Charges & Countercharges Swirling around the Pope

by Steve Ray on April 3, 2010

Vatican responds to media distortions on Tucson abuse cases
In an extraordinary display of media bias, the Associated Press has reported that “the abuse cases of two priests in Arizona have cast further doubt on the Catholic church’s insistence that Pope Benedict XVI played no role in shielding pedophiles before he became pope.” . . .

At Vatican’s Easter Mass, Cardinal Sodano defends Pope against ‘petty gossip’
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, delivered a remarkable defense of Pope Benedict towards the beginning of Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square. . . .

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Cardinal George again defends Pope BenedictCardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has again defended Pope Benedict’s leadership in dealing with the clerical abuse crisis. “It was Pope Benedict who gave us, in different ways, the ability to handle this crisis more quickly and in a way that helps to heal,” for he “enabled us to keep the predators out of the priesthood permanently in ways that were not possible before,” Cardinal George said in an April 1 radio interview.

Distorted coverage of sex-abuse story continuesMisleading stories seeking to link Pope Benedict XVI to the sex-abuse scandal continue to appear regularly in major media outlets, and filter down uncontested through secondary reports. For example:

Pope not deterred by criticism, spokesman saysPope Benedict XVI is enduring intense public criticism with “humility and patience,” according to Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office. The Pontiff, he said, sees the recent outburst of criticism as “a test for him and the Church.”

Bishop defends Vatican’s handling of Tucson abuse casesBishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, the vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has defended the Vatican’s handling of the cases of Fathers Michael Teta and Robert Trupia, two suspended priests whom former Bishop Manuel Moreno was seeking to laicize. Both were laicized in 2004 after long delays; the former had been suspended in 1990, the latter in 1992.

Veteran Rome exorcist sees devil’s influence in attacks on Pontiff
Father Gabriele Amorth, the longtime exorcist of the Rome diocese, has said that Satan’s influence is behind the recent spate of media attacks on Pope Benedict XVI for his handling of sex-abuse cases. “There is no doubt about it,” Father Amoth said; “it is clear that the devil wants to grab hold of him.”

NY Daily News editorial defends Pope
Chiding other media outlets for passing along false information about Pope Benedict’s alleged involvement in the canonical trial of Father Lawrence Murphy, the Daily News concludes:

Columnist: Church leaders must express righteous anger at abuse
Colleen Carroll Campbell argues in an April 1 St. Louis Post-Dispatch column that the laity’s confidence in the Church will not be restored until they know that Church leaders share their righteous anger at abuse.

Irish Catholic paper rips Sinead O’Connor’s anti-papal rant
An editorial in the <i>Irish Catholic</i> takes singer Sinead O’Connor to taks for her illogical and illiberal public attack on Pope Benedict. O’Connor, the editorial notes, seems intent on ignoring facts and silencing defenders of the Pontiff. “This is how freedom movements turn into reigns of terror, one tyranny is replaced by another and we are back where we started.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Barbara Edsall April 3, 2010 at 1:37 PM

I continue to pray for the Pope. I don’t believe the charges against him. The timing is too suspicious–right at Easter time, to distract from the greatest events that have ever come to mankind–this won’t succeed–and also right on the heels of the Bishops’ strong, principled opposition to what I call the “Sick Bill.”

This is reminiscent of a series of “child molestation ring” cases in Bakersfield, California in the 1980s. It seemed not much proof was needed, then as now. Gossip and hysteria ran rampant. Many people went to prison; there were divorces and suicides. Years later, most of them were set free, a few at a time. The most horrible thing was that by then there was no way to tell what had really happened. There was not enough evidence either to prove guilt or to exonerate. The district attorney who prosecuted these cases is still in office.

The hatred that has been leveled against the Catholic Church just makes me love Her more.

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