The Instigator
Freeman
Pro (for)
Winning
35 Points
The Contender
OLAN
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

Pope Benedict XVI should be questioned under oath for his role in his church's sex scandals.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/22/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,536 times Debate No: 11751
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (24)
Votes (8)

 

Freeman

Pro

The Catholic Church has become rather notorious over the years for the measures it has taken to avoid the prosecution of priests who molest children. Consequently, the church's handling of abuse allegations have raised questions about how the church operates and whether or not it can be held criminally responsible for the rape of children. Fortunately for the victims of such abuses, recent court cases have ushered in the recrudescence of these questions. Another reason these questions keep coming up revolves around the fact that the church has treated these matters with such secrecy. Of course, the church's policies to keep sex abuse cases secret were enabled by many. And now it would appear that these policies were given credence by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—the duplicitous, sanctimonious, unscrupulous, pusillanimous old scoundrel that would become the future pope.

In truth, Ratzinger's role in this entire scandal seems to be more worrisome as each day passes, especially given his previous position within the church. While Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was diligently protecting the Catholic Church from the forces of modernity by promulgating a fanatic brand of religious orthodoxy, many Catholic priests under his jurisdiction were diligently torturing and raping children across the globe. [1] As though this wasn't bad enough, the clerical hierarchy of the church turned a blind eye to the whole situation. And there is now strong evidence to suggest that the church initiated a cover up in the aftermath of these events so that it could protect its reputation. Of course, these revelations are not surprising. For years the Catholic Church has demonstrated that it is more concerned with protecting itself as an institution than it is with protecting the children under its care. A reckoning must occur that changes all of this, and it must begin with the arrest of Pope Ratzinger.

================> Why Joseph Ratzinger Must Be Prosecuted and Brought To Justice <===============

C1: Joseph Ratzinger failed to defrock a priest that was a serial child molester.

According to Laurie Goldstein of the New York Times: "Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit." [2] Goldstein goes on to state that the internal correspondence within the church on these matters, which involved Ratzinger, demonstrated that the church's highest priority was "protecting the church from scandal." Though some members of the Catholic Church's hierarchy may wish to deny these claims, there is now unequivocal evidence that Ratzinger was made aware of this priest. [3] In particular, a letter was sent directly to Cardinal Ratzinger's office on July 17 1996 that kept him informed of the predator priest. [4-5]

Father Lawrence Murphy — the priestly pederast in question — was a known child molester as this issue was brought to the attention of Ratzinger. In fact, Murphy personally wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger on January 12 1998 in a plea to avoid prosecution. [6-7] Unfortunately, his request was granted, and Murphy was allowed to retain his status as a priest until the day he died. Given these facts, it should be obvious that the failure to prosecute Murphy rests in large part on Ratzinger.

C2: Joseph Ratzinger seemingly allowed the reassignment of a pedophile priest.

The Rev. Peter Hullerman was discovered to be a child molester in 1980 and was given "therapy" by a psychiatrist that the Catholic Church turned to. Only days after this "therapy", Hullerman was transferred to another diocese in Munich and was allowed to continue his career as a child molester with his priestly robes still about him. In addition, there is now concrete evidence that Ratzinger was directly involved in this state of affairs.

According to Nicholas Kulish and Katrin Bennhold of the New York Times: "Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope and archbishop in Munich at the time, was copied on a memo that informed him that a priest, whom he had approved sending to therapy in 1980 to overcome pedophilia, would be returned to pastoral work within days of beginning psychiatric treatment. The priest was later convicted of molesting boys in another parish." [8]

Furthermore, according to the same New York Times article, the memo in question shows that "the future pope not only led a meeting on Jan. 15, 1980, approving the transfer of the priest, but was also kept informed about the priest's reassignment." In other words, Ratzinger knowingly transferred a pedophile to work with more children. This is criminal negligence, and if the Pope were the head of a secular institution it seems quite clear that he would be sitting in a jail cell at the present moment.

C3: Joseph Ratzinger sought to keep the church's sex abuse crimes secret.

In May of 2001 Cardinal Ratzinger issued a confidential letter to every Bishop of the Catholic Church. In this letter, he reminded his subordinates what the penalties would be if any of them dared to expose pedophile priests to legal authorities or the press. Ratzinger made it crystal clear that charges against priests were to be investigated "in the most secretive way ... restrained by a perpetual silence ... and everyone ... is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office … under the penalty of excommunication." [9] Ratzinger's letter goes on to say that 'preliminary investigations' of abuse allegations are to be sent directly to his office and that such cases were to be handled under the Church's own jurisdiction. The letter concludes by stating that, 'Cases of this kind [i.e. sexual abuse cases] are subject to the pontifical secret'. [10]

The Catholic Church — in its enigmatic role as being a bastion of moral wisdom and the vessel of eternal truth — has yet to excommunicate anyone for torturing and raping children. However, thanks to the work of Joseph Ratzinger, those within the church who would seek to protect children from rapists could very well risk losing their job in the church and face excommunication. In doing this, it seems almost certain that cases of sexual abuse will continue and grow since parishioners are more inclined not to report them. You see ladies and gentlemen, the Catholic Church does have its standards.

::Conclusion::

In light of the recent evidence outlined above, it has now become apparent that Pope Benedict XVI had an intimate role in helping keep sexual abuse within the church secret; protecting child molesters from prosecution; and transferring a known pedophile priest who went on to molest more children. Words do not–indeed could not–adequately speak to the magnitude of these crimes. Consequently, the current papacy–and the clerical hierarchy that it watches over–now exudes the stench of an evil so foul and systemic that even an ocean of holy water couldn't dispel it. Luckily, the paper trail in these abuse cases leads back to the Vatican and to the throne of the leering old villain that now heads it. May justice come swiftly, and may she be cruel to the Holy Father.

(References)
1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
2. http://www.nytimes.com...
3. http://documents.nytimes.com...
4. http://www.debate.org...
5. http://www.debate.org...
6. http://www.debate.org...
7. http://www.debate.org...
8. http://www.nytimes.com...
9. http://www.slate.com...
10. http://www.guardian.co.uk...
OLAN

Con

Theres no way for the Pope to be questioned under oath. He would never go against the Catholic Church or the Bible. Sure, there have ben scandals better than this, but have never been proven.
Debate Round No. 1
Freeman

Pro

Extend my arguments.
OLAN

Con

Well, to be fair remember Popes like John Paul Ii?
Debate Round No. 2
Freeman

Pro

Not only do I recommend that everyone vote for Pro, I strongly urge you to report my challenger's profile.
OLAN

Con

I would like it if no one reported my profile thank you very much
Debate Round No. 3
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by yayawhatever 6 years ago
yayawhatever
Freeman said:
Does anyone want this debate? Everyone that has taken it so far hasn't posted an argument.

I say: I'm not much of a debater, but I think a lot of people are hard on Ratzinger probably partly because he had some big shoes to fill. Pope John Paul II was loved by many, even nonchristians. If Ratzinger is guilty of coverups, then so was Pope John Paul II. Molestation in the Catholic church is nothing new, its been going on for probably as long as the church as been around.
Posted by skookie5 6 years ago
skookie5
Meant to say when I saw his account was closed
Posted by skookie5 6 years ago
skookie5
I lol'ed when I was OLAN's account was closed.
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
Lol, Olan. Sorry Freeman.
Posted by Freeman 6 years ago
Freeman
"Who took it last time?"

ccedericka

and before that

Procrastarian
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
Who took it last time?
Posted by Freeman 6 years ago
Freeman
Does anyone want this debate? Everyone that has taken it so far hasn't posted an argument.
Posted by Freeman 6 years ago
Freeman
Oh great, a troll took it :(
Posted by the-good-teacher 6 years ago
the-good-teacher
the catholic Church is mentioned as the fis beast of revelations !!!,,
Posted by Veridas 6 years ago
Veridas
Mackoman, are you seriously trying to play down the significance of this?

Nobody's denying that sexual abuse in any context is bad, the problem is the fact that this is a church, an organisation that, since it's founding, has supposed to be made up of the morally elite, the spiritually enlightened. People who dedicate themselves to mankind by dedicating themselves to god. SO when you stand there and tell me that 4,450 of these people have been accused (presumably with some basis for such accusation) in the last fifty two years, I for one find it more disgusting now than I did ten minutes ago when I was blissfully ignorant of that little statistic.

The problem clearly is the catholic church if that many preachers or priests or anyone else within a single organisation, not people doing the same job like teachers, not people who live in the same country, but people who are part of the same organisation, can do this to children, bloody children for christ's sake, and then find that the church, the morally elite, the spiritually enlightened, will protect them while they do it?

No, Mackoman, the problem is most definitely with the church if that is the church's attitude, and your attempt to reduce the significance of your own figures is truly appalling.

What if it were your child?
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 5 years ago
GMDebater
FreemanOLANTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Freeman 6 years ago
Freeman
FreemanOLANTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Vote Placed by Awed 6 years ago
Awed
FreemanOLANTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by stina2bina 6 years ago
stina2bina
FreemanOLANTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Vote Placed by Maikuru 6 years ago
Maikuru
FreemanOLANTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Vote Placed by kingofslash5 6 years ago
kingofslash5
FreemanOLANTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Vote Placed by Marauder 6 years ago
Marauder
FreemanOLANTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Vote Placed by omelet 6 years ago
omelet
FreemanOLANTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40