Pope Benedict XVI , aka Joseph Ratzinger, announced on February 11th that he would be resigning early as the leader of over a billion Catholics worldwide. The reason for the surprising decision by the pontiff was due to “deterioration, and incapacity”, and “advanced age”, as stated by the Vatican spokesperson in a public announcement.
It has been 600 years since the last resignation of a pope was announced. Some skeptics however, view the unusual move as the result of a culmination of assorted causes of “deterioration”. The Pope and the Vatican have been steeped in numerous scandals ranging from widespread sex abuse scandals and coverups, to money laundering.
Some of the scandals that are suspected of having high impact that have contributed to the deterioration of the empire under Ratzinger are notable, many of them recent. Among them:
- The release of the film Mea Maxima Culpa on HBO Feb 4th , 2013 which documents the involvement of Cardinal Ratzinger, ( Pope Benedict) – who is accused of coverups, and failure to remove sex abuser Father Murphy of Milwaukee School for the Deaf. Fr. Murphy molested and raped 200 pupils over a 24 year period. The Pope was the head of the Vatican Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith at the time, which is the office that is responsible for removing abusive clergy. Ratzinger is accused of hierarchy complicity in several dozen sex abuse cases, whereas the Pontiff himself failed to remove the predator.
- The release of 12,000 internal file documents from the Los Angeles Diocese sex abuse scandal on January 31, 2013. The Catholic Church had fought having to release the files for six years. Thirty thousand files were supposed to be released as part of a settlement agreement with abuse victims 6 years ago, and many of the files – which implicate Bishops and Cardinals and hierarchy figures, have still not been released. Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles, has been implicated in numerous clergy abuse transfers and coverups, many of them while under the jurisdiction of Ratzinger.
- In January 2013, the Italian treasury froze privileges for the Vatican to use Italian banking services because of the breach of money laundering regulations. The Pope hired Swiss money laundering expert Rene Brulhart to help the Vatican with the scandal.
- A lawsuit filed against the Pope in the International Criminal Court in the Hague on September 12, 2011 for “Crimes against humanity, and a longstanding and pervasive system of sexual violence”.
- The withdrawal of the Vaticans Ambassador to Ireland in July 2011, after Irish Prime Minister Enda Kennedy attacked the Vatican for systematic widespread corruption and sex abuse coverups for the last 16 years. Ireland had historically been a loyal Catholic country, providing many Irish born priests to parishes all over the globe.
- The widespread Catholic sex abuse scandals still rocking the USA, Europe, and Australia. Many of the cases involve the failure to oversee and properly handle the countless complaints against sexual predators by the Pope himself, when he was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, from 1981 to 2005.
The Diocese of Los Angeles is expected to release approximately 18,000 more file documents by court order in the very near future. Attorneys for sex abuse victims state that the documents prove more culpability by the Vatican, many of the cases involving the failure of Cardinal Mahony, and other Bishops and hierarchy, and the failure of Pope Benedict (Joseph Ratzinger) himself to protect numerous child abuse victims.