The Vatican is facing a major and escalating existential crisis over its handling of clergy child abuse. Although apologies have been made in various churches the Vatican itself is attempting to blame the media rather than fully acknowledge their part in the cover-up which allowed paedophile priests to continue working with children.
Astrologically there have to be reasons why a) there is such a crisis occurring now; and b) why there is the such a defensive response from the top.
The Vatican chart (7 June 1929 11 am Rome, Italy) and Pope Benedict’s (16 April 1927 4.15 am Marktl, Germany) both interestingly have a very strongly marked Saturn in Sagittarius. In each case Saturn is on the handle of a bucket shaped chart, more obviously so in the case of the Vatican. Bucket charts have all planets congregating on one side of the zodiac with one planet out on its own on the other side. That singleton planet is the funnel through which the chart’s energies all run so it acts very powerfully.
Saturn in Sagittarius is learned, serious about religious and social matters, disciplined in thinking and in moral code but has a tendency to be self-righteous. It has a good deal of intellectual pride and those in whose charts it is marked tend to be prickly in the extreme when criticised and get resentful rather than own up to mistakes.
The Vatican chart also has Jupiter in Taurus on the Midheaven square Neptune. This square goes with an idealistic, head-in-the-clouds approach to life but can also indicate that important matters are left in a shambles. In addition the Vatican chart has planets in all three Water houses which are the 4th, 8th and 12th – hinting at an other wordly, rather enclosed world view and one which does not easily absorb the realities of other people. They live in their own bubble and create their own reality.
Interestingly the last really major scandal to rock the Vatican on its axis was almost thirty years ago which was the last time Saturn was in Libra. Then the furore about the Vatican Bank, the failed Banco Ambrosiano and tales of money laundering and other financial improprieties dented the image of the Vatican. Saturn is from this autumn back fully into Libra and will oppose the Vatican 8th house Uranus in Oct/Nov and then square Pluto into 2011 as it did 30 years ago. So this crisis won’t go away in a hurry. Transiting Neptune will also square the Vatican Midheaven in 11/12 which is undermining, uncertain about direction and not confident.
Pope Benedict’s chart has argumentative Mars in Gemini very close to his IC which is the lowest point of his chart in his 4th house square Uranus, Mercury, Jupiter in his 1st house. This will make him impatient, inclined to jump into comments or opinions which might be better thought through. It has got him into trouble already since he became Pope and will be triggered again from April onwards as the transiting Saturn opposition tr Uranus hit his Mercury and his Mars Uranus. Tr Uranus hitting Mercury tends to be outspoken and rash; while tr Uranus on Mars is highly insecure and given to even more reckless actions to boost self esteem.
So there’s little to suggest this one will die down in a hurry.