It should be noted at the outset that Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York, is Jewish, and disagrees very strongly with many of the church’s positions. He says:
He [Or She] That Is Without Sin Among You, Let Him [Or Her] Cast The Next Stone… Enough Already
I believe the continuing attacks by the media on the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI have become manifestations of anti-Catholicism. The procession of articles on the same events are, in my opinion, no longer intended to inform, but simply to castigate.
The sexual molestation of children, principally boys, is horrendous. This is agreed to by everyone, Catholics, the Church itself, as well as non-Catholics and the media. The Pope has on a number of occasions on behalf of the Church admitted fault and asked for forgiveness. For example, The New York Times reported on April 18, 2008 that the Pope, “came face to face with a scandal that has left lasting wounds on the American church Thursday, holding a surprise meeting with several victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Boston area….‘No words of mine could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse,’ the Pope said in his homily. ‘It is important that those who have suffered be given loving pastoral attention.’”
On March 20, 2010, The Times reported that in his eight page pastoral letter to Irish Catholics, the Pope wrote, “You have suffered grievously, and I am truly sorry…Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated.” The Pope also “criticized Ireland’s bishops for ‘grave errors of judgment and failures of leadership.’”
The primary explanation for the abuse that happened — not to excuse the retention of priests in positions that enabled them to continue to harm children — was the belief that the priests could be cured by psychotherapy, a theory now long discarded by the medical profession. Regrettably, it is also likely that years ago the abuse of children was not taken as seriously as today. Thank God we’ve progressed on that issue.
The one clarifying fact that came out of this whole thing is that in the 1970’s and 80’s, NOBODY took sexual abuse as seriously as they should have. The lockstep position of all the experts was that it could be cured with an easy course of treatment. They told us the victims were not harmed all that much. Often the Police looked the other way when it happened as well. In every case that has come up during this scandal, the priests were convicted – but only given probation – no jail time. They often went on to abuse again.
Many of those in the media who are pounding on the Church and the Pope today clearly do it with delight and some with malice. The reason I believe for the constant assaults is that there are many in the media and some Catholics as well as many in the public who object to and are incensed by positions the Church holds, including opposition to all abortions, opposition to gay sex and same-sex marriage, retention of celibacy rules for priests, exclusion of women from the clergy, opposition to birth control measures involving condoms and prescription drugs and opposition to civil divorce.
That’s it, in its entirety. The Pope has been smeared, and you now see that someone, somewhere at the New York Times wants to use this to push for every goofy position that has been strenuously rejected by the public over the years. Goofballs like Dawkins and Hitchens pretend to be upset about the children, but their intense, burning hatred of the church, their blatant mistatement of the facts lets us know they have other agendas.
In a sense, the critics are right. No priest should ever abuse his position. The odd thing, though, is that it was Benedict who was cleaning up the church, primarily by appointing conservative bishops the world over. The previous crop, such as Mahony, Weakland, and others seemed to do nothing after being warned several times. These new bishops are of a different stripe. They won’t let abusers into the seminary, they won’t let them into the priesthood, and they will immediately get rid of anyone who is even accused.
Benedict is slowly erasing the liberal stamp on the church; he is appoinintg a new, good, clean crop of bishops that actually believes in Catholicism. Imagine that.
That is why they are panicking and taking this evil, low route. That’s why they tried so hard to pretend that Benedict was the problem. They need to get him out if liberal Catholicism is to survive. No one wants liberal Catholicism except the increasing freakish people at the Times and other elite, distant institutions.
I believe the Roman Catholic Church is a force for good in the world, not evil. Moreover, the existence of one billion, 130 million Catholics worldwide is important to the peace and prosperity of the planet.