The Pope continues to be attacked. The media are on a mission. They are out to smear the guy, one way or the other. We are not even getting half of the story at this point. We are getting 1/4 or so. The media are ignoring the exculpatory part.
Here is what I think is at the bottom of all of this: Whenever a scandal about the homosexuality of certain priests erupts, the way they cover it up is to forget about the gay priests involved and start hurling brickbats at the Vatican. They search relentlessly for some scrap of connection. And those local gay bishops or priests make sure they have something – a letter that was sent, a memo that obliquely refers to something that could mean something. Then the focus is turned suddenly – they focus relentlessly on the Vatican, and turn away from the network of local bishops that allowed all this to happen.
Just as Obama knows he can count on the media to cover up for him, to excuse him, and to twist facts in his favor, so the liberal bishops of the Catholic church know they can count on the Media to attack the traditional church. They have been playing this game now for years, and are very good at it.
And remember, these cases all involve abuse that took place in the 1970’s or 80’s.
The media is good at overblowing stories. The media knows how to play the public. And so they do in these instances.
In the Milwaukee case, Rembert Weakland was the Bishop involved. He is gay and was caught paying off his lover with $450,000 . Now, he says he sent certain letters to the Pope asking for a priest to be defrocked. He claims to be the protector of the weak, but when abuse victims have complained in the past, he called them names. This may be his revenge. The Vatican apparently moved slowly on defrocking the priest, because the guywas almost dead. I suspect they thought he would be dead before the defrocking trial would be over, so they let it go.
In 1984, Weakland responded to teachers in a Catholic school who were reporting sexual abuse by a local priests by stating “any libelous material found in your letter will be scrutinized carefully by our lawyers.” The Wisconsin Court of Appeals rebuked him for this, calling his remarks “abrupt” and “insensitive.” In 1994, Weakland said those reporting sexual abuse were “squealing.” He later apologized for the remarks.
According to a deposition released in 2009, Weakland shredded reports about sexual abuse by priests
All of this highly relevenat information is left out of the stories.
This is the Pope that banned people from becoming priests if they were gay. From that time onward, I suspect the wheels were set in motion.
This is the Pope who formed a Vatican “visitation” to the nuns of North America. They had been practicing paganism, feminism and earth worship, and had virtually abandoned the faith for politics. The Pope wanted to put a stop to it, so he is conducting an investigation. The nuns in the U.S. refused to cooperate, because they knew what would be found. So they are counter-attacking, it seems.
I read the coverage of the Pope every day in the newspapers and listen to the BBC news and as a Catholic and a journalist I feel like crying out pathetically: “This is not fair!” And it isn’t fair, or reasonable. Intelligent journalists who are normally capable of mental subtlety and of coping with complexities have abandoned their critical faculties. There is an atmosphere of unreason.
I cannot help feeling that a lot of it is down to sheer, blind hatred. It amounts to the demonisation of a whole institution and its leader. We have come to a stage where nothing good whatever, no good faith can be assumed of anybody involved in the Church – however senior, however greatly respected, loved, admired, including the Pope.
It is also clear that many prominent liberal Catholics are turning a blind eye to this media vendetta because they don’t like Pope Benedict. They are happy for him to take the rap for diocesan cover-ups initiated, in some cases, by liberal prelates. Those relates are grateful for the opportunity to pass the buck to the one man who, though his record on this matter is certainly not beyond criticism, has done more than any other to rectify the Church’s lax procedures – Joseph Ratzinger.
If I was Benedict XVI, I’d be asking myself if I even wanted to visit Britain this autumn. For, when he does, he will meet English bishops, Catholic journalists and self-appointed spokesmen for the Catholic community who did not dare offend liberal opinion by defending him properly, or whose judgment was clouded by personal dislike of the Pope and his agenda.
Some Catholics – not many, but they are prominent – are actually thinking: it’s payback time, Ratzinger. If we can make this mud stick, then we can continue to sabotage your liturgical reforms. In other words, they are using the victims of clerical child abuse to fight internal political battles. Why am I not surprised?