Catholic Cardinal Marx Says Files on Child Abusers ‘Destroyed’

Cardinal Reinhard Marx PHOTO: Picture Alliance/DPA/H. Tittel

Vatican officials worked to silence the victims, senior German Cardinal Reinhard Marx has told the summit on tackling pedophilia within the church. He said files on the abusers were often destroyed.

23 February 2019

DEUTSCHE WELLE — Germany’s top cardinal, Reinhard Marx, slammed the Catholic Church officials for their response to the decades-long pedophilia scandal at a conference called by Pope Francis in the Vatican on Saturday.

“Sexual abuse of children and young people can be traced back, in no small part, to the abuse of power in the area of administration,” Marx said in his address with the pope in attendance.

Vatican officials were “trampling on the rights of victims” by deliberately canceling or overriding procedures for investigating child abuse, according to Marx.

“It was not the perpetrators, but the victims who were regulated and pushed into silence,” said Marx, who also serves as the head of the German Bishops’ Conference.

“The files that documented these horrible acts and could name those responsible were destroyed or not created at all.”

Working to regain trust

In recent months, leading Catholic officials in Australia, Chile, the US and other countries across the world were removed from office on accusations of covering up child abuse. At the same time, a group of Catholic nuns protested against an influential bishop who they claim committed multiple rapes. […]

2 Comments on Catholic Cardinal Marx Says Files on Child Abusers ‘Destroyed’

  1. The scandal is not “decades long”, it is CENTURIES long, and standing orders to cover this up have been in place for generations. The church is a magnet for predators because it is largely above the law and full of stupid parishioners who believe the church must be trusted and obeyed “because it represents God.” As P.T. Barnum said, “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

    In his Book of Gomorrah, Saint Peter Damian first attacks the problem of clerical moral laxity and sexual perversions from the top down beginning with members of the Catholic hierarchy, that is, bishops and religious superiors who turn a blind eye to the moral depravity within the ranks of clerics and monks under their rule.
    When he speaks of “do-nothing” superiors, the reader can almost feel the earth shake under him:
    Listen, you do-nothing superiors of clerics and priests. Listen, and even though you feel sure of yourselves, tremble at the thought that you are partners in the guilt of others; those, I mean, who wink at the sins of their subjects that need correction and who by ill-considered silence allow them license to sin. Listen, I say, and be shrewd enough to understand that all of you alike are deserving of death, that is, not only those who do such things, but also they who approve those who practice them.
    Having launched that thunderbolt, Damian then attacks, with even more vehemence, those reprobate bishops and religious superiors who themselves are guilty of heinous sodomitic acts and who prostitute their own spiritual sons – seminarians, priests and monks under their care.
    “In fact, this vice cannot in any way be compared to any others, because its enormity supersedes them all. Indeed, this vice causes the death of bodies and the destruction of souls. It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of reason, and expels the Holy Spirit from His temple in the heart of man, introducing in His stead the Devil who is the instigator of lust.
    “It steers the soul into error, banishes all truth from the deceived soul, sets traps for those who fall into it, and then caps the well to prevent those who fall in from getting out. It opens the gates of Hell and closes the doors of Heaven to them, turns a former citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem into an heir of the infernal Babylon, transforming him from a heavenly star into a straw for the eternal fire. It wrenches a member from the Church and plunges him into the voracious flames of the fiery Gehenna.
    “This vice strives to tear down the walls of the heavenly motherland and rebuild those of the ruined Sodom. Indeed, it violates temperance, kills purity, stifles chastity, and cuts the head of virginity – which is irrecoverable – with the sword of a most infamous union. It infects everything, stains everything, pollutes everything; leaving nothing pure, nothing but filth, nothing clean. ‘All things are clean to the clean,’ as the Apostle says, ‘but to them that are defiled, and to unbelievers, nothing is clean; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.
    “This vice expels one from the choir of the ecclesiastical host and forces one to join the ranks of the possessed and those who work in league with the Devil. It separates the soul from God and links it with the devils. This most pestiferous Sodomite queen makes those who obey her tyrannical laws repugnant to men and hateful to God, forcing them into a nefarious war against God and obliging them to enlist in the ranks of the perverse spirit.
    “It [this sin] separates him from the company of angels and deprives the soul of its nobility, imposing on the unfortunate soul the yoke of its own domination. It tears its henchmen from the arms of virtues and leaves them exposed as prey to the arrows of all the vices. It leaves one to be humiliated in the Church, condemned at court, defiled in secret, and dishonored in public. It gnaws at the person’s conscience like a worm and burns his flesh like fire …
    “The miserable flesh burns with the fire of lust, the cold intelligence trembles under the rancor of misgivings, and the unfortunate man’s heart is overwhelmed by hellish chaos, subjecting him to countless pains of conscience as he is tortured in punishment.
    “Yes, as soon as this most venomous serpent plunges its fangs into the unfortunate soul, it is immediately deprived of its senses and memory, the edge of the intelligence is dulled, he forgets God and even himself.”
    “Indeed, this scourge destroys the foundations of the faith, weakens the forces of hope, dissolves the bonds of charity, annihilates all justice, undermines fortitude, eliminates hope, and dulls the edge of prudence.
    “And what else shall I say? For it [the sin of sodomy] expels all the forces of virtue from the temple of the human heart, and, as if pulling the door from its hinges, allows the entrance of every barbarity of vice ….
    “In effect, the one whom …. this most atrocious beast has swallowed down its bloody throat is prevented, by the weight of its chains, from practicing any good work, and is precipitated into the abysses of his uttermost iniquity.
    “Thus, as soon as someone has fallen into this abyss of extreme perdition, he is exiled from the heavenly motherland, separated from the Body of Christ, censured by the authority of the whole Church, condemned by the judgment of all the Holy Fathers, despised by men on earth and rebuked by the society of heavenly citizens. He creates for himself an earth of iron and a sky of bronze.
    “On the one hand, laden with the weight of his crime, he is unable to rise; on the other hand, he is no longer able to conceal his evil in the refuge of ignorance. He cannot be happy while he lives nor have hope when he dies, because here and now he is obliged to suffer the ignominy of men’s derision and, later, the torment of eternal condemnation.”
    That horrible crime, on account of which corrupt and obscene cities were destroyed by fire through divine condemnation, causes us most bitter sorrow and shocks our mind, impelling us to repress such a crime with the greatest possible zeal.

    Quite opportunely the Fifth Lateran Council [1512-1517] issued this decree:
    “Let any member of the clergy caught in that vice against nature, given that the wrath of God falls over the sons of perfidy, be removed from the clerical order or forced to do penance in a monastery” (chap. 4, X, V, 31).

    So that the contagion of such a grave offense may not advance with greater audacity by taking advantage of impunity, which is the greatest incitement to sin, and so as to more severely punish the clerics who are guilty of this nefarious crime and who are not frightened by the death of their souls, we determine that they should be handed over to the severity of the secular authority, which enforces civil law.

    Therefore, wishing to pursue with greater rigor than we have exerted since the beginning of our pontificate, we establish that any priest or member of the clergy, either secular or regular, who commits such an execrable crime, by force of the present law be deprived of every clerical privilege, of every post, dignity and ecclesiastical benefit, and having been degraded by an ecclesiastical judge, let him be immediately delivered to the secular authority to be put to death, as mandated by law as the fitting punishment for laymen who have sunk into this abyss.
    (Constitutionn Horrendum illud scelus, August 30, 1568, in Bullarium Romanum,
    Rome: Typographia Reverendae Camerae Apostolicae, Mainardi, 1738, chap. 3, p. 33
    I decided to take a look at the talks given by Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII on or about the saint’s feast day which falls on the 21st of February on the Nervous Order calendar. After all, if the Modernist popes of Virtual Church, which is mired in sodomy and pederasty and other unchaste acts, were sincerely seeking advice on dealing effectively with clerical homosexuality and pederasty, what better source could they go to than Peter Damian?
    As I suspected, I didn’t find any reference to The Book of Gomorrah by any of the popes mentioned above.
    I found one letter memorializing Peter Damian written by Benedict on February 20, 2007, to the Camaldolese Order, a Benedictine monastic order:
    The 1,000th anniversary of his birth is an especially appropriate occasion to examine closely the aspects characterizing his multifacetted personality as scholar, hermit and man of the Church, but especially as a person in love with Christ. … St Peter Damian felt the presence of the universal Church in the hermitic life so strongly that he wrote in his ecclesiological treatise entitled Dominus Vobiscum that the Church is at the same time one in all and all in each one of her members. … Lastly, St Peter Damien was the soul of the “Riforma gregoriana,” which marked the passage from the first to the second millennium and whose heart and driving force was St Gregory VII. … he reminded priests of the highest ideal of their mission that they were to exercise by cultivating purity of morals and true personal poverty.
    But there was no reference to The Book of Gomorrah.
    In his General Audience of September 9, 2009, at Paul VI Hall, Benedict reflected upon Peter Damian as a lover of solitude and a reformer. He acknowledged Damian as one of the best Latinist of his time. He praised the saint for his love of the cross of Christ and his solitary life of a hermit. Benedict brought his Wednesday talk to an end by calling the saint “a man of prayer, meditation, contemplation,” and he mentions Damian’s attack on corruption in the Church, particularly the vice of simony. Not sodomy, but simony. Not Liber Gornorrhianus, but Liber Gratissimus, Damian’s tract on simony.
    Other than Benedict’s two rather generic talks, I found no references to Peter Damian’s most prominent work in connection with the other post-Conciliar popes.
    What a sad commentary on the state of the papacy.
    Even Catholic churches named after the great man; make no reference to their patron’s tract on sodomy. There are online references to the liturgical calendar list for Saint Peter Damian found on numerous Catholic websites where the saint is described as “a reformer,” “a papal legate,” and a saint who fought simony and upheld clerical celibacy and clerical continence. Only a few Catholic websites mention The Book of Gomorrah.
    Until the recent publication of Matthew Hoffman’s translation, if one wanted to learn about this most famous of Damian’s writing, one would have had to order the book through a library inter-loan service or have gone to other Catholic sources like Catholic Family News or secular sources like WIKI which has an excellent article on Liber Gomorrhianus.
    The Liber Gomorrhianus (Book of Gomorrah) is a book published by Peter Damian in 1049 AD. It is scathing treatise on the vices of the clergy, and is dedicated to the Pope.

    1. Attack on various sexual practices
    2. Public controversy stirred
    3. History of same-sex relations
    4. Against clerical concubinage
    5. Modern editions
    6. References
    Attack on various sexual practices
    In this, Petrus Damiani made an attack on homosexual practices, mutual masturbation, copulation between the thighs, anal copulation and solitary masturbation,[1] as subversive disruptions against the moral order occasioned by the madness associated with an excess of lust. He was especially indignant about priests having sexual relationships with adolescent boys. He singles out superiors who, due to excessive and misplaced piety, have been lax in their duty to uphold church discipline. He opposes the ordination of those who are given to homosexuality and wants those already ordained dismissed from Holy Orders. Those who misuse the sacraments to defile boys are treated with particular contempt. Significant attention is given to the hurts of the victims.
    Public controversy stirred
    It caused a great stir and aroused not a little enmity against its author. Even the pope, Pope Leo IX, who had at first praised the work, was persuaded that it was exaggerated. He softened the suggestions for decisive action against offending clerics made by the author and excluded from the ranks of clergy only those who had offended repeatedly and over a long period of time.[2] The Pope’s coldness drew from Damian a vigorous letter of protest.
    History of same-sex relations
    Although various forms of same-sex behaviour were discussed in contemporary handbooks of penance, such as those by Burchard of Worms and Regino of Prüm, this is the only theological tract which exclusively addresses this theme.[1]
    Against clerical concubinage
    Damian was also a determined foe of simony, but his fiercest wrath was directed against the married clergy. In June, 1055, during the pontificate of Victor II, Damian attended a synod held at Florence, where simony and clerical incontinence were once more condemned.

    • Pierre J. Payer (ed.): Book of Gomorrah: An eleventh century treatise against clerical homosexual practise, Waterloo, Ont., 1982. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. (Includes the response of the Pope.)
    • Owen J. Blum, O.F.M.: Peter Damian, Letters 31-60, part of the Fathers of the Church – Medieval Continuation series issued by the Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C., 1990.

    1. Paul Halsall: Peter Damian: Liber Gomorrhianus Medieval Sourcebook. April 2006.
    2. Thomas P. Doyle: “Roman Catholic Clericalism, Religious Duress, and Clergy Sexual Abuse,” in Pastoral Psychology, Vol. 51, No 3, January 2003.
    Pope Saint Gregory the Great, commenting on homosexual desires, deliberately and knowingly entertained, says,
    “So it was just that Sodomites, burning with perverse desires… should perish by fire and sulfur so that through this just punishment they would realize the evil they had committed, led by a perverse desire (emphasis added)”.
    Damian uses the terms “perverse speech” or “perverse counsel” with regard to pederasts, indicating that he was acquainted with various techniques of seduction and “grooming” that the boy lover uses to ensnare his victim before sexually assaulting him.

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