The Trial of Pope Benedict: Joseph Ratzinger and the Vatican's Assault on Reason, Compassion, and Human Dignity

Daniel Gawthrop, Author
Daniel Gawthrop. Arsenal Pulp (Consortium, dist.), $15.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-55152-527-3
Reviewed on: 10/07/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-55152-528-0
Open Ebook - 318 pages - 978-1-306-43536-9
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Gawthrop, a self-described lapsed Catholic who left the church because of its stance on homosexuality, takes advantage of the recent resignation of Pope Benedict XVI assemble a devastating critique, ranging from complicity in the endemic sex-abuse scandal to his role in preventing the progressive reforms of Vatican II from being realized. The framing device feels simulated, as the author imagines the pope emeritus on the witness stand at the International Criminal Court, tearing up while being confronted with an abuse victim by a priest Benedict knew was a predator. But melodrama aside, Gawthrop is single-minded in making his case that Joseph Ratzinger "destroyed the Roman Catholic Church." Even he would confess to hyperbole in that statement, as he closes with five suggestions for Pope Francis that would strengthen the church and reverse its decline, including the main issue of taking responsibility for errors such as the mishandling of the abuse scandal. (June)
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