Letter to the Pioneer Press
Pope Benedict XVI has been maligned and slandered in a rash of recent articles based on false reports and deliberate misrepresentations. One in the Pioneer Press (“What did the pope know and when?”), went as far as to suggest that his papacy will be ruined or that he will have to resign. This is nonsense and reflects the animus against the Church in the mainstream press.
We must ask ourselves “what is causing this flurry of hatred?” Why are all these admitted events that took place from 30 to 50 years ago being regurgitated with the seeming attempt only to embarrass the Church?
Yes, there have been bad priests. Yes, there were bishops who moved abusing priests around, partly to avoid bad publicity, but also because they were assured that the offenders had undergone successful therapy and rehabilitation. We have learned a lot since about the futility of such therapy.
We have also learned that similar abuse has been at the hands of doctors, teachers, ministers, therapists, and lawyers, not to mention the horrors which have gone on within families, with relatively no outrage from special interest groups or the media.
And we know that there have been many false allegations against priests, most notably in
Benedict has been recently defended, however. For example, John Allen has had two articles explaining the background and context of Pope Benedict’s actions, one in the National Catholic Reporter (a publication regularly critical of the Church despite its name), an op-ed piece in the New York Times, an now one in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His points include:
· In truth, Ratzinger did not have any direct responsibility for managing the overall
· That aside, here's the key point about Ratzinger's 2001 open letter: Far from being seen as part of the problem, at the time it was widely hailed as a watershed moment towards a solution. It marked recognition in
· Elsewhere Allen has made the point that “the Church’s efforts to come to grips with this problem within the household of faith — more far reaching than in any other institution or sector of society — have led others to look to the Catholic Church for guidance on how to address what is, in fact, a global plague.” And again: As another doctor, Paul McHugh, an international scholar on this subject at Johns Hopkins University, remarked, “Nobody is doing more to address the tragedy of sexual abuse of minors than the Catholic Church.”
Here is the assessment by Archbishop Dolan of
Pope Benedict XVI himself has expressed hurt, anger, sorrow, and contrition. As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and now as Pope, he is seen as one “who gets it” when it comes to the horror of clergy sexual abuse, and who has placed the full force of the Apostolic See, the Vatican, behind efforts to reform. Who can forget his forthright references to this scourge at least half-a-dozen times in his visit to our country nearly two-years ago, and his moving meeting with victim-survivors? And now we have his blunt, realistic Pastoral Letter to
Lastly, consider Pope Benedict’s recent statement:
Jesus Christ “leads us towards courage which does not allow us to be intimidated by the chatter of dominant opinions, towards patience which supports and sustains others”.
Richard Houck, President
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
Catholic Defense League