Deadline linking – UPDATES

First I wrote something long and angry and decided that after five years of blogging I should know better than to write angry, so I dumped it.

Then I got busy with something that I actually have to write on deadline.

Then, I took a break, mosey’d over to Deacon Greg’s establishment and found this:

“From the beginning and throughout history, Peter has often been a wobbly rock, a source of scandal, corrupt, and yet this is the one – and his successors – whose task is to hold us together so that we may witness to Christ’s defeat on Easter Day of sin’s power to divide. And so the Church is stuck with me whatever happens. We may be embarrassed to admit that we are Catholics, but Jesus kept shameful company from the beginning.”

– Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., in London’s Tablet, explaining why he stays Catholic.

Do read it all.

So, a quick link-around to various and sundry stuff that has come across my email in the last 24 hours -all offered without comment because I really am tied up. But you guys, discuss amongst yourselves!

From Newsweek: “The priesthood is being cast as the refuge of pederasts. In fact, priests seem to abuse children at the same rate as everyone else.” This of course is not meant to excuse anything, but to expose the fact that the problem of people in authority abusing their trust and power in this way seems epidemic, as we see today with swimming coaches and in this gross story of a female school teacher.

It is heartening though, to see a media outlet admit that every priest is not a defacto pervert. Perhaps some will actually note that studies give evidence of startling effectiveness in the steps taken by the church on this issue. Let us pray that the church continues and builds on these effective reforms, throughout the world.

Meanwhile, of course, we continue to pray for the victims. I wonder if -for the sake of the victims, who want nothing more than to know that others will never have to suffer as they have- the press is remiss in not covering the success of the church reforms? A little focus – just a tad- could reassure those victims, and given them a hope that yes, they had been heard; yes, their painful, necessary testimonies had not been given in vain; yes, something good has finally come out of all of that endless bad they’d been living with.

I want victims of abuse to be validated; where crimes can be prosecuted, I want to see them prosecuted; I do not know a living human being who feels differently. I agree with Fr. James Martin that the press did the church and the world a favor by exposing some dark and miserable corners to the disinfectant light.

But I also agree with Mary Ann Walsh, the director of media relations, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, that the media was recklessly inflammatory in its applications. A laser is a useful thing, but a pinpoint beam leaves too much in the dark. Illumination is a good thing, too, but too much wattage can be blinding. The Holy Week Headline Swarm was too much; even non-Catholics called it excessive.

It must be said, the pope and the church were not helped by the insensitive, defensive and tone-deaf responses by some within the Vatican.

A reader sent this piece to me, wondering about the title, a bit: Is history over? Have we already seen the last American President? Is this the last Pope?

I’m sensing we ain’t seen nothing yet. Do check out the link to the 2002 piece by the NY Times’ Bill Keller, where he writes:

It should be clear by now that this scandal is only incidentally about forcing sex on minors. There is no evidence so far that predator priests are more common than predator teachers or predator doctors or predator journalists. The scandal is the persistent failure of the church hierarchy to comprehend, to care and to protect. The Boy Scouts, not an organization in the vanguard of sexual enlightenment, adopted a clear, firm policy to protect children from molestation 19 years ago. The Catholic bishops and their Vatican handlers, meanwhile, are still parsing the rhetorical fine points of ”zero tolerance,” which is at best an empty slogan (does anyone favor ”10 percent tolerance”?) and at worst a way of abdicating responsibility.

The pope lamented last week that the child abuse scandal is eroding trust in the church. But that is rather backward. American Catholics have reacted so explosively to this sordid affair precisely because they felt so little trust to begin with. The distrust is the legacy of Pope John Paul II.

And now, in Bill Keller’s world, the distrust is the legacy of John Paul’s successor, the very man who has done more to activate within the church the sorts of responses, guidelines and policies that Keller rightly admires of the Boy Scouts of America.

So, let me get this straight. When the church was not doing enough -and it wasn’t- to address the sickening sins and crimes that reached their zeniths in decades past, the NY Times was quite rightly appalled and scandalized and giving no quarter. And now that serious steps have been taken, and church guidelines are being effective and enforced, the Times remains appalled, scandalized and still gives no quarter.

That seems strange, doesn’t it? It doesn’t seem consistent with mature and disenthralled analysis which could reasonably be expected to report on and encourage constructive and effective measures taken in the present, even while decrying the unchangeable past. To do less suggests that the Times prefers one part of the story over the other.

And perhaps that is purposeful; perhaps it is part and parcel of a mindset bent on deconstruction.

A bit of balance, here:
seems it was Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict who refused to play by backroom rules when it came to the sinful, criminal con-man, Fr. Maciel.

On Holy Saturday, Newsday’s Lisa Miller wrote a piece suggesting, “…insular groups of men often do bad things. So why not break up the all-male club?”

George Weigel effectively countered that male celibacy cannot be blamed for the married/heterosexual abuse that abounds globally, or for those abuses committed by female religious, either.

Aren’t you glad I said “without comment?” Well, when can I resist opining, but believe I do so in good faith, in any case!

The Passion of Benedict: Six accusations, one question

Chinese Bishop: Under arrest for not rolling with the government

60 Minutes: Hey, Look, Bush saved lives in Africa!

Obama: Says he doesn’t take some other leaders seriously. Smart diplomacy. Taunt the little man with big ambitions in Iran. Good job, O. Sneering at your critics is very presidential.

Krauthammer on Obama’s nuclear posturing

Is Gates as “comfy” as Obama says he is?

Nuclear Cost-Benefit analysis: Seriously?

Screwing with Israel: “We won’t use nukes against anyone on this list, and Israel is not on this list.” Or something.

A Methodist Clergywoman
becomes a Catholic.

David Goldman: how Jewish neocons blew it on Iraq and Iran

Make Every Friday Good?: I thought we were already supposed to be doing that, as Catholics.

Science looks at What we Know in the Womb

12 year old Yemeni Girl:
Basically killed by being a bride

How far is too far: for a tween actress?

The Taxinator

NoVa Police Blackout: What you don’t NoVa won’t hurt you!

And of course, the big story: Are Brad and Jen back together again?

Inkjet-like device prints cells right over burns. Wow. Faster, please.

More Catholic Stuff:
In Defense of Benedict
Scandal Threatens Pope’s Focus on EU’s Christian Roots
What the Catholic Church can Learn from Married Priests
Scandal-Time, Once More
Ratzinger Emerges as Campaigner Against Filth
A Married Priest Supports Celibate Priesthood (Video)
Saving What Can be Saved
In Praise of Patriarchy
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Ellen

    Heh – I fail to see the appeal of Brad or Jen.

    [So do I. I was being sarcastic. -admin]

  • Frank La Rocca

    I rejoice for the Methodist clergy-woman who has become a Catholic. I also think she still has a ways to go to leave behind her apparently liberal Methodist theology, referring, as she does, to the Spirit as “she.”

  • Bender

    Those around Pope Benedict — including Fr. Cantalamessa — have been neither insensitive nor tone-deaf, and they have been rightly defensive. One should defend the ones they love. But it is clear by now that, even if they all were to pour buckets of ashes on their heads, tear their clothes, and walk on their knees in broken glass, they would still be accused of being insensitive and tone-deaf by those engaged in this on-going attack on the Church, and it does not help to give them ammunition.

    The enemies of the Church do not care about sensitivity or tone, they care only to engage in venomous attacks, the latest being the accusation that Cardinal Ratzinger stalled some California case. ENOUGH.

    Enough with the apologies, enough with the concessions, enough with the finger-pointing at those imperfect people in the Church. And by saying “enough,” let NO ONE claim that it has not been done or that I am suggesting that it should not be done. IT HAS BEEN DONE. COUNTLESS TIMES. Enough. Do you go and confess the exact same sin multiple times?

    Isn’t it time to accept God’s mercies?

    This is no longer about seeking apologies, this is no longer about seeking truth, this is no longer about justice or healing or anything except attacking the Church. That is ALL that this about. And it is time for us all to recognize that and refuse to allow the enemies of the Church to pretend otherwise.

  • cathyf

    I hope you don’t mind me repeating a piece of a comment that I made over at Dcn Greg’s place…

    I’m actually beginning to wonder if this latest campaign isn’t a skillful (and astonishingly successful) smoke screen. Look, Benedict has been fighting the Vatican to clean out the “filth” for a decade now, and there are those who are still fighting back.

    A very interesting question of timing (at least to me). From Jason Berry’s article about Marciel Maciel and the Legion of Christ that was one of your links

    Maciel left a trail of wreckage among his followers. Moreover, in a gilded irony for Benedict — who prosecuted him despite pressure from Maciel’s chief supporter, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state from 1990 to 2006 — Maciel left an ecclesiastical empire with which the church must now contend… The order numbered 700 priests and 1,300 seminarians in 2008. On March 15 of this year, five bishops, called visitators, from as many countries, delivered their reports to the pope after a seven-month investigation. A final report is expected by the end of April.

    Interesting timing… March 15… End of April… The Legion is fighting for its life, and only under this pope was Maciel ever punished. Carlos Slim, a big-time supporter of Legion schools, owns a chunk of the New York Times, and basically saved the Times from bankruptcy last year. And so now the Times has launched a campaign against the pope right this very instant in the weeks between the submission of the report, and the decision about what to do about the Legion. quid pro quo? Slim saved the NYT, and now the looks to the NYT to save Slim’s friends, the perverts in the Legion, by destroying Benedict?

  • Brian English

    “Meanwhile, of course, we continue to pray for the victims. I wonder if -for the sake of the victims, who want nothing more than to know that others will never have to suffer as they have- the press is remiss in not covering the success of the church reforms? A little focus – just a tad- could reassure those victims, and given them a hope that yes, they had been heard; yes, their painful, necessary testimonies had not been given in vain; yes, something good has finally come out of all of that endless bad they’d been living with.”

    You would think, since they claim to be all about protecting the children, that the media would want to inform as many people as possible about the procedures that actually keep children safe.

    I suppose the headline “Pope Spearheads Enormously Successful Reforms to Protect Children that Other Institutions Should Emulate”, isn’t really consistent with the narrative certain elements in the media are pursuing.

  • Manny L.

    “The priesthood is being cast as the refuge of pederasts. In fact, priests seem to abuse children at the same rate as everyone else.” -Newsweek quote.

    Ha! That’s the point I was trying to make in the comments at the NPR article you wrote.

    I have to disagree with this:
    “I agree with Fr. James Martin that the press did the church and the world a favor by exposing some dark and miserable corners to the disinfectant light.”

    Sure exposing this was appropriate, but the focus on the Catholic Church as opposed to every other institution that have probably has the same issues has distorted the perception of the Church and priests in particular. Based on the Newsweek quote I just highlighted, this is a human problem, not a Catholic Church or priest problem. You don’t know how many atheists and protestants unfriendly to Catholicism bring this up.

  • Nan

    Frank, I’m right there with you, especially since she thinks that it was the Eucharist in her former church. If it was, why is she now Catholic?

  • Manny L.

    Kudos to Patty Clay. That was very heart warming. If she happens to see this, welcome.

  • Western Chauvinist

    I’m with you, Bender. The Left has successfully smeared and slandered traditionalists with the sins of the few for decades now. Not to mention some made-up stuff – “blood for oil” comes immediately to mind. This latest attack on the Church is enough for me. We should not be so meek that we bow and scrape for mercy from the NYT or any other element of the Left. Enough!

  • Ben H

    To a certain extent, I can see how someone with an agenda or a bias would color their opinions and that that would get into their journalism. The recent stuff about Benedict goes well beyond bias. It’s clearly libelous in intent.

    Given how protective journalists are about their ‘professional ethics’, I have to say I am actually surprised at the miserable depths of the Times’ (and others’) moral and professional corruption. This isn’t normal bias – writing the good stuff about the people you like and the bad stuff about the people you don’t – it’s an attempt to destroy an innocent man by putting the evils of other men on his shoulders. The personal emptiness and lack of self respect among people who would do such a thing is pitiful. Geez, you may be biased but at least have some professional standards.

    Like so many other institutions in the Western world, the Times and other media have thrown their integrity aside completely. Once the Times existed to provide news, and did, in a flawed manner. Now it has been seized by barbarians who demand the authority created by the history of the institution but who reject completely the ethical standards which brought a degree of trust to the institution in the first place.

  • Doc

    The corporate media don’t care about abused children at all. These young victims are simply used as weapons against the enemies of the progressive agenda. Pope Benedict is certainly a primary target.

    If the Times and their lemming copycats cared about abused kids, that story of the 14 year old school girl would’ve received a great deal of outrage. That won’t happen, of course, because a bisexual threesome between a teacher, a student and a strange man is edgy envelope-pushing, just the sort of filth Hollywood rewards.

    Progressive educators get a pass. They also cannot be accused of hypocrisy, the greatest sin of the Left, since they recognize no traditional moral guidelines. Democrat sex and $ scandals get overlooked for the same reason.

    The best news I saw last week was that ABC, CBS, and NBC each lost almost a million viewers over the last year. Faster please.