Monday, April 12, 2010

What Every Catholic NEEDS To Know To Defend The Holy Father
Helmet tip to Fr. Gonzales at Overheard in the Sacristy

The accusations against the Pope simply don't pass the Google Test. Feel free to print this off as a handy little cheat sheet if there's anyone you know who is rabid Pope-Basher.

Also, PLEASE pass this info throughout the blogosphere.

Here's some of the article from CatholicCulture.org; (Emphasis mine)

Journalists abandon standards to attack the Pope

We’re off and running once again, with another completely phony story that purports to implicate Pope Benedict XVI in the protection of abusive priests.

The “exclusive” story released by AP yesterday, which has been dutifully passed along now by scores of major media outlets, would never have seen the light of day if normal journalistic standards had been in place. Careful editors should have asked a series of probing questions, and in every case the answer to those questions would have shown that the story had no “legs.”

First to repeat the bare-bones version of the story: in November 1985, then-Cardinal Ratzinger signed a letter deferring a decision on the laicization of Father Stephen Kiesle, a California priest who had been accused of molesting boys.

Now the key questions:

• Was Cardinal Ratzinger responding to the complaints of priestly pedophilia? No. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which the future Pontiff headed, did not have jurisdiction for pedophile priests until 2001. The cardinal was weighing a request for laicization of Kiesle.

• Had Oakland’s Bishop John Cummins sought to laicize Kiesle as punishment for his misconduct? No. Kiesle himself asked to be released from the priesthood. The bishop supported the wayward priest’s application.

• Was the request for laicization denied? No. Eventually, in 1987, the Vatican approved Kiesle’s dismissal from the priesthood.

• Did Kiesle abuse children again before he was laicized? To the best of our knowledge, No. The next complaints against him arose in 2002: 15 years after he was dismissed from the priesthood.

• Did Cardinal Ratzinger’s reluctance to make a quick decision mean that Kiesle remained in active ministry? No. Bishop Cummins had the authority to suspend the predator-priest, and in fact he had placed him on an extended leave of absence long before the application for laicization was entered.

• Would quicker laicization have protected children in California? No. Cardinal Ratzinger did not have the power to put Kiesle behind bars. If Kiesle had been defrocked in 1985 instead of 1987, he would have remained at large, thanks to a light sentence from the California courts. As things stood, he remained at large. He was not engaged in parish ministry and had no special access to children.

• Did the Vatican cover up evidence of Kiesle’s predatory behavior? No. The civil courts of California destroyed that evidence after the priest completed a sentence of probation– before the case ever reached Rome.

So to review: This was not a case in which a bishop wanted to discipline his priest and the Vatican official demurred. This was not a case in which a priest remained active in ministry, and the Vatican did nothing to protect the children under his pastoral care. This was not a case in which the Vatican covered up evidence of a priest’s misconduct. This was a case in which a priest asked to be released from his vows, and the Vatican– which had been flooded by such requests throughout the 1970s — wanted to consider all such cases carefully. In short, if you’re looking for evidence of a sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, this case is irrelevant.

2 Comments:

Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

No fair minded human being of whatever religion or un-religion (e.g., atheist/agnostic) could watch the disgraceful TV presentation on this subject or read the NYTimes article, and conclude that the standards of fair minded journalism were met. IOW, any honest person would recognize this as a hatchet job.

But how many fair minded people are left in this society who have no "stake in the game?"

10:01 AM  
Blogger itzik janowitz said...

Adeodatus49,
God bless you and Vir Speluncae
Catholicus, for defending our religion and our Country.
Have posted article on my 8 websites, and will forward it to all of my contacts.
Semper Fi, Gods Blessings
Itzik Janowitz

11:14 AM  

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