Feminism v Mankind (and the Catholic Church)

“I am, in fact, convinced, that what feminism promotes in its radical form is no longer the Christianity that we know; it is another religion.”

Pope Benedict XVI
speaking (as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) on radical feminism.
Excerpt from ‘The Ratzinger Report’ (Ignatius Press)

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George Weigel takes renegade theologian Hans Kung to task for lying about role of then Cardinal Ratzinger

… I must, in all candor, tell you that you crossed a line that should not have been crossed in your recent article, when you wrote the following:

There is no denying the fact that the worldwide system of covering up sexual crimes committed by clerics was engineered by the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger (1981-2005).

That, sir, is not true. I refuse to believe that you knew this to be false and wrote it anyway, for that would mean you had willfully condemned yourself as a liar. But on the assumption that you did not know this sentence to be a tissue of falsehoods, then you are so manifestly ignorant of how competencies over abuse cases were assigned in the Roman Curia prior to Ratzinger’s seizing control of the process and bringing it under CDF’s competence in 2001, then you have forfeited any claim to be taken seriously on this, or indeed any other matter involving the Roman Curia and the central governance of the Catholic Church.

As you perhaps do not know, I have been a vigorous, and I hope responsible, critic of the way abuse cases were (mis)handled by individual bishops and by the authorities in the Curia prior to the late 1990s, when then-Cardinal Ratzinger began to fight for a major change in the handling of these cases. (If you are interested, I refer you to my 2002 book, The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church.)

I therefore speak with some assurance of the ground on which I stand when I say that your description of Ratzinger’s role as quoted above is not only ludicrous to anyone familiar with the relevant history, but is belied by the experience of American bishops who consistently found Ratzinger thoughtful, helpful, deeply concerned about the corruption of the priesthood by a small minority of abusers, and distressed by the incompetence or malfeasance of bishops who took the promises of psychotherapy far more seriously than they ought, or lacked the moral courage to confront what had to be confronted.

I recognize that authors do not write the sometimes awful subheads that are put on op-ed pieces. Nonetheless, you authored a piece of vitriol—itself utterly unbecoming a priest, an intellectual, or a gentleman—that permitted the editors of the Irish Times to slug your article: “Pope Benedict has made worse just about everything that is wrong with the Catholic Church and is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests, according to this open letter to all Catholic bishops.” That grotesque falsification of the truth perhaps demonstrates where odium theologicum can lead a man. But it is nonetheless shameful.

Permit me to suggest that you owe Pope Benedict XVI a public apology, for what, objectively speaking, is a calumny that I pray was informed in part by ignorance (if culpable ignorance). I assure you that I am committed to a thoroughgoing reform of the Roman Curia and the episcopate, projects I described at some length in God’s Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church, a copy of which, in German, I shall be happy to send you. But there is no path to true reform in the Church that does not run through the steep and narrow valley of the truth. The truth was butchered in your article in the Irish Times. And that means that you have set back the cause of reform.

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