Vatican lashes out against sex abuse coverage

I think the headline is certainly an exaggeration of the Vatican’s response but I am concerned that the Vatican is trying to defend itself by blaming the media. That is NOT going to accomplish anything but to stir people against them even more. Besides that, it is a very unchristian response. At this time of Jesus’ passion and death it seems very unfitting to be ‘fighting’ back.

It’s sad that in one hand they circle the wagons to protect their own while news of continual silence in these cases are continuing to pour in. Jesus was not concern about His reputation nor was he concern about the Jewish priest of His time. His message was one of love and protection toward those who could not defend themselves, the downtrodden, the outcasts, the poor, the sick and the maim. This is where the focus should be on the protection of the victims not the protection of the priests nor the institutional bureaucracy that created a maze of protection for sinful acts by the priests.

From the TimesOnline:
“However in Italy, where the Catholic Church is deeply embedded in all aspects of society, including schools, youth clubs and hospitals, the Italian bishops’ conference ended its annual meeting this week with only a vague pledge of cooperation with the civil authorities… It praised the Pope’s “firm and enlightened” attitude in dealing with the paedophile crisis. Today Pietro Forno, the Milan prosecutor for sex abuse cases, told Il Giornale that although he had a “long list” of cases, not one had been brought to his attention by bishops or the clergy because of a “climate of fear” in the Church hierarchy.”]However in Italy, where the Catholic Church is deeply embedded in all aspects of society, including schools, youth clubs and hospitals, the Italian bishops’ conference ended its annual meeting this week with only a vague pledge of cooperation with the civil authorities… It praised the Pope’s “firm and enlightened” attitude in dealing with the paedophile crisis. Today Pietro Forno, the Milan prosecutor for sex abuse cases, told Il Giornale that although he had a “long list” of cases, not one had been brought to his attention by bishops or the clergy because of a “climate of fear” in the Church hierarchy.

From the Italian newspaper iL translated through Google
Pedophilia, Milan Prosecutor Pietro Forno: "Breaking the bishops

…How do you explain?
"Ask them… Not the Church, but the Church hierarchy. Church also belong the faithful, many of them - including myself - think differently. The problem is the hierarchy. I think not punish them because they have chosen them, educated them, kept them, and then create the ties of defense, protection.It is mainly the fear of scandal. fear, because the Gospel says instead that it is necessary that scandals happen. Fear is un-Christian, in short '[size=][size=][/size][/size]

I think that the Vatican and the College of Cardinals should concentrate their efforts as to this overweening and constant scandal in different areas than umbrage as to their media portrayal. In other words, concentrate on protecting kids and the Church; then comment on themselves being bad-mouthed.


April 1, 2010

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a statement made by Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

Cardinal Levada directly takes on the New York Times for its coverage of the Fr. Murphy abuse case in Wisconsin. Commenting on the news story by Laurie Goodstein, Levada writes, “The point of Goodstein’s article, however, is to attribute the failure to accomplish this dismissal [of Fr. Murphy] to Pope Benedict, instead of to diocesan decisions at the time.”

Cardinal Levada has it just right. The wrongdoing in this case rests in Wisconsin. Why did the victims’ families wait as long as 15 years to report the abuse? Why were the civil authorities unconvinced by what they uncovered? Why did Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland wait almost two decades before he contacted the Vatican?

Weakland’s record in handling sex abuse cases is a matter of record. In 1984, he branded as “libelous” those who reported cases of priestly sexual abuse (he was rebuked by the courts for doing so). Ten years later he accused those who reported such cases of “squealing.” And, of course, he had to resign when his lover, a 53 year-old man, revealed that Weakland paid him $450,000 to settle a sexual assault lawsuit (Weakland took the money from archdiocesan funds). It’s a sure bet that if Weakland were a theological conservative–and not a champion of liberal causes–the media (including the National Catholic Reporter and Commonweal) would be all over him.

We also need to learn from Laurie Goodstein why she waited until Wednesday, March 30, to interview Fr. Thomas Brundage, the priest who presided over the Murphy trial. Brundage has said that the pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger, had absolutely nothing to do with the Murphy case. And we need to know why Weakland never gave Brundage a letter he wrote asking him to call off the trial.

There’s dirt in the Murphy case, but it sits in the U.S.A.–not Rome.

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I feel ***so much better ***knowing that Cardinal Levada is blaming the the Milwaukie Archdiocese and Bill Donohoe is blaming the families and law enforcement. I just KNOW this is going to help!

People in the news write headlines designed to get people to read their rags. That’s why you’ll see that the Vatican ‘lashes out’ in preference to ‘responds’. “Lashes out” not only implies that the response is hasty, out of proportion, and punitive (lash out is usually used in context to an overseer ‘lashing’ a slave’, or a person ‘lashing’ a poor laboring animal), but it’s guaranteed to make it look like the response is coming out of a knowledge of ‘wrong’ and an attempt to (as usual) ‘bulldoze’ the people, since ‘lashers’ are usually known for doing just that.

Oh no, “responds” (being a nice, neutral word, the kind that you’d see for example brought up when two reasonable people are talking about a case, even a sensitive or ‘scandalous’ case) isn’t ‘appropriate’ for the big bad Vatican. . .

People are so easily manipulated by words.

I just finished watching Donohue on LarryKing…I’m speechless. This guy is your civil rights Rep?

Watching and reading Mr. Donohue’s remarks often brings to mind the old saw, "With friends like these, he doesn’t need enemies. " I think Mr. Donohue is sincere, but the overall impression he conveys is underwhelming.

People are so easily manipulated by words.

:thumbsup: Totally Agree!

People are also easily manipulated and abused by predatory pedophiles.

Which is the issue at hand, despite what Donohue wants to believe, as evidenced on his recent Larry King Live appearance.

Some people react to the Church’s defense of matters in the media with some statement like: “The Church should worry about stopping abuse!”
I disagree with that reaction for 2 reasons.[LIST]
*]It presupposes the Church is not concerned with stopping abuse.
*]It essentially says: “It’s ok if the media advances lies for the purposes of hurting the Church. These lies should not be brought to light or addressed.” It says: “Because the Church has problem A to address, it should therefore not address problem B which is lies against her.”
[/LIST]If the media is advancing lies about the Church, I see no problem demonstrating where the lies occurred if the Church deems them worthy of response. If the Church was somehow unable to respond to sex abuse problems as a result of responding to lies, then I might agree with the critics described herein. But that’s not the case, so there you go.

Coming from the Portland Archdiocese I could anticipate what is now happening.

Cardinal Levada has only made things worse for the Church and for himself by speaking out. The attorney mentioned in the article released the deposition precisely because the Cardinal chose to speak out in defense of the pope. He had a pretty low profile before but now will be attacked and discredited too.

When, oh when, will they learn that what is needed is humility and repentance? This attack mode they are taking is only going to inflame things.

I agree. There are folks who despise the Church. And any attempt at correcting distortions will fail to convince. But there are also good people who need these distortions to be addressed honestly. Momor views this as a “very unchristian response.” Our Lord went to the Cross like a lamb to the slaughter…he opened not his mouth. But he came here specifically to do that. He surrendered himself to the Father’s will. But obviously, no earthly force could have compelled him if he didn’t freely lay down his own life. And the record has stood for 2000 years that the innocent God-man was convicted, condemned, and crucified. That is the truth. I don’t disagree that this type of spiritual response may sometimes be called for in the life of individual Christians (i.e., keeping one’s mouth shut in response to false accusations). But I also wouldn’t go so far as to say that answering distortions and lies with the truth is ever unchristian.

I completely agree with Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz, because as the article states “he criticized the media for "targeting the whole church”…

That is the whole problem – that the media is blaming “The Church” for these scandals, which is offensive to me personally since I have committed no such crimes…

I see no difference in the media saying that Islam is a terrorist religion.

Methinks that whether the Church comes full disclosure or not the Global Media is out for Blood and don’t care how they get it. And what if there are innocent people involved?
Do you actually believe the Global Media (“The Big Whore”) who can do no wrong cares?
Not a snowballs chance in hell. There will be a thorough investigation, but I for one am glad the Pope is standing his ground. Too much remains unknown in all the allegations against the Church.

Exactly, if the media were to single out the individuals personally for their crimes that is one thing, but to tack-on the “whole Church” is an attention grabber for sure… The bigger the story, the bigger the audience, the bigger the pay check.

I know we’re the Body of Christ and all, but geez… Do I really need to be sorry for the actions of every other Catholic…?

Seriously… Its lent and its Holy Saturday - a day of Penance… Am I supposed to be sorry for what some other Catholics did…? Or not.

I went back and re-read the article after seeing your post. Unfortunately, in the article, the persons who are claiming the media is targeting the whole Church are members of the clergy, which may be an attempt by them to discredit the media. While I don’t agree with the media I think it is clear that the most recent media attacks, and the one’s that have sparked the ire of some in the Vatican, have been targeted at individuals such as the pope.

I don’t understand this perspective… What it seems like to me is that Archbishop Nycz is protecting the integrity of the 1 billion (living) member Holy “Church”, which seems like a noble thing to do (to protect the flock)… I just don’t see the connection of “discrediting” the media.

If you read the comments following the article they say:

— “How can any religion be so morally blind and claim infalibility?”
— “The RC church has lost of moral credibibity”
— “As a removed Catholic Ive found that our Protestant brothers were right all along … Its now time to shut down the RC Church . Its the only decent thing to do .”

This is how some people react to news that “Cardinals defend pope on church sex abuse scandal”… Sounds like the media has gone wild with not only the Pope now but all the Cardinals… Then bloggers say the Church needs to be “shut down”…:rolleyes:

This is becoming a chain reaction… A media free-for-all. Inadvertently, the whole Church is under attack.


I guess I would just have to say that I don’t feel personally attacked by the media. I think the media is going right for the throat of the hierarchy. And the reason for that is because of the cover-ups.

All of the furor is about the cover-ups and the institutional policies which protected and impeded justice! If predator priests had been publically dealt with the scandal would not exist. BTW, it would have put a stop, IMO, to much of the abuse in the first place if it was known by all what would happen.

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