A reader complains below about my characterization of Ratzinger’s remarks as a whine
As I mentioned on Amy’s blog, I think the Cardinal’s comments boil down to a truth told in the service of untruth. There is not, as far as it goes, a word he said that is false. As I noted below, it is quite true that the secular media hates the Church. It’s what he didn’t say that screams to be said: the secular media (which does indeed hate the Church) has been handed a huge sword by bad bishops who have betrayed the flock and by apologists who don’t seem quite able to admit that. Yes, it is a relatively minor fact that the the media loves to attack the Church. It is a much more important fact that the Church’s bishops are, in many cases, eminently worthy of attack. The great Catholic both/and. Ratzinger’s remarks seem calculated to suggest (not “say”, but suggest) that the main problem is a hostile media, not a corrupt episcopacy. The question is not the percentage of perv priests. It never was. There will be pervs till the end of time. The question is an episcopacy that has to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing something about them and taking responsibility for its actions. Without the Assyrian media, that never would have happened. The best thing Israel can do when God sends Assyrians in judgment is to receive the harsh strokes God deals with a contrite heart. Yes, the Assyrians are not thereby transformed into a saintly people. But that’s not the issue. God can deal with the Assyrians in his own way once he’s done using them. Israel’s business is to take the point of the judgment and repent.