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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Evidence that Ratzinger knew about child abuse and did nothing

The Vatican has tried had to cast a fog around what the present Pope knew about child abuse when he was Cardinal Ratzinger and in charge of investigating all accusations. Now someone has unearthed a TV investigation from the 1990s into accusations against Marciel Maciel, leader of the Legionaries of Christ — a highly influential Catholic organisation — in which it is clear that Ratzinger was perfectly well aware of Maciel’s profound corruption and penchant for abusing children on an epic scale and refused to do anything about it. In the film, victims are dismissed as liars. In one sequence, Ratzinger actually slaps the hand of a reporter who is asking him awkward questions.

Now we know that it was all true. The Vatican recently took over control of the Legionaries of Christ, excoriating the once-untouchable Maciel for creating a “system of power” built on silence, deceit and obedience that enabled him to lead a double life “devoid of any scruples and authentic sense of religion” and allowed him to abuse young boys unchecked.

The previous Pope honoured Maciel as late as 2004 with a blessing at a special audience. The previous Pope and Ratzinger defended Maciel, even though they must have known about his vile activities.

Do we really want such a man here as an honoured guest of our country?

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See also:

Ratzinger’s successor as chief enforcer is little better when it comes to covering up child abuse allegations

The arrogance of the Catholic authorities

Published Fri, 07 May 2010