Is This Why Pope Benedict XVI Suddenly Resigned?

By Neenah Payne

Pope Benedict XVI stuns world, announces retirement reported on February 11, 2013:

VATICAN CITY — The conservative pope who brought tweeting to the Vatican stunned the Roman Catholic world Monday, becoming the first pope in 600 years to resign as leader of the 1 billion-member church.

Pope Benedict XVI, 85, cited age and declining health in his announcement, issued in Latin during a meeting of cardinals. The resignation, effective Feb. 28, means a conclave of cardinals will be held here next month to elect a successor. “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited” for the task, he said. “Both strength of mind and body are necessary, strengths which in the last few months have deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” he said.

Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said the process of selecting a pope will begin March 1. He said an exact date for the conclave to begin had not been determined. “Before Easter (March 31), we will have the new pope. (Resigning) is not a decision he has just improvised,” Lombardi said. “It’s a decision he has pondered.”

In Washington, President Obama praised Pope Benedict XVI and said he “warmly remembers” their meeting in 2009. “On behalf of Americans everywhere, Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers,” Obama said in a statement. But not all Americans have been thrilled with Benedict’s rule. His handling of sex abuse issues has drawn criticism from some victims’ advocates.

“When forced to, he talks about the crimes but ignores the cover-ups, uses the past tense as if to suggest it’s not still happening,” said David Clohessy, the executive director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. “He has vast powers and he’s done very little to make a difference.”

Pope Criticized For Failure To Address Church Pedophilia

When and why did Pope Benedict XVI resign? — Independent UK

Related video: Pope Benedict XVI leaves the Vatican on the final day of his papacy in 2013.

Former pontiff accused of ‘misconduct’ by German law firm over alleged failure to act on child abuse cases. A German law firm has accused the former Pope Benedict XVI of failing to act in four historic child abuse cases that he was allegedly notified of during his tenure as archbishop of Munich and Freising.

The now retired pontiff, 94, held the post in question between 1977 and 1982 and was allegedly presented with information about the abuse at that time but declined to take action, prompting the firm, Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, to accuse him of “misconduct”. “In a total of four cases, we came to the conclusion that the then-archbishop, Cardinal Ratzinger, can be accused of misconduct,” said Martin Pusch, co-author of the report.

The ex-pope, whose name is Joseph Ratzinger, has denied the accusations. His spokesperson has said he “takes the fates of the abuse victims very much to heart” and is fully “in favour of the publication of the Munich report”. At least 3,677 people were abused by German clergy between 1946 and 2014, according to a church-commissioned study published four years ago. The majority of victims were aged under 13.

Reverend Kevin Annett: ITCCS

Reverend Kevin Annett, a Canadian clergyman, is a Nobel Prize Nominee, an award-winning film maker, author, social activist, and public lecturer who works with victims of church violence and genocide all over the world. Annett has led the movement to prosecute atrocities in Canadian Indian residential schools for over 20 years. He was expelled in 1995 from the United Church of Canada for exposing murders in the church’s Indian schools. As a result of Kevin’s efforts, the Canadian government was forced to issue a public “apology” and reparations program for Indian residential schools in 2008.

Rev. Annett helped establish the 5-nation International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) i​n 2010 to indict church and government leaders for crimes against humanity. Anishinabe elder Louis Daniels said, “Kevin Annett is doing what few of his people have done, and that is to speak about the crimes they committed against many of our nations and their children. He has earned a place forever in our hearts and history. He is a brave and prophetic man. I ask everyone to welcome him and heed his voice.” Daniels gave Annett the name of “Eagle Strong Voice” in 2007.

Noam Chomsky wrote in 2006, “Kevin Annett is more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than many of those who have received it.”

The documentary Unrepentant: Kevin Annett and Canada’s Genocide reveals Canada’s “dirty secret” – the planned genocide of aboriginal people in church-run Indian residential schools and the theft of their land under the guise of religion. This never-before-told story is seen through the eyes of Rev. Kevin Annett who blew the whistle on his church after he learned of thousands of murders in its schools.

​First-hand testimonies from residential school survivors are interwoven with Kevin Annett’s own story of how he faced firing, de-frocking, as well as the loss of his family, reputation, and livelihood as a result of his efforts to help survivors bring out the truth of the residential schools.

The film is based on Annett’s book Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust. The documentary was a self-funded, grassroots effort. Annett continues this David and Goliath struggle to hold the government and churches of Canada accountable for crimes against humanity and the continued theft of aboriginal land.

Hidden from history: The Canadian holocaust : the untold story of the genocide of Aboriginal peoples by church and state in Canada : a summary of an ongoing, … ” residential schools ” and their legacy

The PDF version of Hidden From History is free online. It is 393 pages of shocking information. The book explains that the annual death rate in the Nazi’s Auschwitz concentration camp during WWII was 15-25%. The annual death rate at the Indian residential schools in Canada was 35-60%. While 209 people were convicted for the deaths and other crimes in Nazi Germany, none have been convicted for the crimes in the Indian residential schools.

Scientific American: Canada’s Residential Schools Were a Horror.

The pope’s apology in Canada was historic, but for some Indigenous people, not enough – NPR

Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and The Indian Residential Schools includes a free PDF.

Canadian Genocide Case: ITCCS

Unrepentant: Kevin Annett and Canada’s Genocide

O​n 2/25/2013, the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) concluded its Genocide in Canada case citing abuses against Native Canadians in the Indian Residential Schools.

The ITCCS Central Office is in Brussels, Belgium, with affiliate centers in London, Dublin, Rome, New York, and Vancouver. Founded in 2010 at a conference of survivors of church torture in Ireland, the ITCCS comprises 50 organizations in 15 countries. It was founded because of refusal by courts and governments to charge and prosecute churches guilty of genocide and crimes against children, and the active complicity of state agencies with such criminal church bodies.

The two-fold purpose of the ITCCS is:

  1. To bring to trial persons and institutions responsible for the exploitation, torture, and murder of children — past and present
  2. To stop these criminal actions by churches, corporations, and governments

Pope Benedict’s legacy and controversies – CNN video

The Church: Code of Silence (Corrupt Priest Documentary) | Real Stories 11/16/19

Secret internal documents reveal how church officials have protected priests accused of pedophilia by moving them from country-to-country, sometimes as far away as to Africa. They call it ‘the geographical solution’. Even Pope Francis is implicated. When he was bishop of Buenos Aires, he tried to influence the Argentinean justice system in order to protect a convicted priest. From Cameroon to Argentina, America to France and Italy, this investigation traces the transfers of pedophile priests.

NYTimes 9/13/11: Abuse Victims Ask Court to Prosecute the Vatican

Human rights lawyers and victims of clergy sexual abuse filed a complaint on Tuesday urging the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict XVI and three top Vatican officials for crimes against humanity for what they described as abetting and covering up the rape and sexual assault of children by priests.

The formal filing of nearly 80 pages by two American advocacy groups, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was the most substantive effort yet to hold the pope and the Vatican accountable in an international court for sexual abuse by priests.

“The high-level officials of the Catholic church who failed to prevent and punish these criminal actions,” the complaint says, “have, to date, enjoyed absolute impunity.” A spokeswoman at the court said the prosecutor’s office would examine the papers, “as we do with all such communications.” The first step will be “to analyze whether the alleged crimes fall under the court’s jurisdiction,” Florence Olara, the prosecutor’s spokeswoman said.

Complaints about the Vatican and child abuse by Roman Catholic priests have been received at the court before, court records showed. But Ms. Olara said details were not normally disclosed by the court unless a case went forward. Lawyers familiar with the international court said it was unlikely the complaint against the Vatican would fit the court’s mandate to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The Rev. Federico Lombardi, the spokesman for the Vatican, said he had no comment.

Vatican officials have often said that the decisions about priests accused of abuse are made by bishops — not by the Vatican hierarchy — and that the church is far more decentralized than is widely believed. But the lawyers and abuse victims from the United States and Europe who held a news conference at the court on Tuesday said their action was necessary because all the investigations and prosecutions of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in various countries had not been sufficient to prevent continuing crimes and cover-ups.

See the New York Times for the remainder of the article.

Catholic Church’s Role in Residential School Abuses

In addition to his failure to address the allegedly rampant pedophilia in the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI was held responsible for the church’s failure to address the abuses in the Canadian residential schools which generations of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit kids had been forced to attend.

The charges were that the Church colluded with the Canadian government to commit and conceal genocide on generations of children in the residential schools across Canada. Accusers characterized it as a reign of terror by state-backed churches in which more than 50,000 children died.

As the information below shows, when Pope Benedict XVI  suddenly resigned on February 28, 2013 – the first pope to do so in about 600 years — he was days away from being subject to a Citizen’s Arrest anywhere in the world beginning March 4. So, he was no longer free to travel outside the Vatican and spent the rest of his life on Vatican property.

The Case of Genocide in Canada: An Update 12/21/12

The latest information and some samples of the evidence concerning the upcoming posting from The International Common Law Court of Justice, and its case of Genocide in Canada.

Citizens Tribunal Found Pope Benedict XVI Guilty

Citizens Tribunal Finds Pope, Queen, and Canadian PM Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity 2/26/13

Pope, Queen and Canadian Prime Minister found Guilty of Crimes against Humanity and Sentenced to Twenty Five Year Prison Terms

NESARA News, Feb. 25, 2013

Pope, Queen and Canadian Prime Minister found Guilty of Crimes against Humanity and Sentenced to Twenty Five Year Prison Terms Court Orders them to Surrender by March 4 or face Citizens’ Arrests


Pope Benedict will go to jail for twenty five years for his role in Crimes against Humanity, and Vatican wealth and property is to be seized, according to today’s historic verdict of the International Common Law Court of Justice. The Brussels-based Court handed down a unanimous guilty verdict from its Citizen Jurors and ordered the citizens’ arrest of thirty Defendants commencing March 4 in a Court Order issued to them today.

The verdict read in part, “We the Citizen Jury find that the Defendants in this case are guilty of the two indictments, that is, they are guilty of committing or aiding and abetting Crimes against Humanity, and of being part of an ongoing Criminal Conspiracy” The Jury ruled that each Defendant receive a mandatory twenty five year prison sentence without parole, and have all their personal assets seized.

The Court went on to declare in its Order No. 022513-001, “The Defendants are ordered to surrender themselves voluntarily to Peace Officers and Agents authorized by this COURT, having been found Guilty as charged. “The Defendants have seven days from the issuing of this ORDER, until March 4, 2013, to comply. After March 4, 2013, an International Arrest Warrant will be issued against these Defendants”.

The guilty parties include Elizabeth Windsor, Queen of England, Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, and the head officers of the Catholic, Anglican and United Church of Canada. (A complete copy of the Verdict, the Court Order and a list of the Defendants is enclosed on the accompanying you tube link). The guilty verdict followed nearly a month of deliberations by more than thirty sworn Citizen Jurors of the 150 case exhibits produced by Court Prosecutors.

These exhibits detailed irrefutable proof of a massive criminal conspiracy by the Defendants’ institutions to commit and conceal Genocide on generations of children in so-called Indian residential schools across Canada. None of the Defendants challenged or disputed a Public Summons issued to them last September; nor did they deny the charges made against them, or offer counter evidence to the Court.

“Their silence told me a lot. Why wouldn’t innocent people defend their own reputation when accused of such horrible things?” commented one Juror, based in England. “These crimes were aimed at children, and were a cold and calculated plan to wipe out Indians who weren’t Christians. And the defendants clearly are still covering up this crime. So we felt we had to do more than slap their wrist. The whole reign of terror by state-backed churches that are above the law has to end, because children still suffer from it”.

The Court’s judgment declares the wealth and property of the churches responsible for the Canadian genocide to be forfeited and placed under public ownership, as reparations for the families of the more than 50,000 children who died in the residential schools. To enforce its sentence, the Court has empowered citizens in Canada, the United States, England, Italy and a dozen other nations to act as its legal agents armed with warrants, and peacefully occupy and seize properties of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and United Church of Canada, which are the main agents in the deaths of these children.

“This sentence gives a legal foundation and legitimacy to the church occupations that have already begun by victims of church torture around the world” commented Kevin Annett, the chief adviser to the Prosecutor’s Office, who presented its case to the world. (see, November 6 and January 30 postings) “The verdict of the Court is clearly that these criminal church bodies are to be legally and practically disestablished, and their stolen wealth reclaimed by the people. Justice has finally begun to be served. The dead can now rest more easily.”

Court officers are delivering the Order to all the Defendants this week, including to the Canadian Prime Minister, the Queen of England and to Joseph Ratzinger, the retiring Pope Benedict who is avoiding arrest within the Vatican after suddenly resigning two weeks ago. The citizens’ arrests of these and other Defendants will commence on March 4 if they do not surrender themselves and their assets, as per the Court Order. These actions will be filmed and posted at here in the coming week, along with further updates from the Court and its Citizen Agents.

Please see the accompanying you tube video.

Issued by the Central Office,

The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State
25 February, 2013

Citizen’s Arrest For Pope Benedict XVI Effective March 4, 2013

The Citizens Tribunal declared in late February 2013 that Pope Benedict was among those guilty of crimes against humanity and was subject to Citizen’s Arrest anywhere outside the Vatican. The punishment was to be 25 years in jail. The Tribunal said: “The Defendants have seven days from the issuing of this ORDER, until March 4, 2103, to comply. After March 4, 2013, an International Arrest Warrant will be issued against these Defendants”.

On February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI, citing poor health, suddenly announced that he would resign on February 28. It had been almost 600 years since the last Pope resigned. Pope Benedict spent the rest of his life within the Vatican walls until he died on December 31, 2022.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Sudden Resignation February 28, 2013

Pope Benedict Steps Down: Full Text Of His Resignation Letter – Forbes

“For the first time in almost 600 years a sitting Pope has resigned, leaving the leadership of the Catholic Church, one of the world’s richest and most powerful organizations–religious or secular–in transition. Citing his failing health, Pope Benedict XVI, announced to Cardinals that  he was no longer able to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and would step down on Feb. 28.

Benedict, a German, was, at 78, the oldest Pope ever installed as the leader of Catholic Church. Now 85, and in frail health, Benedict said in a statement this morning that to lead the church, “strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” (full text below).

Few positions on Earth are as powerful and influential as  leadership of the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict ranked 5th this year on our annual list of the World’s Most Powerful people trailing only US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates.

At the National Catholic Register, Thomas Reece explains that while the move is certainly legal (though rare–only 10 Popes have ever resigned in the history of the Church) “Most modern popes have felt that resignation is unacceptable,” writes Reece. “As Paul VI said, paternity cannot be resigned. In addition, Paul feared setting a precedent that would encourage factions in the church to pressure future popes to resign for reasons other than health.”

Top image credit: McDaniel College

Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post

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