Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pope's Brother Georg Ratzinger Abused Choir Boys

     It's Ratzinger's turn to be in the spotlight, but not everybody's favorite inquisitor and Hiter Youth member Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict.  It's time for the lesser Ratzinger, the cleric that the world has forgotten, and the elder brother of Pope Ben, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, to leave his mark (on choir boys). 

     Georg (pronounced "gay-org" as in gay.org) has landed himself in the middle of a scandal in Germany, and this is in addition to the 100,000 euro birthday bash thrown for him with church money

    The Belfast Telegraph reports:
    Reports of systematic historical abuse by clergy have surfaced at three schools in the Regensburg diocese in Bavaria. One of them is the much-heralded Regensburger Domspatzen, a thousand-year-old male choir and boarding school, whose choral master for 30 years was the Pope's older brother, Georg...
     But he [Georg] says that he never heard of any abuse in his time with the choir. Asked by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica whether he would talk to German officials, the 86-year-old Mgr Ratzinger replied: "Obviously I'd be ready to do so, but I am not able to provide any information on any deed that could be punished, because I don't have any – I never knew anything about it."
     Any abuse at the Regensburger Domspatzen, he said, occurred before he took over. He did admit that pupils at the school were subjected to a climate of "discipline and rigour" but added that this was necessary in order to reach "a high musical, artistic level".
     But Franz Wittenbrink, a German composer who lived at the school until 1967, described the school as being run by "a sophisticated system of sadistic punishments in connection with sexual lust". He was also quoted by Der Spiegel as saying that it was "inexplicable" that the Pope's brother knew nothing of what was happening.
     Inexplicable?  Sadistic punishments in connection with sexual lust?  But, Georg said he knew nothing.  That was the story reported on March 9th. 

     Here's an article by The Times of India dated March 11th:
    The pope's brother has said he slapped pupils as punishment after he took over a renowned German boys' choir in the 1960s. 
    He also said he was aware of allegations of physical abuse at a school linked to the choir but did nothing about it. 
    The Rev Georg Ratzinger, 86, said in an interview he was unaware of allegations of sexual abuse at the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir, part of a string of charges of sex abuse by church employees across Europe in recent days. 
    Ratzinger said boys would open up to him about being mistreated in Etterzhausen. "But I did not have the feeling that I should do something about it. 
    "Had I known with what exaggerated fierceness (the abuser) was acting, I would have said something. I ask the victims for pardon", he said.
     On Tuesday, Georg knew nothing of abuse.  On Thursday, Georg backpedals, admitting that he not only knew of physical abuse linked to the choir over which he was master, but that he kept his mouth closed doing nothing to help the abused kids, and that he hit the boys.  It's okay though, becuase now that he's been caught he's asking for forgiveness.

     Today in an interview with German paper Passauer Neue Presse Father Georg said: 'I was happy with every choir practice but I have to admit sometimes I did get depressed because we didn't get the right results.
    'At the very beginning I would often give clips around the ear even though my conscience was later troubled for doing so.'
    Father Georg added that he had never severely beaten boys nor left them with bruises or other injuries and went on to say that he had heard of the other incidents of abuse from the boys - contrary to claims he had made earlier in the week.
     Well, I guess it's okay, Georg, but only because you were depressed about your choir sounding flat and because the boys didn't bruise.  It was all worth it for the music, wasn't it?  I'm sure that those boys would agree.

    What will Georg Ratzinger's story be tomorrow?  No abuse?   Physical abuse?   Sexual abuse?  More depressing excuses? 

     It's time for the people in the pews to stand up to the system of abuse that has and continues to rule the Catholic church and so many other religious communities in the world.  Why anyone keeps trusting their kids' bodies and "souls" to "venerated" clerics is beyond me. 

Roman Catholic, Republican turned Democrat, Married Father of Two, and Navy Man Eric Massa Goes Down on Glenn Beck and Larry King

     Republican turned Democrat, former congressman Eric Massa is campaigning hard to stay ahead of Roy Ashburn, Sarah Palin, and the Vatican prostitution scandal in recent hypocrisy news.  Massa would be in the lead, but unlike full-blooded Republicans Mark Sanford, John Ensign, Roy Ashburn, and Larry Craig who are embroiled in their own sex scandals, Massa has resigned.  Still, that hasn't kept Massa from leaving a wake of contradictions on the cable news circuit.

   The Roman Catholic, Naval Academy graduate, and married father of two has been living in the disjointed and compartmentalized closet for so long that he can't tell the difference between the multiple realities he's created for himself.  He speaks from one world with Larry King and from another with (Catholic turned MormonGlenn Beck, and Massa is delusional enough to believe that the public won't figure it out.

     The Washington Post reports:
     Massa went on television Tuesday night for the first time since the allegations surfaced, but his comments in two cable television interviews contradicted earlier statements, serving only to raise more questions. 
     The freshman Democrat told Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck that "not only did I grope [a staffer], I tickled him until he couldn't breathe," then said hours later on CNN's "Larry King Live" that "it is not true" that he groped anyone on his staff.
     He told Beck that he resigned from the House because he made the mistake of "getting too familiar with my staff" members, but he told King that he left primarily for health reasons. Massa, 50, has survived non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but he said he is afraid that he is facing his "third major cancer-recurrence scare."
     On Sunday, Massa said he was set up by powerful Democrats such as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) as part of an effort to remove opponents of health-care reform legislation. He backed away from that claim Tuesday, telling Beck, "I wasn't forced out. I forced myself out."
     "The notion that somehow the White House had anything to do with the series of events . . . is silly and ridiculous," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Tuesday, while Pelosi said in an interview with PBS's Charlie Rose that Massa is "a very sick person. He has been diagnosed with cancer." She added, "Perhaps his judgment is impaired because of the ethical issues that have arisen."
     Massa told a radio reporter last weekend that he did not know about the ethics investigation until he read about it in an online news story and that Hoyer never contacted him about the allegations. He repeated those points Tuesday night.
     But his staff earlier said Massa had been contacted by committee investigators.
     How does a man, who is the product of such venerable institutions as the Roman Catholic church, the Annapolis Naval Academy, and traditional marriage learn to lie like this?  Closet.  Closet.  Closet.

     The only thing missing from his resume is that he was once in seminary studying to be a priest.  Now that would complete the package.

     When will people finally wake up and see that legislating and shaming gays into the closet leads to neither enlightenment nor salvation?  Cancer-stricken Eric Massa embodies this sad, sad system in which we Americans live.

    Postscript:  For clips, commentary, and more detail on Massa's Glenn Beck meltdown, check out The Daily Beast.