting Shot from “Der Panzerkardinal”: Keeping Scandal Hidden (Under the Rock of St. Peter)

Rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's.

COMMENT: We thought the timing of “Der Panzerkardinal’s” resignation was “interesting.” His resignation followed the release of a damning report about the suppression of priest-molestation scandals and coming as the Vatican Bank is (once again) under investigation for money laundering. This is the same Vatican Bank that was heavily invested in Nazi industry during World War II.  Investigations into Vatican financial scandals have dominated the last two Papacies and are, in turn, inextricably linked with the history of the Vatican’s relationship to fascism.

Now comes the news that Ratzinger/Benedict has named a German lawyer and member of the Knights of Malta to head the troubled Vatican Bank. Furthermore, Ernst von Freyberg is chairman of the executive of Blohm & Voss–a major German munitions maker. Highlighted in the PBS TV series “Reilly: Ace of Spies”, Blohm & Voss is to German warships as Krupp is to German cannon. Needless to say, Blohm & Voss made warships for Hitler. Blohm & Voss made liberal use of Nazi slave labor and engaged in egregious crimes in an effort to cover their tracks.

Up until its sale in December, 2011, Blohm & Voss was a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. The Thyssen interests have been at the core of the Third Reich’s interests and operations since the early 1920’s and are at the foundation of the Bormann capital network.

The Thyssens are also very close to the Bush family and are inextricably linked with their involvement with the Underground Reich.

A number of thoughts in this regard:

“Pope Approves Ger­man Lawyer to Head Embat­tled Bank” [AP]; USA Today; 2/15/2013. EXCERPT: Pope Bene­dict XVI has signed off on one of the last major appoint­ments of his papacy, approv­ing a Ger­man lawyer to head the Vatican’s embat­tled bank. Ernst Von Frey­berg has solid finan­cial and Catholic cre­den­tials as a mem­ber of the Sov­er­eign Mil­i­tary Order of Malta, an ancient chival­rous order drawn from Euro­pean nobility.

The appoint­ment ends a nine-month search after the Insti­tute of Reli­gious Works ousted its pre­vi­ous pres­i­dent, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, for incom­pe­tence. The ouster came just as the Vat­i­can was sub­mit­ting its finances to a review by a Coun­cil of Europe com­mit­tee in a bid to join the list of finan­cially trans­par­ent countries. The Vat­i­can said Von Frey­berg had been appointed by the bank’s com­mis­sion of car­di­nals and that the pope had “expressed his full consent.” . . .

“Ernst von Freyberg: Controversial New Vatican Bank President Appointed By Pope Benedict” by Alessandro Speciale; Huffington Post; 2/15/2013. EXCERPT: . . . . But von Freyberg’s appointment immediately sparked controversy. The lawyer will remain in his current role of chairman of the executive board of German shipyard Blohm + Voss, which was involved in the production of warships under Nazi Germany. Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said that the shipyard is currently involved in engineering and ship repair activities, as well as in the production of luxury yachts. But he also acknowledged that Blohm + Voss is “part of a consortium that is building four frigates for the German navy.” . . .

“Popes Don’t Resign”; Germany Watch; 2/21/2013.

EXCERPT: . . . . From July 1944 to April 1945 Blohm & Voss used inmates of its own concentration subcamp at its shipyard in Hamburg-Steinwerder for slave labour. The camp was a subcamp to the Neuengamme concentration camp.

The Blohm brothers were Nazis, and much of their wartime labour had come from Neuengamme, a site shared with none other than IG Farben.

As the Allies advanced at the end of the war, Germany tried to hide these warcrimes by marching the inmates of the camp further into Germany. It was decided that the best way to bury the evidence, was to load several large ships with the camp inmates, and then sink the ships.

Thousands of Neuengamme camp inmates were loaded onto the SS Thielbeck, and the Blohm & Voss built SS Arcona (a ship large enough to have realistically protrayed the Titanic in a German propaganda movie).

The Germans then sent a disinformation message (knowing the British were listening) pretending the ships were full of Nazi SS men heading for Norway.

On May 3rd 1945, four squadrons of RAF Hawker Typhoon fighter-bombers attacked the Thielbeck and Arcona in Neustadt bay with rockets and bombs. Thielbeck sank in 15 mins, however the Arcona burned for hours.

Many camp inmates managed to escape the two ships, only to drown or be shot by SS guards upon reaching the shore.

Neustadt memorial to the victims says 7000 lives, but is believed to be a major underestimate.

So, slave workers who worked for Blohm & Voss in a Blohm % Voss run camp, were put to death on a Blohm & Voss built ship.

Discussion

6 comments for “Parting Shot from “Der Panzerkardinal”: Keeping Scandal Hidden (Under the Rock of St. Peter)”

  1. It looks like the Pope might have his Poppet (his puppet Pope) already in mind:

    Pope may change conclave rules before leaving: Vatican

    By Philip Pullella

    VATICAN CITY | Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:20pm EST

    (Reuters) – Pope Benedict may change rules governing the conclave that will secretly elect his successor, a move that could move up the global meeting of cardinals who are already in touch about who could best lead Catholics through a period of crisis.

    The Vatican appears to be aiming to have a new pope elected and then formally installed before Palm Sunday on March 24 so he can preside at Holy Week services leading to Easter.

    The rule changes could mean that the conclave in the Sistine Chapel, where cardinals will choose the next leader of the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church, might be able to start before March 15, which is currently the earliest it can begin.

    Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said on Wednesday that Benedict, who will lose all power when he abdicates on February 28, was considering issuing a “Motu Proprio,” a personal document which has the force of Church law and addresses a specific need.

    A 1996 apostolic constitution by Pope John Paul stipulates that a conclave must start between 15 and 20 days after the papacy becomes vacant, meaning it cannot begin before March 15 under the current rules given Benedict’s date to step down.

    Some cardinals believe a conclave should start sooner than March 15 in order to reduce the time in which the Roman Catholic Church will be without a leader at a time of crisis.

    Benedict’s papacy was rocked by scandals over the sex abuse of children by priests in Europe and the United States, most of which preceded his time in office but came to light during it.

    His reign also saw Muslim anger after he compared Islam to violence. Jews were upset over his rehabilitation of a Holocaust denier. During a scandal over the Church’s business dealings, his butler was convicted of leaking his private papers.

    Benedict and his predecessor made sure any man awarded a cardinal’s red hat was firmly in line with key Catholic doctrine supporting priestly celibacy and Vatican authority and opposing abortion, women priests, gay marriage and other liberal reforms.

    Cardinals worldwide have begun informal consultations by phone and email to build a profile of the man they think would be best suited to lead the Church through rough seas. Some 117 cardinals under age of 80 will be eligible for the conclave.

    CONCERNS ABOUT EARLY CONCLAVE

    But some in the Church believe that an early conclave would give an unfair advantage to cardinals already in Rome and working in the Curia, the Vatican’s central administration.

    “A short period before a conclave helps the curial cardinals in Rome operating on their home turf,” said Father Tom Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and author of several books on the Vatican.

    “The curial cardinals are the ones that cardinals from outside Rome turn to for opinions about the other cardinals. The longer the pre-conclave period, the more time non-curial cardinals have to talk to each other and to get to know each other. The longer the period prior to the conclave, the less dependent outside cardinals are on the curial cardinals.”

    There is speculation in the Vatican that, if the rules are amended, the conclave could start on March 10, lasting a few days, and the new pope could be installed on March 17, both Sundays. But much would depend on the length of the conclave.

    During the conclave, cardinals live in a residence inside the Vatican and vote twice in the Sistine Chapel. They are not allowed to communicate in any way with the outside world, nor are they allowed to listen to radio, watch television, make phone calls or use the internet.

    Benedict has hand-picked more than half the men who will elect his successor. The rest were chosen by the late Pope John Paul, a Pole with whom the German pope shared a determination to reassert a more orthodox Catholicism in the new millennium.

    A number of cardinals have said they would be open to the possibility of a pope from the developing world, be it Latin America, Africa or Asia, as opposed to another from Europe, where the Church has lost credibility and is polarized.

    “I can imagine taking a step towards a black pope, an African pope or a Latin American pope,” Cardinal Kurt Koch, a Swiss Vatican official who will enter the conclave to choose the next pope, told Reuters in an interview last week.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 20, 2013, 12:02 pm
  2. Move along, nothing to see here…

    Vatican: Transfer has nada to do with secret dossier reports
    1:59p.m. EST February 22, 2013

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI is clearing the decks of his pontificate, tweaking the rules of the conclave, finessing the religious rites used to launch the next papacy and making some eyebrow-raising final appointments before he retires next week.

    And on Friday, the Vatican announced Benedict had transferred a top official in the secretariat of state, Monsignor Ettore Balestrero, to Colombia — an appointment that came amid swirling media speculation about the contents of a confidential report into the Vatican’s leaks scandal.

    Italian newspapers have been rife for days with unsourced reports about the contents of the secret dossier that three cardinals prepared for Benedict after investigating the origins of the leaks. The scandal erupted last year after papers taken from the pope’s desk were published in a blockbuster book. The pope’s butler was convicted in October of aggravated theft, and later pardoned.

    The Vatican has refused to comment on the reports, which have claimed the contents of the dossier, delivered to Benedict in December, were a factor in his decision to resign. Benedict himself has said he simply no longer has the “strength of mind and body” to carry on.

    Balestrero was head of the Holy See’s delegation to the Council of Europe’s Moneyval committee, which evaluated the Vatican’s anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing measures. He has had a hand in the efforts by the Vatican bank to be more transparent and is close to Benedict’s No. 2, the Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

    The Vatican submitted itself to Moneyval’s evaluation in a bid to improve its reputation in the financial world.

    The Vatican passed the test on the first try in August, and Moneyval said it had made great progress in a short amount of time. But the Holy See received poor or failing grades for its financial watchdog agency and its bank, long the source of some of the Vatican’s more storied scandals.

    Some of the documents leaked in the midst of the “Vatileaks” scandal concerned differences of opinion about the level of financial transparency the Holy See should provide about the bank, the Institute for Religious Works. However, Balestrero himself wasn’t named in any significant way in the leaks.

    The Vatican is now working to comply with Moneyval’s recommendations before the next round of evaluation. Lombardi said the lengthy Moneyval process would simply be handled by someone else now that Balestrero is leaving.

    Lombardi said Balestrero’s transfer had been months in the works, was a clear promotion and had nothing to do with what the Vatican considers baseless reporting.

    Asked if the transfer had anything to do with the broader Vatileaks investigation, Lombardi said he was declining comment in line with the Vatican’s decision not to confirm or deny any specifics of the investigation.

    Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz, the Opus Dei canon lawyer who headed the cardinal’s commission, has spoken in vague terms about the report and the well-known divisions within the Vatican Curia that were exposed by the leaks.

    “Certainly, it has been said that this was a hypothesis behind the pope’s resignation, but I think we need to respect his conscience,” Herranz told Radio24 last week. “Certainly, there are divisions and there have always been divisions, as well as clashes along ideological lines. These aren’t new, but yes, they have a weight.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 22, 2013, 11:32 am
  3. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/21/pope-retired-amid-gay-bishop-blackmail-inquiry

    Report: Papal resignation linked to investigation into ‘blackmailed gay Vatican officials’

    Pope’s staff decline to confirm or deny La Repubblica claims linking ‘Vatileaks’ affair and discovery of ‘blackmailed gay clergy’

    John Hooper in Rome
    The Guardian, Thursday 21 February 2013

    A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders.

    The pope’s spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

    The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called “Vatileaks” affair.

    Last May Pope Benedict’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and charged with having stolen and leaked papal correspondence that depicted the Vatican as a seething hotbed of intrigue and infighting.

    According to La Repubblica, the dossier comprising “two volumes of almost 300 pages – bound in red” had been consigned to a safe in the papal apartments and would be delivered to the pope’s successor upon his election.

    The newspaper said the cardinals described a number of factions, including one whose members were “united by sexual orientation”.

    In an apparent quotation from the report, La Repubblica said some Vatican officials had been subject to “external influence” from laymen with whom they had links of a “worldly nature”. The paper said this was a clear reference to blackmail.

    It quoted a source “very close to those who wrote [the cardinal’s report]” as saying: “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments.”

    The seventh enjoins against theft. The sixth forbids adultery, but is linked in Catholic doctrine to the proscribing of homosexual acts.

    La Repubblica said the cardinals’ report identified a series of meeting places in and around Rome. They included a villa outside the Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlour in the centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a provincial Italian archbishop.

    Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said: “Neither the cardinals’ commission nor I will make comments to confirm or deny the things that are said about this matter. Let each one assume his or her own responsibilities. We shall not be following up on the observations that are made about this.”

    He added that interpretations of the report were creating “a tension that is the opposite of what the pope and the church want” in the approach to the conclave of cardinals that will elect Benedict’s successor. Another Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, alluded to the dossier soon after the pope announced his resignation on 11 February, describing its contents as “disturbing”.

    The three-man commission of inquiry into the Vatileaks affair was headed by a Spanish cardinal, Julián Herranz. He was assisted by Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, a former archbishop of Palermo, and the Slovak cardinal Jozef Tomko, who once headed the Vatican’s department for missionaries.

    Pope Benedict has said he will stand down at the end of this month; the first pope to resign voluntarily since Celestine V more than seven centuries ago. Since announcing his departure he has twice apparently referred to machinations inside the Vatican, saying that divisions “mar the face of the church”, and warned against “the temptations of power”.

    La Repubblica’s report was the latest in a string of claims that a gay network exists in the Vatican. In 2007 a senior official was suspended from the congregation, or department, for the priesthood, after he was filmed in a “sting” organised by an Italian television programme while apparently making sexual overtures to a younger man.

    In 2010 a chorister was dismissed for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting. A few months later a weekly news magazine used hidden cameras to record priests visiting gay clubs and bars and having sex.

    The Vatican does not condemn homosexuals. But it teaches that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered”. Pope Benedict has barred sexually active gay men from studying for the priesthood.

    Posted by R. Wilson | February 22, 2013, 10:17 pm
  4. http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/02/secret-vatican-report/62419/

    Did a Secret Vatican Report on Gay Sex and Blackmail Bring Down the Pope?

    ALEXANDER ABAD-SANTOS FEB 22, 2013

    Pope Benedict XVI has claimed that he’s resigning the papacy next week because of old age. But according to the major Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the real reason he resigned is because he did not want to deal the repercussions of a secret 300-page Vatican dossier that allegedly found, among other things, an underground network of high-ranking gay clergy, complete with sex parties and shady dealings with the already scandal-ridden Vatican bank. Here’s what we know:

    – The report sounds menacing. According to La Repubblica, the dossier comes in two volumes, “two folders hard-bound in red” with the header “pontifical secret.”

    – Pope Benedict asked for the investigation. “The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign — the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called ‘Vatileaks’ affair,” according to the The Guardian’s translation of the report.

    – The Vatican has a Velvet Mafia — and the Velvet Mafia is being blackmailed. The dossier alleges that a gay lobby exists within the Church, and has some sort of control on the careers of those in the Vatican. The dossier also alleges that this group isn’t as covert as it thinks — and got blackmailed by people on the outside. “The cardinals were said to have uncovered an underground gay network, whose members organise sexual meetings in several venues in Rome and Vatican City, leaving them prone to blackmail,” reads The Sydney Morning Herald’s translation of the report, and The Guardian adds: “They included a villa outside the Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlour in the centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a provincial Italian archbishop.” Some important context on this still powerful group:

    This isn’t the first time there’s been talk of a gay faction inside the highest ranks of the Church. Indeed, it isn’t even the first time that La Repubblica has written about it. Back in 2010, Ghinedu Ehiem, a Nigerian clergyman who was part of one of the Vatican’s prestigious choirs, was dismissed after police wiretaps found him negotiating for male prostitutes. La Repubblicahad those wiretaps.
    And “in 2007 a senior official was suspended from the congregation, or department, for the priesthood, after he was filmed in a ‘sting’ organised by an Italian television programme while apparently making sexual overtures to a younger man,” according to The Guardian — evidence the paper says connects to a gay network within the Holy See.

    – La Repubblica’s sourcing seems to have been corroborated. So how much of this new scandal should you believe? Well, La Repubblica is not the only publication with an outline of this scandalous dossier. Panorama, an Italian weekly, has a similar report out late this week and according to the AFP, both publications have sources (perhaps the same source) who said the same thing: that the investigation shows transgressions that “revolve around the sixth and seventh commandments” — “Thou shall not commit adultery” and “Thou shall not steal.” It’s assumed in multiple reports that homosexual sex acts fall under the “adultery” umbrella.

    – The Vatican’s bank sounds fishy. La Repubblica says that the seventh commandment (“Though shall not steal”) has to do with the Institute of Religious Works, the Vatican’s Bank. “The three cardinals continued to work beyond 17 December last year. They came up with the latest events concerning the IOR — here you go to the seventh commandment,” reads the report, according to a rough Google Translation. On February 15, Pope Benedict appointed Ernst von Freyberg, a German lawyer, to head the scandalous bank.

    – The Vatican’s response isn’t exactly comforting. They Church isn’t flat-out denying the inflammatory allegations from La Repubblica, and they’ve pulled the classic act of neither confirming nor denying. Vatican spokesman Father Ferederico Lombardi said in a statement:

    Neither the cardinals’ commission nor I will make comments to confirm or deny the things that are said about this matter. Let each one assume his or her own responsibilities. We shall not be following up on the observations that are made about this.

    – Pope Benedict’s successor will have a rough first day. If this damning dossier was really a big enough deal to have forced the first papal resignation in 600 years, who gets to deal with it? That undertaking will go to Benedict’s successor. According to La Repubblica, the dossier will stay in a secret papal safe and delivered to Benedict’s successor whenever he is elected — and that isn’t all, La Repubblica said this gay blackmail thing is just the first in a series of articles by the paper.

    Posted by R. Wilson | February 22, 2013, 11:39 pm
  5. @Robert Wilson–

    Wonder if the pedo/blackmail scandals here will overlap the Penn State investigation, with the VERY connected Louis Freeh having headed up the investigation (cover-up?)

    The “La Republica” allegations involve the IOR as well. Wonder who was blackmailing who and over what?

    Q: What do Walmart and the Vatican have in common?

    A: Boys’ underwear half off.

    Best,

    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | February 23, 2013, 4:17 pm
  6. @Dave: I had to admit I chuckled at the (macabre) joke at the end…..

    Posted by Steven L. | February 23, 2013, 10:09 pm

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