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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 02:15 PM
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Ratzinger & the persecution of Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen
Excerpt from the Seattle Times (04-20-05)...

Ryan (the Very Rev. Michael G. Ryan, pastor at St. James Cathedral) recalled the significant role Ratzinger played in the scrutiny of Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen two decades ago. In 1985, Ratzinger, as head of the Vatican's powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith essentially the church's guardian of orthodoxy issued a report disciplining Hunthausen in areas such as ministry to gays and lesbians, divorce, and the role of women in the church.

That report led to Hunthausen being relieved of some of his power and the appointment of an auxiliary bishop. Eventually, the Vatican removed the auxiliary bishop and restored Hunthausen's full authority.

"I'm sure there would be some resentments against Cardinal Ratzinger because of it," Ryan said. "I always wished the Holy See had come up with a better solution to the problems they perceived in Seattle."


Louise McAllister, a local member of the progressive Catholic organization Call to Action, said Ratzinger's election was "a big setback for progressive Catholics." That he was chosen so quickly, she said, "says to me that Vatican II is going to be a dim, fading memory."

Excerpt from the Seattle P-I (04-19-05)...

The Rev. Michael G. Ryan, pastor of the state's largest Catholic church, St. James Cathedral in Seattle, told parishioners that the papal election touched off celebration by some. But he added that for others: "It is not what was hoped for or even wanted. I count myself among that number."

Many Washington Catholics remember the new pope's attentions nearly 20 years ago, when, as head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he upbraided Seattle's archbishop for his liberal views on women, gays and doctrinal issues.

For a time, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen was relieved of some of his authority and Bishop Donald Wuerl was brought in as coadjutor or assistant. After American bishops, priests, nuns and lay Catholics complained, Hunthausen's full authority was eventually restored and he served as spiritual leader for Western Washington's Catholics until his retirement in 1991.


In one of the Vatican's most widely publicized reports, Ratzinger warned him against politicizing the issue of women in the church, use of married ex-priests, marrying divorced people and giving them communion rights, giving communion in ecumenical settings, and granting general absolution of sins to large groups.

Excerpt from religion-online...

In the meantime, Vatican positions and disciplinary actions continue to generate controversy, as any reader of the religious press, or even Time, is quite aware. In addition to clashes over liberation theology, Vatican authorities have continued to uphold official teaching on sexual ethics in general (as in a 1986 statement on homosexuality by Cardinal Ratzinger) and have withstood calls even for an open discussion of womens ordination or of ending celibacy as a requirement for the priesthood. Despite the popes statements on the dignity of women, many see his attitude as overtly patriarchal. The Vatican has subjected Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle to a humiliating investigation and at one point took away most of his authority. The firing of moral theologian Charles Curran from the Catholic University of America and the recent announcement of a loyalty oath to be administered to those who teach Catholic theology threaten the academic integrity of Catholic universities and theologians.

Excerpt from the National Catholic Reporter (04-16-99)...

His (Ratzinger) record includes:

Theologians disciplined, such as Fr. Charles Curran, an American moral theologian who advocates a right to public dissent from official church teaching; Fr. Matthew Fox, an American known for his work on creation spirituality; Sr. Ivone Gebara, a Brazilian whose thinking blends liberation theology with environmental concerns; and Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, a Sri Lankan interested in how Christianity can be expressed through Eastern concepts;
Movements blocked, such as liberation theology and, more recently, religious pluralism (the drive to affirm other religions on their own terms);
Progressive bishops hobbled, including Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle, reproached by Rome for his tolerance of ministry to homosexuals and his involvement in progressive political causes, and Bishop Dom Pedro Casaldliga of Sao Flix, Brazil, criticized for his political engagement beyond the borders of his own diocese;
Episcopal conferences brought to heel on issues such as inclusive language and their own teaching authority;
The borders of infallibility expanded, to include such disparate points as the ban on womens ordination and the invalidity of ordinations in the Anglican church.

Excerpt from

Hunthausen Case

The most extreme intervention in a U.S. archdiocese by the Vatican was in Seattle, where an auxiliary was appointed who was supposed to have final authority over important areas of diocesan life including the tribunal, liturgy, former priests, priestly formation, medical ethics and ministry to homosexuals.


The Hunthausen case is worth examining because it shows what concerns Rome has about the American church. In addition, it shows how Roman procedures and American concepts of due process come into conflict.

It all began in May 1983 when Archbishop Laghi approached Archbishop Hunthausen at a meeting of the American bishops in Chicago and told him that the Vatican wanted to have a visitation of Seattle. Hunthausen, not having the slightest idea what a visitation was, said, "Fine, we have all sorts of wonderful things going on in Seattle." Archbishop Hickey of Washington, DC, was appointed visitor.

Later, Hunthausen began to question the visitation when it became clear that its purpose was to evaluate criticisms about his ministry as archbishop. He objected that he was never given any specifics about what was to be investigated so that he could defend himself. In addition, the Vatican wanted the visitation to be secret, but he argued that was impossible. When the fact of the visitation became known, Seattle officials insisted that the leak occurred in Washington, DC.

Another excerpt from

Dissatisfied with the Archbishop Hunthausen's governance of the Seattle Archdiocese, the Holy See insisted that he delegate complete and final decision-making authority over five areas of church life to his Rome-appointed auxiliary, the Bishop Donald Wuerl: annulments, clergy formation, resigned priests, liturgy and moral issues dealing with homosexuals and hospitals (see Thomas J. Reese, "The Seattle Way of the Cross," Am., 9/13-20, pp. 111-112).

The Holy See's action caused an uproar in Seattle from the many priests, religious and lay people who believe that the Archbishop is a victim of CUF (Catholics United for the Faith), the Wanderer and other right-wing groups. According to Hunthausen supporters, conservatives were incensed by the Archbishop's antinuclear stands but realized that the Vatican would act only on church issues. His critics therefore dug up every bit of dirt they could find in Seattle, even tape recording homilies and lectures. They then wrote to Rome with their complaints.

The Vatican chronology released October 24 by Archbishop Laghi does in fact mention the large number of complaints the Holy See received from Seattle as one reason for its action, but many in Seattle say that these complaints came from a small, well-organized group.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's Report Issued on Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen - September 30, 1985:

Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen... some background...

Excerpt from

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle

As followers of Christ, we need to take up our cross in the nuclear age .... Our security as people of faith lies not in demonic weapons which threaten all life on earth. Our security is in a loving, caring God .... A choice has been put before us: anyone who wants to save one's life by nuclear arms will lose it; but anyone who loses one's life by giving up those arms for Jesus' sake, and for the sake of the Gospel of love, will save it .... How can such a process, of taking up the cross of nonviolence, happen in a country where our government seems paralyzed by arms corporations? In a country where many of the citizens, perhaps most of the citizens, are numbed into passivity by the very magnitude and complexity of the issue while being horrified by the prospect of nuclear holocaust? .... We have to refuse to give incense in our day, tax dollars to our nuclear idol .... Form 1040 is the place where the Pentagon enters all of our lives, and asks our unthinking cooperation with the idol of nuclear destruction. I think the teaching of Jesus tells us to render to a nuclear armed Caesar that which Caesar deserves tax resistance. And to begin to render to God alone that complete trust which we now give, through our tax dollars, to a demonic form of power. Some would call what I am urging "civil disobedience." I prefer to see it as obedience to God. (Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen, 1981)

Another excerpt from the Seattle P-I...

When The Most Rev. Raymond Hunthausen led the "Walk in the Light" peace walk to mark the end of the Gulf War in June 1991, it was probably his last high-profile appearance as a peace activist.
Hunthausen, then Archbishop of Seattle, retired later that year. He returned to his native Montana where he lives such a low-profile life he's almost invisible.


Is Hunthausen still a peace activist?

"This was a personal matter of conscience for Archbishop Hunthausen," Gallant said.

Excerpt from the

Archbishop Hunthausen was the 1992 recipient of the Isaac Hecker Award for encouraging all who work within the Church to expand its commitment to justice and peace.

Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle was recognized not only as an activist for peace and nuclear disarmament, but also for his respect for the rights of the poor, women, homosexuals, and other oppressed groups. His visionary leadership was rooted in the teachings of Vatican II and encouraged greater lay participation and leadership in the Church.

I am still weeping.
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LisaM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hunthausen was one of the best
he is still revered here in Seattle, and rightly so.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Very much so!
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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thank you for this excellent post. Nominated. (nt) (a day to reflect on all the atrocities committed by Bu$h and his theocratic neoconster buddies)
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. You're welcome
Ratzinger's involvement with the Hitler Youth has come to light, as well as his involvement in attacks against Kerry, but I don't know how many are aware of his involvement in the persecution of progressive Catholics. I was hoping to shed some light on this aspect.

Having witnessed & lived through the persecution of Archbishop Hunthausen, yesterday was a terribly sad day for me. I am still weeping.
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LisaM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. After reading Father Ryan's comments
I might go back to St. James one of these days.
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Donailin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. I second that and nominate
I'm a Catholic. I've had mixed emotions on Mr. Ratzinger. After reading much within the last 24 hours, I am convinced that he is in opposition to the teachings of Christ. He is pharasaical in the sense that Christ said, "They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the places of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father -- the one in heaven. 1Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. 1The greatest among you will be your servant. 1All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted."

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Lindacooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. The more I hear about Ratzinger's past, the more convinced I am
that he was absolutely the wrong choice for pope.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I ran the Pope-U-Lator today & came up with these...





Pope-U-Lator: /

No surprises... Bergoglio & Rosriguez Maradiaga were my personal favorites. Any of the above would have made an excellent pope.

If God calls Ratzinger to his 'eternal reward' soon, perhaps one of the above cardinals will have the opportunity to become a real pope. Ratzinger was absolutely the wrong choice.
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. A lot of us here in Seattle really liked Hunthausen...
and some really loved the man. The persecution was unrelenting and unprecedented, and it soured a lot of us on Church hierarchy.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. It might be difficult for those who didn't experience it to understand
how terrible it really was... or to believe that such a persecution could take place in 'modern' times.

Yes, we loved Archbishop, and still do.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
11. Ratzinger's CDF is actually the renamed INQUISITION. Seriously. See:
The Inquisition is still going on - it was renamed and Ratzinger was its head for a long time, over 20 years. It was not a merely a ceremonial position, and Ratzinger sent out many documents and disciplinary commands to those he saw as erring from the perfect doctrine. Priests and nuns must submit or be punished, up to and including excommunication. Of course, the proclamations and corrections also were intended for laypeople, for example those who might dare to support such a clearly non-doctrinally correct group as the Masons (see below).

The new name of the Inquisition - the old name wasn't popular, imagine that! - is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Since this is the 21st century, it has a web site ( ). (Just imagine what the web site of the Inquisition would have been in earlier centuries when it was really in the news!)

Here are some tidbits from the CDF/Inquisition web site:

Founded in 1542 by Pope Paul III with the Constitution "Licet ab initio," the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was originally called the Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition as its duty was to defend the Church from heresy. It is the oldest of the Curia's nine congregations.

The only curial organism which is older is the Secretariat of State, whose forerunner, the Apostolic Secretariat, was created by Innocent VIII on December 31, 1487, with the Constitution "Non debet reprehensibile."

Pope St. Pius X in 1908 changed the name to the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office. It received its current name in 1965 with Pope Paul VI. Today, according to Article 48 of the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, "Pastor Bonus", promulgated by the Holy Father John Paul II on June 28, 1988, the duty proper to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world: for this reason everything which in any way touches such matter falls within its competence.

The congregation is now headed by Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. It has a secretary, His Excellency Mgr. Angelo Amato, S.D.B., an under-secretary, P. Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P., a Promotor of Justice Mgr. Charles Scicluna, and a staff of 33, according to the 2002 "Annuario Pontificio" or "Pontifical Yearbook." It also has 25 members - cardinals, archbishops and bishops - and 28 consulters. Given the nature of its task, congregation work is divided into four distinct sections: the doctrinal office, the disciplinary office, the matrimonial office and that for priests.


You can see "some texts by Cardinal Ratzinger" at the site, mostly homilies on various ceremonial occasions, here:

On the home page there are also lists of "doctrinal documents" and "disciplinary documents." Many of these are in Latin and so not readily accessible to most people born in the last century, but a few are available in living languages. Here's a sample "disciplinary document":


It has been asked whether there has been any change in the Churchs decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code.

This Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance in due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.

Therefore the Churchs negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.

It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above, and this in line with the Declaration of this Sacred Congregation issued on 17 February 1981 (cf. AAS 73 1981 pp. 240-241; English language edition of LOsservatore Romano, 9 March 1981).

In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this Sacred Congregation.

Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 26 November 1983.

Joseph Card. RATZINGER

+ Fr. Jerome Hamer, O.P.
Titular Archbishop of Lorium


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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
12. MUST-READ THREAD, related to this one, about another "disciplined" priest:
Thread title: "Reflection on the Papacy by Matthew Fox (defrocked by Ratzinger)"

Be sure to read through the replies as well. Excellent stuff there, with fascinating links. Ratzinger is obsessed with the word of the law, not according to the bible, but according to those mountains of dusty books created through the ages by church lawyers, church politicians, and whoever else thought they were a good idea at the time.

His mind and heart are closed. He is also a darling of Opus Dei,
and if that doesn't scare you you're braver than I am. Those guys are SINISTER, they're everywhere, and they're committed to changing the world into their image. Whatever it takes.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. How much more of this do we have to look forward to now that Ratzinger's
... come out from behind the curtain?

Ratzinger calling himself 'humble' as he did yesterday was revolting.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Yeah, you always have to repair the pinned hypocrisy meter when one of
these types stands in the spotlight with artfully bowed head and claims they are humble. A TRULY modest person, of course, never raises the issue of humility at all - they just get the job done with as little fuss as possible.

"Out from behind the curtain" is a good choice of metaphors - he's been in power for a long time already, but hidden. He was the head of the renamed Inquisition for over 20 years and did a lot of damage from that office. But now he is out from behind the curtain and what he does will be front page news. If he has any wisdom at all, he'll think more carefully before hurling thunderbolts.

I'm concerned about his intimate association with Opus Dei - they are a very bad bunch, and they intend to rule us all.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. And now they have their pope in place... out from behind the curtain.
May God / Allah / Jehovah / YHWH / the Creator / Waheguru / the One have mercy on us.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Amen to that! But I think we'll have to help them all along by never
Edited on Wed Apr-20-05 09:54 PM by Nothing Without Hope
letting Ratzinger get away with his damnations of individuals (like prominent politicians he doesn't want to get into office - think Kerry) or groups he doesn't like as having "morally evil" beliefs. If Ratzinger thinks he can cow the world as pope, he may actually get an opportunity to be taught the humility he brags about so loudly. It's surely long overdue.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Here's to a humbled (and hobbled) Ratzinger...
Edited on Wed Apr-20-05 09:59 PM by Sapphire Blue
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-05 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Now THERE's a toast I'll drink to with real pleasure!

And just think, it will be GOOD for him, morally speaking!
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
19. ...
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
20. ...
Another :kick:for morning DUers.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-05 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
21. Benedict's Edicts
Excerpted from the American Prospect...

Among Ratzinger's most notorious acts was the public humiliation of Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, whose diocese authority on doctrinal matters the Vatican temporarily took from him, placing it in the hands of a caretaker appointed by the prefect. Among Hunthausen's many sins (allowing divorced Catholics to take Communion, allowing lay people too much participation in religious rites, allowing women at the altar), Ratzinger displayed special concern for the bishop's tolerance of "homosexuals," especially the members of Dignity, a Catholic group that Hunthausen allowed to meet and worship on church property.

Ratzingers investigation of Hunthausen began in 1983, and ended with a 13-hour interrogation of the archbishop in 1985 and a letter from Ratzinger that failed to restore Hunthausens authority while issuing a special warning on this special problem:

The Archdiocese should withdraw all support from any group, which does not unequivocally accept the teaching of the Magisterium concerning the intrinsic evil of homosexual activity . A compassionate ministry to homosexual persons must be developed that has as its clear goal the promotion of a chaste lifestyle. Particular care is to be exercised by any who represent the Archdiocese, to explain clearly the position of the Church on this question.

In 1992, Ratzinger also sent a letter to U.S. bishops that sanctioned legal discrimination against gays. To prohibit gays from teaching, coaching, or adopting was OK, he wrote, also noting his support for a ban on gays in the military.

Read the full article @
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