OutRage! needs information about Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, (which is responsible for defining Roman Catholic doctrine and keeping Catholic clergy and theologians in line). What do you know about his sexuality? Is there someone you know who might have inside knowledge? We need details that can be corroborated. Can you help?
We do not know whether Ratzinger is gay: but, if he is, he deserves to be outed because he is arguably the most homophobic of all Vatican leaders, being responsible for two of the most virulently antigay declarations ever made by the Catholic leadership.
In 1986, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote the infamous Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Ratzinger wrote that a homosexual orientation, even if the person is totally celibate, is a “tendency” toward an “intrinsic moral evil”. Moreover, a homosexual inclination is both an “objective disorder” and a “moral disorder”, which is “contrary to the creative wisdom of God”. “Special concern and pastoral attention should be directed towards those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.” Ratzinger’s 1986 Letter concludes that pastoral care for homosexual persons should include “the assistance of the psychological, sociological and medical sciences”, and that “all support should be withdrawn from any organisations which seek to undermine the teachings of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which ignore it entirely”.
In July 1992, the Vatican issued a further proclamation authorised by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and by Pope John Paul II, entitled “Some Considerations Concerning the Catholic Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons”.
This document was designed to mobilise Catholic opinion against equal rights legislation for lesbians and gay men. It describes homosexuality as an “objective disorder” and a “tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil”. Rejecting the concept of homosexual “human rights”, it asserts there is “no right” to homosexuality; adding that the civil liberties of lesbians and gay men can be “legitimately limited for objectively disordered external conduct”.
While condemning “unjust” discrimination, the Vatican document says that some forms of antigay discrimination are “not unjust” and may even be “obligatory”: especially with regard to “the consignment of children to adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or coaches, and in military recruitment”.
Most shocking of all, the 1992 document suggests that when lesbians and gay men demand civil rights, “neither the Church nor society should be surprised when … irrational and violent reactions increase”.
This implies that by asking for human rights, lesbians and gay men encourage homophobic prejudice and violence: we bring hatred upon ourselves, and are responsible for our own suffering. The Catholic Church, it seems, blames the victims of homophobia, not the perpetrators.
Born in 1927 in Bavaria, Ratzinger was already a professor of theology by the age of 31, holding prestigious positions in Freising, Bonn, Münster, Tübingen, and Regensburg.
Throughout the 1960’s he held influential positions on Vatican commissions dealing with church law and education, rising in 1977 to become the Archbishop of Munich and be appointed a cardinal.
In 1981, Ratzinger moved to the Vatican in his position as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he authored the two key homophobic Catholic declarations of 1986 and 1992, endorsing discrimination against lesbian and gay people.
Please email OutRage! with any useful information or contacts. Help us expose this religious homophobe, who is damaging the lives of queers.