Authors Greg Erlandson and Matthew Bunson continue the discussion they began in the book from Our Sunday Visitor, Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal. Send us feedback at email@example.com. Kindle Edition available for download at amazon.com.
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The CNN Report, “What the Pope Knew,” was as bad as the sneak previews suggested. It was a messy patchwork of ominous music, endless photos of a solemn Pope Benedict, one-sided commentary and truly sad interviews with victims who recounted shameful incidents of abuse and then were coaxed to link them to Pope Benedict.
If mega-lawyer Jeffrey Anderson should have gotten co-authorship rights for his role in The New York Times exposes of last March (as Ken Woodward opined), then he should have been listed as a producer on this show. His documents, his clients and his agenda dominated: And that agenda is simply to lay the groundwork for a legal case against the Vatican.
The Church in Belgium is in crisis in the wake of a recent sexual abuse scandal involving a bishop and a renowned cardinal. It has led to bishops questioning the role of celibacy and criticizing the Vatican while admitting they are afraid of lawsuits if they apologize. All of this has raised questions about an episcopal culture that still seems “not to get it.”
Months after The New York Times’ clumsy attempt to implicate Pope Benedict XVI in the mishandling of the case of a U.S. priest who abused more than 200 deaf children— and after numerous experts and Church officials pointed out that the very documents cited by the Times proved the opposite of its conclusion — CNN is rolling out a “one-hour special” that repeats precisely the same errors.
Noted Vaticanist Sandro Magister’s most recent post concerns the attacks on Pope Benedict and how the Pope understands these attacks.In the Sept. 3 post of his widely read e-newsletter, www.chiesa, Magister mentions two recent books analyzing the criticism of Pope Benedict: Our book, “Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal” (Our Sunday Visitor), and a new book by two Italian journalists called “Attack on Ratzinger” (Paolo Rodari, Andrea Tornielli, "Attacco a Ratzinger", Piemme, Milano). Two forthcoming documentaries from CNN and BBC are examples of the attacks.
Jeffrey Epstein is probably glad he's not a Catholic priest. He is a billionaire who got a sweetheart deal with the government and a slap on the wrist for child sexual abuse, and nobody but thedailybeast.com seems to have noticed. Now other defense attorneys want the same sweetheart deals for their clients.
The criticism of Pope Benedict, ostensibly connected to the sexual abuse scandals, has hit a new low. The latest allegation, unencumbered by fact but rife with prurient innuendo, is that Pope Benedict is gay. And, as with other in-house Catholic controversies, both extremes of left and right seem to be allies of convenience in casting aspersions.
The gossip site TMZ August 9 reported the comments of Mel Gibson’s 91-year-old father, a schismatic traditionalist who has been accused of various other failings, including anti-Semitism....
Judge Anne Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court has had extensive experience with the sexual abuse crisis in the Church. She served as interim chair of the National Review Board, monitoring the Church's response to sex abuse in the wake of the Dallas Charter and the series of reforms endorsed by the U.S. bishops.
Judge Burke became a blunt critic of the bishops at times, scolding those who she felt were not cooperating fully with the review board, but she had words of praise for Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Cardinal Ratzinger was one of only a few Vatican officials who was willing to meet with her as interim chair, In a subsequent interview, she praised the cardinal "for being far more open to meeting with members of the national review board than our own bishops and cardinals. He took in everything we had to say and answered our questions. And we pulled no punches."
In her July 18 column, one of Maureen Dowd’s many snarky comments was a throw-away slam: “If Roman Polanski were a priest, he’d still be working” in the Church.The line is striking in that Maureen Dowd gets it exactly wrong. If Roman Polanski were a priest in the United States, he would have been subject to a zero-tolerance policy. His diocese most likely would have been sued. And he might very well be laicized or put under severe restrictions.
Instead, he is most fortunate that he is not a priest, for he has the adulation of cultural elites, including the endorsement of Woody Allen, whose weighty moral assessment of Polanski’s status as a pedophile comes down to: “It happened many years ago. He has suffered. He's an artist, he's a nice person.” Can anyone imagine an abuser priest getting off the hook with such an endorsement?
The Vatican’s unforgivable mistake, you see, was including other canonical changes and clarifications about the Eucharist, about confession and, most importantly, about women’s ordination (all prohibitions against various types of sacramental misuse). So headlines across the United States yelped that the Vatican was equating the ordination of women with child sexual abuse.
OK, I agree with those critics who say that the Vatican should have seen this one coming. There are simply not enough of us public-relations cynics advising Vatican officials that no good deed will go unpunished when you are judged by the grand inquisitors of middlebrow newsprint to be on the wrong side of history....
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