Thursday, April 01, 2010

Vatican lashes out against sex abuse coverage
By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer Victor L. Simpson

VATICAN CITY – Cardinals rushed to Pope Benedict XVI's defense on Holy Thursday amid accusations he played a role in covering up sex abuse scandals, as an increasingly angry Vatican made a stinging attack on the U.S. media for its coverage.

The relationship between the church and the media has become increasingly bitter as the scandal buffeting the 1 billion-member church has touched the pontiff himself. On Wednesday, the church singled out the New York Times for criticism in an unusually harsh attack.

Western news organizations, including The Associated Press, have reported extensively on the burgeoning scandal, and new revelations have emerged on an almost daily basis.

Venice's Cardinal Angelo Scola expressed solidarity with Benedict in his Holy Thursday homily in the lagoon city, describing him as a victim of "deceitful accusations." He praised the pope as seeking to remove all "dirt" from the priesthood.

Warsaw Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz said the church should take notice of individual tragedies and treat sex abuse cases very seriously, but at the same time he criticized the media for "targeting the whole church, targeting the pope, and to that we must say `no' in the name of truth and in the name of justice."

And Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, speaking of Benedict's long years as head of a Vatican office that investigates abuse, said the future pope "had a very clear line of not covering up but clearing up."

He earlier reflected on the issue at a service in Vienna's cathedral Wednesday evening:
"I admit that I often feel a sense of injustice these days. Why is the church being excoriated? Isn't there also abuse elsewhere? ... And then I'm tempted to say: Yes, the media just don't like the church! Maybe there's even a conspiracy against the church? But then I feel in my heart that no, that's not it."

The church on Wednesday presented its highest-level official response yet to one of the most explosive recent revelations regarding sex abuse — a story the Times broke on the church's decision in the 1990s not to defrock a Wisconsin priest accused of molesting deaf boys.

It was the latest in a series of attacks on the press: Last week, L'Osservatore Romano, denounced what it said was a "clear and despicable intention" by the media to strike at Benedict "at any cost."

In the article posted Wednesday on the Vatican's Web site, Cardinal William Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote: "I am not proud of America's newspaper of record, the New York Times, as a paragon of fairness."

Levada, an American, said the newspaper wrongly used the case of the Rev. Lawrence Murphy to find fault in Benedict's handling of abuse cases.

A Times spokeswoman defended the articles and said no one has cast doubt on the reported facts. (MY NOTE - No one has cast doubt because the NY TIMES never talked to anyone before publishing their malicious article.)

"The allegations of abuse within the Catholic church are a serious subject, as the Vatican has acknowledged on many occasions," said Diane McNulty. "Any role the current pope may have played in responding to those allegations over the years is a significant aspect of this story."


Felisol said...

Dear Annie,
I've been reluctant to comment on this blog-post, even though I don't think we do not disagree much.
I cannot speak for America, but we are all shaken by the revelations about child abuse and pedophile encroachments committed by priests and bishops in the Norwegian Catholic Church lately. That is the news were confirmed around Easter time, but the bishop was sent out of the country last year, and the altar boy paid a substantial sum as a form of compensation.
The good thing is that the church has been relatively open about what has happened, and taken precautions the shelter the children and also punish the child malester.

Similar perpetrates have been revealed in Protestant Church, in public orphanages, schools for missionary children, public schools, children's sports clubs.
Even in the little Pentecost congregation of 60 members, where my father belonged had a nasty episode about ten years ago. My Dad and my uncle, then about 80, had to put up a hard fight to fight to make things right. They were lightening examples to me, Gunnar, my brother and my cousins. Even though we did not belong to the church, we were all engaged to back up our courageous fathers.

I love the Catholic Church. I often visit Catholic churches when on travels, and I am well familiar with the huge importance of the Mother Church in a world, year by year more secularized and even criminalized.

I pray for the Church and His Holiness, Pope Benedict.
No one can alter the past, only
use the presence to secure the future.
The children are our future.
Jesus says in Mark 25. 4040And(BC) the King will answer them,(BD) 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these(BE) my brothers,[f] you did it to me.'

Like you and me the Church needs to extinct evil from its midst to survive. The cancer of child abuse cannot be allowed to grow.

God, help us and have mercy.
From Felisol

Annie said...

God bless you, Elise, for your loving support. I'm so grateful for your personal story as well about your father's own small church and the success of the members to stop the perpetrator. The media has been so hard on us for the last several years. They treat each accusation as if it was fact and they (especially the New York Times) run forward and forget that fact checking is a critical part of their job.

And speaking of fact checking, a personal friend of ours was recently ordained to the priesthood and one of the points that is made now in seminarian training (and indeed, it's been going on now for at least 20 years) is education regarding child abuse, how to recognize it and how to handle it. There are also stringent measures in place to weed these monsters out of seminaries. Now, if only we could weed them out of society.

My blogfriend, Deb, pointed out to me recently when I was really depressed about this, that in the end no matter how extreme the guilt, no matter how far the church falls, we do and always will have Christ. He is the heart of our faith.

Thank you for being such a good friend.

Felisol said...

Dear Annie,
Norwegian media also are eager criticizing the protestant church, not only when it comes to the pedophile abuse.
Maybe we should be more suspicious if media started to embrace the Church. We are in the world, but not of the world.

Of course we will never defend aggressors, no matter what.
maybe that is the worst pain; having to admit and relate to unspeakable injustice committed by people we trusted and looked up to.

We have to look the evil in the eyes and deal with it.
Then we'll cling to Jesus like its written in: Hebrews 12
Jesus, the Example
1Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also (A)lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us (B)run with (C)endurance the race that is set before us,

2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the (D)author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him (E)endured the cross, (F)despising the shame, and has (G)sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3For (H)consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary (I)and lose heart.

Dear Annie, you should not thank me, I should thank you.
Some must speak out.
Glad you did.
From Felisol