So the Pope is at last under direct pressure over his role in the long-running cover-up over paedophile priests, many of whom were quietly moved to other parishes, where they could, and did, carry on as before. It’s about time the Pope came under scrutiny, because he was in the thick of the cover-up for many years when he was the previous Pope’s Enforcer, or ‘Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’, formerly known as the Holy Office, the historical Inquisition.
As I wrote 2 years ago, “Ratzinger (as he then was) also had authority over other matters including clerical sexual misconduct. In 2001 he issued his notorious “Crimen Sollicitationis”, which affirmed and clarified the Church’s right to keep secret its own investigations into clerical sexual misconduct. In other words, he legitimised the cover-up that was going on. Under normal circumstances, he would have been prosecuted for inciting people to withhold from the police information pertaining to serious crimes.”
Look at the fancy Latin name they gave to it, Crimen Sollicitationis. You just know there’s a scam going on.
The current case involves a paedophile priest at a school for deaf boys in Wisconsin. Complaints were made to the Vatican office in 1996, and it seems there was no response.
There are no doubt dozens of other similar cases in which Ratzinger was involved, but the trouble is that he was at the very top, and people at the top rarely take the rap. You just have to look at the Iraq torture cases involving the US army. It was the lowly soldiers who were charged and convicted, not the senior officers who presided over the culture.
So I have no doubt that Ratzinger was involved in the paedophile cover-up in a big way for many years. But I doubt that he will take the rap for it, at least in the near future. Even if the secular authorities went for him – and the Church seems to remain above the law in many ways - I think it would be very hard to prove anything. The most we can hope for now is a damaged reputation.
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What we see in his current transits is the tail end of a Uranus square to his MC and Mars, and Saturn conjunct his Moon, which rules his 5th House of Children. So his position could be under a certain amount of pressure and destabilising influence and attack for the rest of the year, but that will probably be that. For now.
His natal Moon in Libra is also square to natal Pluto. So it could get very heavy indeed a few years down the line when Pluto and Uranus begin to hard-aspect his natal Pluto and Moon. Pluto will also be culminating his long passage through Ratzinger’s 10th House of career and reputation. (He became Pope just as Pluto was entering his 10th House.)
The paedophile issue will run and run, because there is too much pain involved for it not to. It has been going on for years now and only seems to get bigger. And it is only just starting in Europe.
So for now and for the next year or two the Pope is looking like he’ll remain untouched, albeit under a certain amount of pressure. But the nature of the issue put together with the astrology suggests to me that the noose will gradually be tightening.
It looks to me a bit like Watergate, but set over a longer time period. For the next couple of years, the Pope will be able to blame others. But in 3-5 years time, with Pluto and Uranus starting to make some serious aspects to his natal Moon-Pluto, we may see a process leading to the Pope's resignation, the first to do so since 1415.
I can back this up with another major transit, Neptune square natal Saturn. The Pope’s Saturn is in Sag in the 9th House, a classic position for religious authority (the Dalai Llama also has this placement; the previous Pope had Pluto in the 9th). This authority could begin to diminish in 2011 when Neptune enters the sign square to Sag, Pisces, a process that could deepen until the exact square of 2014. Saturn is also our physical structure, and being in his early 80s, this transit could reflect an increasing frailty over the next 4 years.
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The Pope’s Solar Return for 2014-15, relocated to Rome, has Pluto conjunct MC opposite Jupiter conjunct IC, forming a Grand Cross with Mars and Uranus. There is also an eclipse along the ASC-DESC axis. This will surely be the year when he ceases to be Pope, and Pluto’s involvement in both the Solar Return and by transit suggests to me it will not simply be the gentle passing away of a much-loved pontiff.
The issue of men in religious positions, like any position of power, getting up to sexual shenanigans is an old story. Normally it is adult female pupils that the male teachers are sleeping with, and different cultures have different attitudes to this. Amongst Native Americans, for example, it is assumed that the teacher will be sleeping with his female pupil. In our culture it has recently become an absolute no-no, which I think has a lot to do with the influence of puritanical feminism and its fear of male sexuality. Timothy Leary was once asked if he'd slept with any of his students, and after pausing for a moment, replied that he couldn't think of any he hadn't slept with. The French sculptor Rodin slept with most of his young female models, to the extent that he felt obliged to let them down gently if he didn't feel so inclined. In rural Ireland, the Catholic priest usually had a female housekeeper, and it was understood that she also shared his bed. My view tends to be that if 2 adults decide to sleep together, it's not really my business, and if one of them happens to be a teacher and the other a pupil, well it can be messy, but so are a lot of relationships, and people often learn from that.
The above, though, is a bit beside the point when considering the Catholic Church, which has managed to twist and pervert to an unprecedented degree the sexual desires not just of its priesthood but also its lay congregation. A lot of the trouble seems to lie in the training of the priests, who from a young age are hidden away in boys-only seminaries and taught that sex is dirty. Consequently they suffer from arrested development, and their repressed sexuality finds unhealthy outlets. I don't think celibacy (which was originally introduced for economic reasons) is so much the problem, because hypocrisy is always an honourable way out.
Personally, though, I think they should do away with priestly celibacy - they can leave that for the monks and nuns - and not let a priest near a congregation unless he is married. They also need to look at the training that causes the problem in the first place, but the trouble is that you are up against religion, which often has a doctrinal, rather than pragmatic attitude to its practices and trainings. So far, the Church has shown no sign of common sense on this one.
I wonder also if priestly paedophilia may be a power issue. These priests are bummed up as spiritual and superior, but in reality they have been neutered, they are men in skirts, they are disempowered. Apart from the odd cowering parishioner, perhaps the only time these ghosts of men feel they have any real power is when they force themselves on children.
I watched the film 'Doubt' recently. It is set in a Roman Catholic School in the US, and involves a tussle between a male priest who is a teacher, and a nun who suspects him of being a paedophile. You never quite find out if he is, but it is also clear that he has enormously helped the boy with whom he is also suspected of sexual activity. The film gives the issue the moral complexity that you find in real life, rather than the simplistic black-and-white demonisation that you find in the tabloids.