Yet another goofy article in the New York Times today. The Times is going to great efforts to protect the people who actually caused the latest child abuse crisis in the church. How? By deflecting all the attention onto the Pope. Meanwhile, notice there are no stories about the actual abusers in this latest round of European scandals.
I wonder why that is? I wonder why we know nothing about the abusers who have been revealed in the scandals. We know nothing at all about which cities they live in, their crimes, and so on. All we know is that supposedly, all of the abuse that has taken place during the last 40 years suddenly is all the Pope’s fault. Almost all of the stories in the Times have focused on the Pope! The Pope! The Pope!
None of the priests that are accused of the abuse are in the headlines. Not a one. Not a one of their bishops. I wonder why? Could it be because they are a liberal bunch, a distinct grouping in the Catholic church? Might we draw conclusions that the Times does not want us to draw if they gave us all the information?
You see what the game is here. The liberal bishops were at the heart of all of this. The New York Times wants to protect them, so they must cause an enormous ruckus about the Pope to let the real perps slink away.
It’s kind of funny how obvious they are in this piece. They are dripping with condescension, and their leftist mindset is clearly on display:
Cardinal Ratzinger, of course, had not yet become pope, a divinely ordained office not accustomed to direction from below.
You can almost hear them sneering at the word “divinely”. And that little jab about the church not taking direction from below. Yet another one of “the New Church” people’s demands.
And the whole thrust of the article is just ludicrous. The Times basic story is that the bishops were all clamoring for the Vatican to give them help in dealing with the abuse crisis. That is laughable. The bishops were the ones hiding the abusers and secretly moving them around from parish to parish. Has the Times simply lost its mind?
Great theme: the bishops wanted to do more but were handcuffed by the Vatican’s–and Ratzinger’s–in action. That’s a wonderful storyline which is a masterpiece of topsyturvydom.
One question can cut through it all: You are a bishop, say in 1980, and you find one of your priests has been abusing little boys. What do you do? Nothing whatever prevents you from removing that priest from ministry, disciplining him, and reporting him to civil authorities. All talk about “arcane canonical processes”, “complicated and overlapping jurisdictions”, is simply beside the point.
And if one needed any indication of the mindset of the NYT, the beginning of this sentence would provide it:
“As Father Gauthé was being prosecuted in Louisiana, Cardinal Ratzinger was publicly disciplining priests in Brazil and Peru for preaching that the church should work to empower the poor and oppressed…”
The Times is still shaking with anger about the Pope getting rid of the creepy Marxists from Latin America! You know, the ones who claimed that armed violence was cool if done on behalf of the poor, and that it was the duty of priests to become Marxist revolutionaries.
What a laugh.
There are so many mistakes and goofy conclusions, along with unsupported editorial statements, that this article causes more merriment than concern.
Here is Father Z with a refutation of the Times goofy – purposely goofy – interpretation of the Vatican’s directive Crimen sollicitationis. Father Z says:
The real problem is that a absolutely get wrong the 1962 document Crimen sollicitationis.
And because the editors of Hell’s bible aren’t stupid, they are getting it wrong on purpose.
The Times story was so ridiculous that even the National Catholic Reporter – the very left wing Catholic newspaper that really dislikes the Pope – even they think the Times went way overboard. It blows your mind to see things like this said about the Times, by the NCR:
This morning’s New York Times “expose” regarding then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s role in the Vatican’s response to the clergy sex abuse crisis exposes more than it intended. It exposes the fact that the authors, Laurie Goodstein and David Halbfinger, and their editors, do not understand what they are talking about and, at times, put forward such an unrelentingly tendentious report, it is difficult to attribute it to anything less than animus.
Who are the sources that the Times relies on today? Remember their sources last time around. They pretended that Bishop Weakland was bravely trying to stamp out abuse in his diocese, and the Vatican stymied his efforts. But in fact, Weakland was one of the more notorious bishops. The Times didn’t tell you the rest of the story: He paid his gay lover $450,000 of the church’s money to buy his silence. They he threatened teachers who complained about abusive priests with libel suits. He moved abusers from church to church. He called the victims ‘squealers”, and said they often were sexually aggresive kids. His actions were so repulsive the Court of Appeals in Wisconsin reprimanded him.
So, who’s their source today? Well, it’s Bishop Geoffrey Robinson. Who is he? Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture.org explains:
The lead witness for the Times story is Bishop Geoffrey Robinson: a former auxiliary of the Sydney, Australia archdiocese, who was hustled into premature retirement in 2004 at the age of 66 because his professed desire to change the teachings of the Catholic Church put him so clearly at odds with his fellow Australian bishops and with Catholic orthodoxy. This obscure Australian bishop, the main source of support for the absurd argument advanced by the Times, is the author of a book on Christianity that has been described as advancing “the most radical changes since Martin Luther started the 16th-century Reformation.” His work has drawn an extraordinary caution from the Australian episcopal conference, which warned that Robinson was at odds with Catholic teaching on “among other things, the nature of Tradition, the inspiration of the Holy Scripture, the infallibility of the Councils and the Pope, the authority of the Creeds, the nature of the ministerial priesthood and central elements of the Church’s moral teaching.” Bishop Robinson is so extreme in his theological views that Cardinal Roger Mahony (who is not ordinarily known as a stickler for orthodoxy) barred him from speaking in the Los Angeles archdiocese in 2008. This, again, is the authority on which the Times hangs its argument against the Vatican.
Lawler explains the rank stupidity of the basic thrust of the Times story:
After laying out the general argument against the Vatican’s inaction—and implying that Cardinal Ratzinger was responsible for that inaction, disregarding the ample evidence that other prelates stalled his efforts—the Times makes the simply astonishing argument that local diocesan bishops were more effective in their handling of sex-abuse problems. That argument is merely wrong; it is comically absurd.
During the 1980s and 1990s, as some bishops were complaining about the confusion at the Vatican, bishops in the US and Ireland, Germany and Austria, Canada and Italy were systematically covering up evidence of sexual abuse, and transferring predator-priests to new parish assignments to hide them from scrutiny. The revelations of the past decade have shown a gross dereliction of duty on the part of diocesan bishops. Indeed the ugly track record has shown that a number of diocesan bishops were themselves abusing children during those years.
Here’s another good refutation at Catholic Culture.
The Times has gone round the bend. The open sneering at Catholic doctrine, the obvious twisting of facts, failing to notice that their own article proves itself wrong – all of these are signs of journalistic senility.
Here’s the long and short of it. Pope Benedict is getting rid of all the liberal bishops who caused this problem. He is replacing them with new, conservative bishops that will not stand for this abuse stuff. So, the church is going to change. That change is underway, and is moving along like a steamroller. The New York Times and its liberal allies in the church are going to lose all their influence. So, they have to do something, anything, before it is too late. And this pitiful nonsense is all they can think of. They are trying to send a message: If you try to get rid of the liberal bishops, you will pay a price. We will make you look like a child abuser.
It’s low class thuggery, dirty journalism at it’s worst. But there is one flaw in it.
Benedict doesn’t care what the Times says.
See ya round, Times-y. Let me know when you get out of the looney bin.
And to review: When the New York Times and its liberal allies in charge of the church – child abuse goes up, up, up.
1978, Pope John Paul and the Conservatives take control – child abuse goes down, down, down. From a total of about 750 cases per year when the Times and its allies were in charge of things, to a total of SIX credible allegations in 2009, now that the conservatives are in charge.
From the John Jay College study: