The Witch Hunt

It is so incredibly ironic – the ones that kept telling us they were scientific and rational seem to be the first ones to go stark raving mad over this latest pope scandal.

The ones who most loudly condemned the “witch hunts” of all sorts are the ones engaging in their own pathetic witch hunt against the Pope. They don’t want to know the facts; their blood lust must be satisfied.

You can see the problem here. If the Pope was guilty in any way, conservatives would call for his resignation as well as liberals. But only liberals are going crazy over this whole thing. Conservatives are not. That shows you that this whole thing is political.

When the very liberal Catholic Magazine America defends the Pope, you know something is up:

The misinterpretation and misreporting of the 1985 Ratzinger letter in the Kiesle case — my points in this BBC TV interview over the weekend are similar to those in MSW’s excellent analysis — indicate not just poor quality coverage but something altogether nastier.

It was the great theorist René Girard who has shown us that the ancient human scapegoat mechanism — when angry mobs formed to stone those on whom the tensions of the community had been projected — is just as alive today as in primitive societies.

…the coverage has now moved into a new, irrational phase. The media have merged with the mob. They are not standing outside the crowd, coolly examining the facts. They are standing in locus vulgi.

Take the way that The Times — which in the UK has led the way in promoting hysteria and distortion in this issue — reports that the taliban atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are planning to “arrest” Pope Benedict when he comes to the UK.  In fact, as Dawkins spells out on his website, they are mounting a legal challenge aimed at whipping up public opinion against the papal visit. Rather than report this as a publicity gimmick, or at least point out how dubious are the legal arguments, The Times reports this as if it is a perfectly sensible response to established facts, and even enlists a semi-Catholic columnist to  agree with the idea.

…journalism is one of the best means of exposing the irrationality of the scapegoat mechanism, because it relies on facts and evidence. But when journalism jettisons its responsibility to detachment, it becomes an agent of the hysteria.

Normally journalists are wary of being used by lawyers who have an obvious vested interest in advancing a certain narrative. Yet many media have been supplied with documents — such as the 1985 Ratzinger letter in the Kiesle case — by lawyers bring class actions against the Church on behalf of abuse victims. The interpretations which the lawyers are keen to put on them are precisely those which the media then uncritically adopt. When the scapegoat mechanism is in play, contradictions between agendas vanish. The crowd becomes “one”. 

So, given that the media have abandoned their traditional role and are now acting as cheerleaders and provocateurs, you have to ask yourself “Why?” And the answer is simply this: A homosexual scandal erupted in the church in Ireland and in Germany. If allowed to run its course, the public will realize there is a problem with gay priests in the church. How to counter this? They must shift attention elsewhere. They must shift attention to their enemies, the man who ruled that homosexuals can no longer become priests, the man who  is replacing all the liberal bishops with conservative bishops who will not stand for this stuff.

So now the man who is doing the most to rid the church of abusers is himself being linked to abuse.

Very clever. But will it work?


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