10 Dirty Secrets Of The Catholic Church
Throughout its long history, the Catholic Church has been rocked by scandals starting from the dissolution of the Knights Templar to Galileo’s trial to Mother Theresa’s questionable donors. Over the course of the 20th century, more scandals have come to light—no matter what proportion the Church would really like to stay them secret. 10 Dirty Secrets Of The Catholic Church.
10The Duplessis Orphans
516377775In the 1930s and 1940s, a conservative revolution ushered in an era in Quebec now referred to as “The Great Darkness.” Led by Premier Maurice Duplessis, the amount was characterized by unprecedented corruption and repression, much of which involved the Catholic Church. After Duplessis received the provincial Church’s support during his rise to power, he sought to repay the favor with a bizarre moneymaking scheme revolving around institutionalizing children. At the time, federal subsidies for mental hospitals were much larger than those given to orphanages, which were largely the responsibility of the provincial government. Beginning within the 1940s, the Duplessis government, together with the Catholic Church (which ran the bulk of the province’s orphanages and mental hospitals) began to systematically diagnose orphaned children with mental diagnoses they didn’t have. As a result of these false diagnoses, the orphans were sent to psychiatric institutions, where they qualified for the upper federal subsidy. In some cases, orphanages were emptied after their children were declared mentally incompetent, then the orphanage was converted into a mental hospital therefore the Catholic Church could make extra money from the subsidies. Around 20,000 children were wrongly diagnosed and imprisoned in this way. to form matters worse, many of the orphans weren’t exactly orphaned. Instead, a number of them were simply the youngsters of unwed mothers forcibly taken into the custody of the Church, who frowned upon the very existence of childbirth out of wedlock. After being institutionalized, the youngsters were subject to a nightmarish life that included sexual assault, electroconvulsive therapy, and even forced lobotomies. Some children were utilized in drug testing and other medical experiments. Many died as a result of their treatment. By the 1990s, about 3,000 surviving Duplessis Orphans organized to bring their stories to light and pressure the Canadian government for justice. Though they were eventually granted a monetary settlement from the Quebec government, the Catholic Church has yet to apologize for its role within the scandal.
Boys-from-Dr-Barnados-home-001During the 19th and 20th centuries, around 150,000 British “Home Children” were sent to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Rhodesia. The scheme arguably dated back as far because the 17th century, but what’s surprising is how long it lasted—between 1947 and 1967 as many as 10,000 children were shipped from the uk to Australia. Those behind the scheme had clear ideological intentions—they wanted to make sure that the colonies in question would have white majorities. British children chosen to be shipped across the planet were often mentioned as “good white stock.” Competing religious groups, including the Catholic Christian Brothers, sought to use the scheme to extend their followers within the colonies. Between the late ’30s and early ’60s, the Catholic Church shipped a minimum of 1,000 British and 310 Maltese children to Catholic schools in Australia, where many were forced to try to construction work or other hard labor. In addition to forced labor, subsequent inquiries have found that a lot of the migrant children within the Church’s care was brutally beaten, raped, and starved—some children were made to “scramble for food thrown on the floor” to survive. Many of the youngsters were stripped of their birth name. Decades later, in 2001, the Catholic Church in Australia confirmed the crimes committed and issued an apology.
10 Dirty Secrets Of The Catholic Church
8Spain’s Stolen Children87160440
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Starting within the 1930s, the fascist regime of Franco sought to purify Spain by stealing the babies of “undesirable” parents and having them raised in additional politically acceptable surroundings. The scheme originally targeted the youngsters of leftists, who the Spanish government saw as having “a sort of mental disease that was polluting the Hispanic race,” but eventually came to focus on unmarried mothers and otherwise “unfit” parents. As many as 300,000 babies were eventually stolen from their parents. The baby-stealing scheme was administered with the close cooperation of the Catholic Church in Spain. After Franco rose to power calling himself the defender of Catholic Spain, the Church controlled most of Spain’s social services—from schools to hospitals to children’s homes. This allowed thousands of youngsters to be stolen or otherwise faraway from their parents by Catholic doctors, priests, and nuns. In many cases, nurses in Catholic hospitals would take a neonate from its mother to be examined. The nurse would then return with a dead baby kept on ice for the aim of persuading the mother that her baby had suddenly died. After the babies were stolen from their mothers, they were often sold in illegal profit-making adoptions. After Franco died in 1975, the Church retained its grasp on Spanish social services and largely continued the scheme. the kid kidnappings didn’t fully come to an end until 1987 when the Spanish government began tightening adoption regulations. it’s been estimated that around 15 percent of adoptions in Spain between 1960 and 1989 was a part of the kidnapping scheme.
7The Return Of Baptized Jewish Children
1121481_3_1f76_les-Freres-Gerard-et-Robert-finally-Dans-un-kWhile Pope Pius XII has been condemned for remaining largely silent on the Holocaust and politics of World War II, under his leadership the Catholic Church did take steps to save lots of several thousand Jews from the Nazis. Some Italian and Hungarian Jews were issued false baptism certificates and other documents identifying them as Catholics. In France, many Jewish children were baptized and placed in Catholic schools and orphanages, effectively hiding them from the Nazis. the matter is what happened next. When the war ended, the Catholic Church in France issued a directive forbidding its representatives from returning Jewish children who had been baptized to their families. The document, which claimed to possess been “approved by the Pope,” firmly stated that “children who are baptized must not be entrusted to institutions that might not be during a position to ensure their Christian upbringing. ”Many of the youngsters concerned had lost their parents within the Holocaust, and a few were deliberately never told of their Jewish background. the difficulty first came to public attention in France with the case of Robert and Gerald Finley, who became the topic of a lengthy legal battle after their surviving Jewish relatives attempted to regain custody from the French Catholics who had baptized them. Other French Catholics apparently ignored the Church’s order and agreed to return the Jewish children in their care, including the longer-term Pope John XXIII, who was the Vatican’s representative in Paris at the time. to the present day, it’s not clear what percentage of Jewish children the Church saved—or what percentage it gave back afterward.
6Nazi Gold within the Vatican Bank
468960747In 1947, a US Treasury agent named Emerson Bigelow apparently penned a highly classified report which alleged that the Catholic Church had smuggled Nazi gold through the Vatican bank. Although the report itself has been lost, a letter written by Bigelow explained that it contained information from a reliable source revealing that the Nazi’s puppet Utashe regime in Croatia had smuggled around 350 million Swiss francs in gold out of the country at the top of the war. consistent with Bigelow, perhaps 200 million francs of this was briefly held within the Vatican bank for safekeeping. Bigelow’s letter also referenced information that the gold had subsequently been funneled through the “Vatican pipeline” to Spain and South America, where it had been wont to help Nazi and Utashe officials escape punishment for his or her crimes. The letter only came to light in 1997, after being declassified by the United States government the year before. A spokesperson for the Vatican bank denied the claims, but the Catholic Church remains embroiled in lawsuits over its alleged laundering of Nazi gold. In 2000, a category action lawsuit was brought by around 2,000 Holocaust survivors and relatives who sought restitution from the Vatican up to $200 million, using the Bigelow letter and other recently declassified documents to allege that the Vatican had improperly harbored gold stolen from Europe’s Jews. The suit has since stalled, with American courts split on whether the case is often tried within the US.
10 Dirty Secrets Of The Catholic Church
5The Alliance With Fascism
Benito-mussoliniToday, the Vatican is famously the littlest country within the world, but it hasn’t always been that way. Rome was the capital of the Papal States for many years. But after Italy was united within the 19th century, the Pope lost his temporal territories, causing a tense standoff between Church and state. The Vatican only officially became its own country again in 1929—and it did so because the Catholic Church got into bed with fascism. In 1922, Mussolini and his National Fascist Party came to power, eventually abolishing democracy and forming a brutal dictatorship. In 1929, Mussolini and therefore the Catholic Church signed the Lateran Treaty, resolving the crisis by granting the Church the status of a sovereign state within Italy. To sweeten the deal, Mussolini gave the Church a hefty cash settlement. The Church successively used the cash to make a lucrative international investment portfolio, which is now valued at around £500 million (USD $781 million). The Church was also given a generous tax exemption and Catholic priests got a guaranteed salary by the Italian government. The treaty also officially made Catholicism Italy’s state religion, making religion classes compulsory for all Italian schoolchildren unless a special exemption was granted.The treaty also included a clause protecting the “dignity” of the Pope, effectively meaning that those that criticized the Church might be prosecuted. In 2008, an overzealous Roman prosecutor launched an investigation into an Italian comic who made a joke criticizing Pope Benedict. Fortunately, the attempt was blocked by the Italian Justice Ministry, a choice officially supported by the Vatican.In return for signing the treaty, Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship received the general public support of the Catholic Church and was recognized because the legitimate government of Italy, despite the very fact that Mussolini had abolished democracy four years prior. After the treaty was signed, the Vatican’s official newspaper praised Mussolini, stating: “Italy has been given back to God and God to Italy.”
4Hiding maltreatment And Protecting Pedophiles
101025901Widespread maltreatment within the Catholic Church has been a drag for an extended time, but the difficulty didn’t truly come to public attention until the late 1980s. The abuse may be a huge scandal in and of itself, but the very fact that it took goodbye to return to light speaks to a good larger crime: The Catholic Church as an establishment deliberately sought to hide up maltreatment and systematically protected pedophile priests. The issue was fully delivered to light in 2002 when five Catholic priests were tried in Boston for his or her horrifying abuse of youngsters . one among the convicted priests, Father John Geoghan, had allegedly molested as many as 130 boys before he was caught. But Father Geoghan’s superiors had learned of his crimes long before he was charged during a court of law. Not only did the Church not turn him over to the authorities, but they also didn’t even expel him from the priesthood. Instead, they simply reassigned him to other parishes, where he continued to abuse children with impunity. In Wisconsin, a Catholic priest named Lawrence Murphy raped as many as 200 deaf and disabled boys at a Church-run school between 1950 and 1974. When Murphy’s superiors became conscious of the abuse, they didn’t even fire him from his teaching job. Instead, they gave him a leave of absence. It wasn’t until 1996 that the Church internally investigated the abuse. However, the Church decided to not punish the kid rapist because he was elderly and in poor health. Murphy died a couple of months later and was buried with “the full dignity and honors of a Holy Roman Catholic Priest in good standing.” In February 2014, a special United Nations committee on child rights found that the Catholic Church had “systematically” protected priests who raped children and is consequently liable for allowing “tens of thousands” of youngsters to be abused. The committee claimed that the Church has “consistently placed the preservation of the reputation of the Church and therefore the protection of the perpetrators above children’s best interests.” The current Pope, Pope Francis, recently claimed that he had reliable data indicating that around 2 percent of Catholic clergymen are pedophiles. There are currently around 414,000 Catholic priests around the world. So consistent with the Pope himself, there are an estimated 8,000 pedophile priests currently working for the Catholic Church.
Magdalen-asylum based on their ultraconservative notions about sexuality, the Catholic Church imprisoned women suspected of prostitution or promiscuity in Church-run institutions referred to as the Magdalene asylums. Initially, women were committed to the asylums to receive pseudo-psychiatric “treatment” for alleged sinfulness or promiscuity. many ladies were sent to the asylums by their own families. Occurring mainly in Ireland, the imprisoned women were forced to try to slave labor, mostly associated with washing clothes, for seven days every week. Of course, the Church was getting purchased the work, since the laundries were operated for a profit. The imprisoned women endured horrific beatings, poor food, and sexual assault. it’s been estimated that as many as 30,000 women were forced into Irish laundries. The asylums operated in Ireland from the 18th to the late 20th century, but they didn’t become a matter of debate until 1993 when 155 bodies were uncovered during a mass grave in North Dublin. The asylum authorities had buried the ladies secretly, without telling their families or maybe the authorities that they had died—none of the 155 women had a death certificate. In 2013, Irish authorities agreed to pay a minimum of $45 million in compensation to the survivors after the United Nations Committee Against Torture urged the govt to form things right. The Catholic Church has yet to apologize.
523535929At the top of war II, many Nazi war criminals attempted to escape Europe to avoid prosecution. In a minimum of some cases, they received help from senior Catholic clergymen. In December 1944, the Church allowed a bishop named Alois Hudal to go to Nazi prisoners held in Allied internment camps, presumably for religious purposes. However, Bishop Hudal instead used his position to assist a variety of Nazi war criminals to flee to safety. Hudal helped to line up escape routes referred to as “ratlines,” allowing wanted Nazis to escape to relative safety in South America. He used his position within the Church hierarchy to get travel documents from the Vatican Refugee Organization. A variety of senior Nazis were actually given Vatican state passports, which allowed them to disguise themselves as priests. One of the Nazis who Bishop Hudal helped escape was Franz Stangl, who would remain at large until 1967 when he was arrested in Brazil. Stangl was then extradited to West Germany and convicted of overseeing the slaughter of 900,000 Jews. Meanwhile, a gaggle of Croatian priests operating out of a Catholic seminary college in Rome would found out an escape route now referred to as the San Girolamo ratline. Led by Father Krunoslav Draganovic, the organization was initially founded to assist members of Utah to escape Europe, but its operations soon expanded to incorporate German Nazis like Klaus Barbie. At least 9,000 Nazis escaped to South America after the war. The extent to which the Church as an establishment helped them to try to so remains controversial. The historical consensus is that Hudal and Draganovic acted without the Vatican’s knowledge or approval, but historians have also argued that the Church could have done more to make sure its refugee program wasn’t exploited by fleeing war criminals.
10 Dirty Secrets Of The Catholic Church
1The Croatian Holocaust
800px-UstasamilitiaWhile the concentration camps travel by the Nazis during war II are probably best known today, there have been many similar concentration camps in other countries, including some in Yugoslavia travel by Catholic priests. After the Axis Powers occupied Yugoslavia in 1941, a replacement fascist government was formed called the Independent State of Croatia, which is taken into account to possess been a “Nazi puppet government .” The new government was travel by the State, Croatia’s version of the Nazis, headed by a dictator named Ante Pavelic. The State was defined by ultraconservative Catholicism and racism. After Pavelic took power, the Catholic archbishop Aloysius Stepinac held a banquet for the dictator, proclaiming him “God’s hand at work.” Pavelic was also received by Pope Pius XII himself. Four days before Pavelic met the Pope, the State had locked many Serbians inside an Orthodox Church and burned it to the bottom. Yugoslav diplomats warned the Pope of the atrocities and asked him to not meet with the fascist dictator, but Pope Pius XII refused their request. Months later, an Utashe leader suggested destroying Croatia’s Serbian population by “killing one third, expelling the opposite third, and assimilating the remaining third.”Such genocidal ambitions soon became a horrifying reality. Concentration camps were found out across the country, including one among the most important camps in Europe at Jasenovac, whereas many as 800,000 Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and political dissidents were killed. Croatian Catholic clergymen served as guards and even executioners within the camps. At Jasenovac camp, a former student priest named Petar Vrzica won a contest by slitting 1,350 throats during a single night. The slaughter wasn’t contained within the camps either. The Ustashe would descend on villages with hatchets and knives. One attack in 1942 was led by a priest and should have killed as many as 2,300 Serbs. A survivor of the attack described how the Utashe beheaded young children then threw the decapitated heads at their horrified mothers, cut open the stomachs of pregnant women, and raped young girls as their horrified families watched. As all of this went on, Pavelic continued to exchange “cordial telegrams” with Pius XXI. The Catholic press in Croatia published propaganda for the fascist regime. The Vatican never once spoke out against the massacres. After the war ended and Yugoslavia was liberated by communist partisans, Archbishop Stepinac was convicted of war crimes and sent to Lepoglava prison. However, the new Yugoslavian state later released him after pressure from the Vatican. Stephanie was later appointed a cardinal by Pius XII. In 1998, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II.