The Second CommandmentYou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. The second commandment prescribes respect for the Lord's name. Like the first commandment, it belongs to the virtue of religion and more particularly it governs our use of speech in sacred matters
"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. 
The second commandment prescribes respect for the Lord's name. Like the first commandment, it belongs to the virtue of religion and more particularly it governs our use of speech in sacred matters . . . "The Lord's name is holy." For this reason man must not abuse it. He must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration . . . Respect for his name is an expression of the respect owed to the mystery of God himself and to the whole sacred reality it evokes ...
Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment . . . It is also blasphemous to make use of God's name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce people to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death."
(72. Ex 20:7; Deut 5:11.)
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Catechism of the Catholic Church
U.S.C.C. Inc., 1994, p. 518.
His Holiness Pope Martin IV (1281-85) "embroiled the papacy in a disastrous twenty-year-long war over Sicily; at one point, he excommunicated the whole island en masse."
John II (535-36) was the first pope to change his given election name to that of Mercury, a pagan god.
Victor I (189-99) was African in origin and is known for a treatise he wrote — dice throwing.
Pope Boniface VI condemned as heretic the belief "in the power of man's innate will to seek God." He was later "denounced at a Roman council held by Pope John IX in 898."
John XII kept a stable of two thousand horses "which he fed on almonds and figs steeped in wine."
Calixtus III (1455-58) "was famous for his nepotism, naming two nephews cardinal, one of whom dragged the papacy into the gutter when he later came to throne himself as Alexander VI."
Paul III (1534-49) made his favorite bastard, Pierluigi, duke of Parma and Piacenza. He also approved the Jesuits and introduced the Index of Forbidden Books.
Benedict IX was "pope three times, from 1032 to 1044, from April to May 1045, and from 1047 to 1048." Reason for this ungodly reign: He sold the papal seat for vast sums and then reclaimed it twice. He then handed the papacy "to his godfather, Giovanni Graziano, a Roman priest, who offered Benedict a pension."
Sixtus IV (1471-84) was "extravagant almost to the point of bankruptcy.... He placed grossly immoral, generally lecherous, and inevitably incompetent relatives in high Church positions, bringing dishonour to his memory and decadence to the papacy."
His Holiness John XII blinded his spiritual director and "castrated a cardinal, causing his death."
Alexander XII (1691-1700) showered "favors on his family, mainly in the form of court appointments."
Innocent X excommunicated anyone "caught using tobacco in St. Peter’s," a threat that lasted for decades.
It was forbidden to own a Bible on pain of death. For centuries the Roman Catholic Church tortured people who wanted to read the Bible in their native language.
Sanctitas Alexander VI, alias Rodrigo Borgia, tasted blood at the age of twelve when he murdered another boy by repeatedly plunging a dagger into his belly.
Pope John XIII (ruled 965-72), was the "son of a bishop and a descendant of the licentious Theodora. For his greed and nepotism he was driven from the city by the Romans, and when the Emperor restored him he wreaked his vengeance with a savagery which shocked all Italy. The body of the Prefect (Mayor), who had died meantime, was dug up and torn to pieces. His successor was suspended by his hair for a time, then led naked on an ass through the city."
Catholics count him one of the "good Popes of the period, as he is not charged with rape and adultery."
In November 1302 Boniface VIII issued the Bull Unam Sanctum ("Our Holy"), the most widely known of all papal documents, which claimed that human beings are the object of "papal plenitude of power, submission to which is said to be necessary for salvation." He also interned the infirm Pope Celestine V in the castle of Fumone until death and brought "trumped-up charges against a southern French bishop, Bernard Saisset of Pamiers."
Psychological make-up: ". . . he was impulsive to the point of imprudence and short-tempered to the point of uncharitableness."
Died: In prison.
Cause of death: physical and mental deterioration.
Final destination: Lower Hell.
Pope Benedict XVI Fresh abuse claims in Pope's former Munich diocese
"Pope Benedict XVI's former diocese in Germany is facing daily allegations of physical and sexual abuse, the head of its new sex-abuse task force says.
"It is like a tsunami," Elke Huemmeler told the Associated Press news agency.
She said about 120 cases had come to light so far in Munich, about 100 of them at a boarding school run by monks.
The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked by scandals involving priests in Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria and the Netherlands in recent months...
Ms Huemmeler spoke to AP as her newly-appointed Task Force on Sexual Abuse Prevention began work in the Munich diocese, backed by Archbishop Reinhard Marx.
Ms Huemmeler said she and colleagues had been "shocked" when the first revelations of abuse cases at the Ettal monastery boarding school, run by Benedictine monks, emerged.
The diocese has not confirmed details of all the allegations, saying investigations are ongoing, the AP reports.
The Vatican recently denounced attempts to link the Pope to a child sex scandal in his former diocese.
The episode dates back to 1980, when he was archbishop of Munich and Freising, and known as Joseph Ratzinger."
BBC, 19 March 2010
Ireland accuses Rome of role in promoting cover-up of child abuse
Dublin— The Associated Press
Published Thursday, Jul. 14, 2011
Ireland's government summoned the Vatican's ambassador Thursday for a rare face-to-face confrontation to respond to a report showing Rome secretly discouraged Irish bishops from reporting pedophile priests to police.
Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore met Pope Benedict XVI's diplomat in Dublin a day after Irish investigators found that the Vatican in 1997 encouraged bishops to reject the Irish church's tough new child-protection rules.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who didn't attend the meeting, called the Vatican's role in placing the church's own canon law above Irish criminal law “absolutely disgraceful.”
The Associated Press
Ireland urged to investigate alleged torture of women, girls
Geneva— The Associated Press
Published Sunday, Jun. 05, 2011
A United Nations panel urged Ireland on Monday to investigate allegations that for decades women and girls sent to work in Catholic laundries were tortured.
The panel said the government failed in its obligation to oversee the nun-run laundries “where it is alleged that physical, emotional abuses and other ill-treatment were committee.” It has asked for compensation for the victims.
Human-rights groups say young women were abused after being sent to the so-called Magdalene Laundries, a network of 10 workhouses that operated in Ireland from the 1920s to the mid-1990s. Many of the victims were teenagers who arrived as punishment for petty crimes or for becoming pregnant out of wedlock.
The Associated Press
Part II - Six Royal Sinning
"Here Comes The Sun King"
Being royal required a certain faith in one’s inherent superiority over ordinary men. Few monarchs lacked it. Next to Louis XIV of France, though, even the most self-enamored of sovereigns came off looking neurotically insecure by comparison. In fact, Louis refused to be grouped with other kings under the term “Their Majesties” because, he explained, from that there might be deduced “an equality which does not exist.”
For most of his seventy-two- year-reign (from 1643 to 1715, the longest in European history), Louis worked methodically to have all the glory and prestige of France embodied in himself. “I am the State,” he proudly declared—even if the state needed six-inch heels to look taller. As an absolute monarch, Louis dictated nearly every facet of French life according to his own rarefied vision of how it should be. Nothing escaped his attention, from the national religion to tree maintenance. He even mandated a twenty-five-step itinerary to be followed by visitors to the gardens of Versailles. It was all about Louis.
Under him, there was no room for opposition. He and he alone decided what was good and what was right. “The subjugation of a monarch to the law of his people,” he said, “is the last calamity which can befall a gentleman of our rank.” Laws were initiated, aggressive wars pursued, and art and literature commissioned—all designed to make Louis look good. “My dominant passion is certainly love of glory,” he once admitted.
For the royal emblem, Louis XIV adopted the sun because, as he explained in his Memoirs, “The unique quality of the brilliance which surrounds it, the light it communicates to other heavenly bodies which compose a kind of Court around it, the just and even allotment of its light among all the various tropics of the world, the good it does everywhere, endlessly producing on all sides life, joy, activity, its uninterrupted movement despite an always tranquil appearance, its constant and invariable path, from which it is never drawn or diverted, is assuredly the most beautiful and vivid image of a great monarch.”
The “Sun King” put himself on dazzling display at Versailles, where in 1682 he permanently moved his court and the seat of government. The palace itself was designed to be a glittering reflection of its most regal inhabitant and everyone was welcome to come and observe him in his daily, unwavering routine. Onlookers were on hand every morning when the king arose, got dressed, and shaved. At meals, they could marvel at his dexterity with an egg as he clipped off the top with just one quick stroke of the spoon. A very privileged few even got to watch him as he sat perched on his other throne when nature called. “What price does even the most repulsive thing that comes from the king have in this country?” asked a shocked visitor from Italy after observing this unusual access.
The writer Jean de La Bruyere described how Louis worshiped at Mass under the adoring gaze of his subjects: “The great of the nation meet each day at a certain time in a temple called church . . . they form a vast circle at the foot of the altar, standing with their backs to the priest and the holy mysteries, their faces lifted toward their king, who can be seen kneeling at a tribune . . . one cannot help noticing in his usage a sort of subordination; for the people seem to be adoring the prince, who is adoring God.”
Louis XIV was a genius at making Versailles appear to be the pinnacle of prestige and honor for the thousands of nobles who lived there, with himself as the radiant center of it all. In this way the king utterly obliterated their ancient power by having them chase the artificial gold that he created and dangled before them. The once mighty aristocracy fought for the honor of cramped rooms, handing the king his shirt in the morning, holding a candle for him, or accompanying him on a hunt.
Louis created hundreds of meaningless posts that the nobility were eager to snatch up at enormous costs, yet even he was surprised at how successful this venture became. “Who will buy them?” the king once asked his Minister of Finance, Desmarets, who wanted to create even more artificial offices. “Your Majesty ignores one of the finest prerogatives of the king of France,” Desmarets replied, “which is that when a King creates an office God instantly creates a fool to buy it.”
A rigid and highly nuanced code of etiquette flourished at Versailles, designed to flatter the nobility into worshipful and grateful complacency. People were thrilled to be granted the privilege to sit in the king’s presence rather than stand, or to have him doff his hat at certain angles, which designated various levels of favor. “He substituted ideal rewards for real ones,” wrote the Duc de Saint-Simon, an avid court observer and participant, “and these operated through jealousy, the petty preferences he showed many times a day, and his artfulness in showing them.” One of the most coveted marks of favor was an invitation to the king’s more intimate residence at Marley. According to Saint-Simon, “it was a crime not to ask for Marley either always or often, although this did not mean they would obtain it.”
While Louis operated using an elaborate code of flattery toward the nobility, he demanded it for himself as well. He was surrounded by a sea of sycophants as a result. “Soon after he became master, his ministers, his generals, his mistresses and his courtiers noticed that he had a weakness for, rather than a love of, glory,” Saint-Simon wrote. “They spoiled him with praise. Commendation and flattery pleased him to such a point that the most obvious compliments were received kindly and the most insidious were relished even more. It was the only way to approach him, and those who won his love knew it well and never tired of praising him. That is why his ministers were so powerful, for they had more opportunities to burn incense before him, attribute every success to him, and vow they had learned everything from him. The only way to please him was submissiveness, baseness, an air of admiring and crawling toadyism, and by giving the impression that he was the only source of wisdom.”
And the ranks of the obsequious were legion. There was, for example, the subject who responded, when Louis asked for the time: “Whatever time Your Majesty desires.” Or his son, the Duc du Maine, who said to his father after a long military campaign, “Ah, Sire, I will never learn anything. My tutor grants me a holiday each time you win a victory.” Then there was the Superintendent of Buildings, the Duc d’Antin, who placed wedges under the statues at Versailles so the king would notice they were askew and d’Antin would get the chance to praise him for his keen perception.
The aura of majesty was so intoxicating that basking in it took absurd forms. When Louis suffered from a fistula, a deep ulcer of the rectum that required surgery, the ailment became ultra-chic and those fortunate enough to share the operation du Roi were much envied. The surgery carried so much prestige, in fact, that men without fistulas begged and bribed doctors to perform the procedure on them anyway—an entirely new spin on the fine art of kissing ass.
Part I: Read Excerpts From "The Lust Emperors"
Part II: Read Excerpts From "Six Royals Sinning"
Part III: Read Excerpts From "Unholy Matrimony"
Part IV: Read Excerpts From "Mom Was a Monster, Pop Was a Weasel"
Part V: Read Excerpts From "Royal Family Feud"
Part VI: Read Excerpts From "Strange Reigns"
Part VII: Read Excerpts From "When in Rome"
Part VIII: Read Excerpts From "Papal Vice"
Part IX: Read Excerpts From "Death Be Not Dignified"
Pope’s involved in shady business
ROME — Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Valentino are facing an unlikely competitor in Italy’s crowded fashion scene: the pope is about to bring out a line of designer sunglasses and clothing. "These are no ordinary pair of sunglasses," says the hype for the range’s official launch next month. . . . The enterprise, which involves other southern Italian companies, is the latest in a growing list to feature the pope. Other products will include signed leather items, jumpers and T-shirts.”
London Daily Telegraph, August 29, 1998
“The Irish government has launched an inquiry into allegations of abuse at so-called industrial schools, where children were detained if their parents were deemed too poor to look after them, or if they stole or played truant.
The 52 schools, run by Catholic religious orders and backed by the government, closed in the 1970s.
Campaigners say the priests and nuns subjected most of the children in their care to physical or sexual attacks.”
BBC, Wednesday, 19 July, 2000
“A priest jailed for child sex abuse in 1997 is to be freed on Thursday, the Catholic Church has said.
Father Michael Hill has served three and a half years of a five-year sentence for nine attacks, including one on a boy with learning difficulties at the Gatwick Airport chapel.
The Church came under fire when it was revealed Father Hill had been allowed to work as a priest in 1985 at Gatwick, although his licence had been revoked due to concerns over his behaviour.”
BBC, Thursday, 7 September, 2000
More Irish bishops 'must quit'
The Catholic church in Ireland has been rocked by the abuse scandal
The remaining Irish bishops named in a report which exposed how Catholic leaders concealed child abuse must resign, a victims group has said.
On Wednesday the Bishop of Kildare said he would stand down, which came after the resignation of the Bishop of Limerick.
Maeve Lewis, chief executive of the One in Four group, said the resignations of three more bishops are "inevitable."
She said they should go quickly to avoid more damage to abuse survivors.
BBC, 24 December 2009
Belgian Cardinal appears at trial of priest accused of paedophilia
The head of the Roman Catholic church in Belgium, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, has made an unprecedented appearance in court in connection with the trial of a Catholic priest charged with sexual abuse of children.
The priest, Andre Vander Lijn, denies the charges but has admitted to kissing one child on the lips.”
BBC, Monday, February 9, 1998
Canadian archbishop accused of sexual abuse
Tuesday, Oct. 05, 2010
"One of Canada's highest-ranking orthodox officials is being investigated by police and his own church for allegations of sexual misconduct more than two decades ago.
Victims advocates say the allegations against Archbishop Seraphim Storheim relate to his time as rector of a Winnipeg church and concern two young boys.
The 64-year-old archbishop, who leads the Archdiocese of Canada in the Orthodox Church in America, took a three-month leave of absence from his duties, effective Oct. 1."
Globe and Mail
"A Global Scandal
Although the sexual abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic Church in the US has received the most media attention, similar cases have occurred in other countries.
Most of the cases centre on Europe and Latin America, where the Church remains a pillar of the established order in many societies.
The countries involved include:
Australia: Australia's most senior churchman, Sydney Archbishop George Pell, was forced to admit offering thousands of dollars to the family of alleged child victims of sexual abuse by priests.
From our archive: Bishop admits abuse money offer
The Church has publicly apologised to British and Maltese child migrants who suffered physical and sexual abuse in religious institutions between the 1930s and 1960s.
From our archive: Australian church apologises to child migrants
Austria: The Church has admitted that accusations of paedophilia levelled against its former head, Archbishop of Vienna Hans Hermann Groer, are substantially true.
From our archive: Austrian bishops label cardinal a paedophile
France: In 2001, a court gave a three-month suspended sentence to Bishop Pierre Pican, who was accused of covering up for a paedophile priest.
From our archive: Bishop convicted in paedophile case
Ireland: Bishops have backed a wide-ranging investigation into child abuse over the past 60 years after more than 20 priests, brothers and nuns were convicted of molesting children. The Bishop of Ferns resigned following heavy criticism of his handling of sex abuse allegations.
From our archive: Irish cardinal 'regrets' abuse
Poland: The hint of scandal has even reached the Pope's native land, where a Roman Catholic archbishop has been accused of sexually abusing seminarians and priests. He denies the allegations.
From our archive: Polish archbishop 'molested students'
South Africa: The head of the Church has admitted that about a dozen priests have been accused of sexually abusing children, but that the cases happened "many years ago".
From our archive: South Africa's Catholics admit sex abuse
UK: The Church in England and Wales has set up an independent committee to advise it on how to stop sexual abuse after a number of cases involving paedophile priests. The Archbishop of Wales resigned after criticism of his handling of paedophile cases.
From our archive: Catholics tackle paedophile priests
Brazil: Church officials in the world's largest Roman Catholic country have admitted that paedophilia is a problem. "The problem of sexual appetite is one that afflicts every human being," said Bishop Angelico Sandalo Bernardino.
Mexico: The Church has been accused of covering up cases of sex abuse and even paying money to silence the victims. One cardinal was lambasted by the country's press after suggesting that the church should not wash its "dirty laundry" in public."
BBC, 23 April, 2002, A Global Scandal