Two More Abuse Cases

The press are trying hard to find the fingerprints of find high ranking Vatican figures on bungled child abuse cases. There was one from Arizona trying to implicate the Holy Father and another one from Oregon trying to target Cardinal Levada.

As we’ve come to expect, the stories are simplifications which show the journalist’s inability or unwillingness to deal with the complexities of Vatican dicasteries, the legal processes of canon law and the distinctions between church law and civil law. For example, they protest indignantly that a guilty priest was not defrocked for twelve years, never saying that this permanent laicization can only be done by the Vatican, and that it takes time, and the case must be heard fairly. Nor do they point out that during that time the local bishop had disciplined the guilty priest, suspended him from dressing as a cleric or acting as a priest in any way, and that eventually he was permanently defrocked.

Instead the article states baldly that Cardinal Ratzinger didn’t bother to defrock the man for twelve years. Never mind that during that time Ratzinger wasn’t even in charge of the process and that his only involvement, when we was finally put in charge, was to change the rules so that the offense could be dealt with more quickly and the offender punished more severely.

The press’ deliberate simplifications are an example of shabby, tabloid journalism at its worst. They’re not trying to establish facts. They’re distorting the facts and trying to throw mud, hoping that some of it will stick.

For the facts behind both cases go here.

  • Deacon Josh Miller

    As one who doesn't throw this kind of language around lightly, I maintain that the Evil One is certainly alive and well, working through the ignorant, malignant MSM.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    If you want another account of press activity, I suggest you read Peggy Noonan's column from the Wall Street Journal:'s_Most_PopularNoonan is no church basher and certainly no liberal, but she does give the secular press credit for uncovering a story that needed to be exposed.Fr. Dwight, please take note.

  • flyingvic

    Sadly, I know personally two Anglican priests who were accused of inappropriate behaviour with teenage boys.They were arrested, tried and put in prison.From accusation to imprisonment took barely six months.

  • James H

    Joseph with all du respect to Noonana the reprting we have seen the last two weeks bears nothing to the reporting of the Washington Post

  • the owl of the remove

    We can't win, Dwight – "fuga mundi!"

  • StevieD

    "Ratzinger wasn't even in charge.."I know that the some sections of the secular press have taken to calling the Holy Father 'Ratzinger' but I don't think that we should start doing so.

  • John

    I respect Ms. Noonan, but what is happening here is something different – there seems to be a feeding frenzy in the liberal MSM to identify any potential link to the Holy Father, regardless of how ludicrous it is. Yesterday on NPR they were reporting that the church was embattled, and as chief evidence that it was embattled was the fact that the Pope did not address the scandal during his Easter mass.I do find the timing of stories here in the US interesting – very old stories all of a sudden of deep interest right after the Bishops came out against Obamacare.

  • romishgraffiti

    We should applaud secular press for exposing stories that need exposing. At the same time, we need to avoid consequentialism that I've seen that implies, "Well, as long as the important story is exposed, the distorions and outright calumnies don't matter." That doesn't serve justice, it compounds injustice. As the CCC puts it: 2494 The information provided by the media is at the service of the common good.285 Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, justice, and solidarity: The proper exercise of this right demands that the content of the communication be true and – within the limits set by justice and charity – complete. Further, it should be communicated honestly and properly. This means that in the gathering and in the publication of news, the moral law and the legitimate rights and dignity of man should be upheld.So it's not either/or, it's both/and. That is, we demand justice for the victims AND we hold the press accountable for distortion.