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Ratzinger Leaves the Ship

[1]COMMENT: The star­tling res­ig­na­tion of Pope Bene­dict XVI (nee Joseph Ratzinger) brings to mind a num­ber of con­sid­er­a­tions.

For open­ers, this pope is from the very heart of the Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tionist machin­ery of the Vat­i­can. His cur­ricu­lum vitae is set forth in FTR #508 [2].

An account of the Vat­i­can’s long-stand­ing rela­tion­ship with the Third Reich and the Axis pow­ers of World War II can be found in AFA #‘s 17–21 [3].

The view here is that Ratzinger (we call him “Rat­lin­er” after the Vat­i­can Rat­line escape routes) was some­thing of a caretaker–a Ger­ald Ford-like fig­ure if you will. He took office with the Holy See engulfed in scan­dal and inquiry, includ­ing the bur­geon­ing priest molesta­tion inves­ti­ga­tions [4], renewed inquiries into mon­ey laun­der­ing [5] by the Vat­i­can Bank and inquiries con­cern­ing the Vat­i­can’s behav­ior dur­ing and after World War II [6].

[7]Him­self a vet­er­an of the Third Reich, “Rat­lin­er” was , in essence, a gate­keep­er in our opin­ion, charged with sus­tain­ing the Opus-Dei style reac­tion grip­ping the Vat­i­can and keep­ing the lid on poten­tial­ly dam­ag­ing inquiries.


Pius XII

One of Ratzinger’s pre­de­ces­sors, Pope Pius XII, has been beatified–something of a prob­lem in light of his long-stand­ing record of col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Third Reich. Alleged­ly a secret bene­fac­tor of Jew­ish refugees from Nazi ter­ror, the Pope had worked with the Nazis from 1919 [9] (when, as Arch­bish­op Euge­nio Pacel­li he chan­neled Vat­i­can funds to Hitler) through the post­war peri­od, when he per­mit­ted Ustachi head Ante Pavel­ic to shel­ter in Castel­gan­dol­fo [9]–the Pope’s sum­mer res­i­dence.

Inter­est­ing­ly, just pri­or to Ratzinger’s res­ig­na­tion, the press car­ried accounts of a new book exon­er­at­ing Pius XII of his col­lab­o­ra­tionist charges. One won­ders to what extent Ratzinger over­saw the fab­ri­ca­tion of doc­u­ments and con­tin­ued cos­met­ic mask­ing of Pius’ and the Vat­i­can’s Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tion.

As some­thing of an aside, one won­ders what mir­a­cle Pius XII per­formed to qual­i­fy him for beat­i­fi­ca­tion? Per­haps his mir­a­cle was mak­ing mil­lions of Jews dis­ap­pear.

“A Tur­bu­lent Tenure for a Qui­et Schol­ar” by Lau­rie Good­stein; The New York Times; 2/11/2013. [10]

EXCERPT: When Bene­dict XVI became pope eight years ago at the age of 78, many Roman Catholic schol­ars pre­dict­ed that he would be a care­tak­er. He would keep the ship sail­ing in the same direc­tion as his beloved pre­de­ces­sor, John Paul II. And as the rare the­olo­gian who knew how to write for a broad audi­ence, Bene­dict would keep the crew inspired and the sails bil­low­ing.

If writ­ten words alone could keep the church on course, Bene­dict would like­ly be viewed as a sol­id suc­cess. His encycli­cals on love and char­i­ty and his three books on the life of Jesus were wide­ly praised for their clar­i­ty and con­tri­bu­tion to Catholic teach­ing.

But when it came to the major chal­lenges fac­ing the church in the real world, Bene­dict often appeared to car­om from one cri­sis to the next.

He inad­ver­tent­ly insult­ed Mus­lims on an ear­ly trip to Ger­many, which result­ed in riots across the Islam­ic world and the mur­der of an Ital­ian nun in Soma­lia. He wel­comed back a break­away bish­op who had just record­ed an inter­view deny­ing the facts of the Holo­caust. He told reporters on the papal plane wing­ing toward Africa that con­doms had helped spread AIDS.

When the cler­i­cal sex­u­al abuse scan­dal spread across Europe and explod­ed at Benedict’s door in 2010, Bene­dict met with abuse sur­vivors and over­saw the devel­op­ment of new church poli­cies to pre­vent abuse. But he was denounced by sur­vivors and their advo­cates for nev­er mov­ing to dis­ci­pline bish­ops who were caught in the cov­er-up. . . .

Unholy Trin­i­ty by John Lof­tus and  Mark Aarons;  pp. 294–295. [11]

EXCERPT:  . . . Sul­li­van & Cromwell’s clients were not the only for­eign investors in Ger­many, nor were they the only ones to hedge their bets by mak­ing small dona­tions to the infant Nazi par­ty. Fol­low­ing the $26 mil­lion cash set­tle­ment with Mus­solini over dis­puted lands in 1929, the Vat­i­can invest­ed near­ly all the pro­ceeds in Ger­man indus­try, but at least one small invest­ment was made in the Nazis as well.

The fol­low­ing inci­dent was report­ed by an eye­wit­ness, Sis­ter Pas­calina, a nun who was the per­sonal aide (and devot­ed admir­er) of the Papal Nun­cio in Munich and the man who would become Pope Pius XII on the eve of World War II: ‘Hitler came one night to the holy res­i­dence of Arch­bishop Euge­nio Pacel­li (lat­er Pius XII). All oth­ers in the house­hold were asleep by then, except [Sis­ter] Pas­calina . . . . Hitler told Pacel­li that he was out to check the spread of athe­is­tic com­mu­nism. . . . It did not come as a sur­prise to her, there­fore, in light of Pacelli’s hatred of the Reds, to see the prelate present Hitler with a large cache of Church mon­ey to aid the ris­ing rev­o­lu­tion­ary and his small strug­gling band of anti-com­mu­nists.’ . . .

Unholy Trin­i­ty by John Lof­tus and  Mark Aarons;  p. 78. [11]

EXCERPT: . . . From a very con­fi­den­tial source, Amer­i­can intel­li­gence had dis­cov­ered in May 1946 that the Poglavnik [Pavel­ic] was liv­ing ‘close to Rome in a build­ing which is under the juris­dic­tion of the Vat­i­can.’ This was soon after Pavel­ic had first arrived in Rome from Aus­tria, and it is now known that the Poglavnik, like Fer­enc Vaj­ta, actu­ally took refuge at Castel­gan­dolfo, where the Pope’s sum­mer res­i­dence is locat­ed. It seems that many Nazis grav­i­tated to Castel­gan­dolfo, for Pavel­ic was housed with a for­mer Min­is­ter in the Nazi Roman­ian gov­ern­ment. . . .