Catholic League: Hell’s Bible – The New York Times – “gunning for the Pope”

From The Catholic League with my emphases and comments:


Catholic League president Bill Donohue takes on the New York Times:

On March 10, the New York Times ran an article on sex abuse in the Catholic Church stating that in Austria a priest abused a boy 40 years ago. Yesterday, readers learned of a German case where a man says he was abused in 1979. But [NB!] when Rabbi Baruch Lebovits was found guilty last week on eight counts of sexually abusing a Brooklyn boy, the Times failed to report it. This is not an accident—it is deliberate. [Without question.]

Worse, on Saturday, the Times ran a front-page story saying that in 2002, when the sex abuse scandal in Boston hit, the pope—then Cardinal Ratzinger—"made statements that minimized the problem." No quotes or evidence of any kind were given. "Minimize the problem." Interesting phrase. In 2005, the Times reported that in 2002, Ratzinger believed that "less than 1 percent of priests are guilty" of sex abuse (it was later found that 4 percent was a more accurate figure). The Times characterized his remark by saying he "appeared to minimize the problem." Looks like they got their talking points down just fine.

What the Times could have said over the weekend was that on January 9, 2002, three days after the Boston Globe broke the story on sex abuse, it ran a story reporting that Ratzinger had sent a letter to the bishops worldwide saying that "even a hint" of the sexual abuse of minors merited an investigation. But to do so would have compromised the conclusion it sought to reach.

[NB] If the Times were truly interested in eradicating sex abuse, it not only would report on cases like Rabbi Lebovits, it would not seek to protect the public school establishment. But it does. Here’s the proof. Last year, there were two bills being debated in Albany on the subject of sex abuse: one targeted only private institutions like the Catholic Church, giving the public schools a pass; the other covered both private and public. The Times endorsed the former.

Contact NYT Public Editor Clark Hoyt:

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. randomcatholic says:

    Donahue hits the nail on the head on this one.

    We should thoughtfully and carefully email the times our displeasure at their biased coverage.

  2. lofstrr says:

    It sounds almost like God’s Rottweiler has an Irish Pit Bull on his side. :) (is he Irish or Scottish?)

    I am glad he is out there though. It wouldn’t be fitting for the Pope to have to defend himself on this but I also don’t think that a passive, take it on the cheek approach is going to work well here. These guys are going for blood and the best defense may be to start taking the fight back to them. This is slimy and full of agenda.

  3. WBBritton says:

    Am I the only one who seems to notice that the actual perpetrators of the crimes (i.e. the pedophiles) are hardly ever mentioned? Is it just me or does it seem that (according to media reports) only the bishops and the Pope hold any blame for these heinous acts?

  4. TNCath says:

    Get ready folks. I am afraid this is just the beginning of the persecution the Pope and the Church is going to have to endure. The NCR (a.k.a. “The Devil’s Mouthpiece) is just getting warmed up as are the “mainsteam media.” NBC News is supposed to have a story tonight. Oremus pro Pontifice, indeed!

  5. Scott W. says:

    Am I the only one who seems to notice that the actual perpetrators of the crimes (i.e. the pedophiles) are hardly ever mentioned? Is it just me or does it seem that (according to media reports) only the bishops and the Pope hold any blame for these heinous acts?

    We have to tread carefully here because as a high school relgious ed teacher, learned that if any of my CCD students got out of line, it would be my head in the smasher. That is to say, even when the media are criminally uneven in their reporting (which I don’t dispute in the least), it doesn’t change the fact that the buck stops with the bishops when one of his priests goes sour. Find a bad priest, remove them immediately, laicize them, turn them over to the public authorities. Don’t expect a fair shake from the media even if you do all that.

  6. TNCath says:

    Scott W., and WBBriton: “Am I the only one who seems to notice that the actual perpetrators of the crimes (i.e. the pedophiles) are hardly ever mentioned? Is it just me or does it seem that (according to media reports) only the bishops and the Pope hold any blame for these heinous acts?”

    This isn’t about the abuse. The media simply hate the Pope and the Church. If they wanted to address the abuse issue, they would appeal directly to the Archbishop of Munich for removal of the priest in question. It has been continuously reported that Cardinal Ratzinger was not responsible for the reinstatement of the priest. Anyone with as much as a vague understanding of how large organizations work knows that those at the top often do not know the whole story about what is going on with those under him. I’m not saying this is good; nonetheless, it is true. However, the media do not care about that. All they want to do is discredit the Pope because they hate what he stands for.

  7. tired student says:

    Worrying about what the NYT or any other major newspaper has to say isn’t going to solve the metastasizing cancer that is sex abuse in the church. There’s no doubt that the media hones in on the Pontiff and regards him as a punching bag. Still, what happens in Jewish communities, though also horrific, isn’t relevant to the Church’s problems and shouldn’t be used as a foil for gripes about unfair portrayals of the Church in the media. I don’t care what the NYT says so long as the Church does what she needs to save children, young adults, and their families. So what if “the media” singles us out? Pointing fingers at the Grey Lady in a time of grave crisis will simply waste time.

    I pray that the Holy Father would call a Council right now. All the bishops should go back to Rome, sit in the nave of St. Peter’s, and just work through solutions to the horror that is _in part_ the responsibility of some in the episcopate who covered up crimes. Pope Benedict could easily draft an opening address that would contain a very pointed and public plan for the reformation of the current hierarchy, seminary formation, and canon law. This isn’t a crisis that a few words at the Angelus or Rorate Caeli can solve. Why Pope Benedict isn’t standing up and making himself heard with succinct but forceful statements is beyond me.

  8. TNCath says:

    tired student: I am all for a big pow-wow with the bishops. It wouldn’t even have to be a Council, simply a gathering of the world’s bishops whereby the Holy Father would “read the riot act” to the bishops, tell them exactly what he wants them to do about this issue and many others, and send them home to implement his wishes OR ELSE.

    Of course, unfortunately this will likely never happen.

  9. Tradster says:

    tired student:

    I understand but don’t agree with your first paragraph. The majority of Catholics are not strong enough in their Faith, informed enough about their Faith, nor care enough about their Faith to reject the NYT or the rest of the obamedia. So they do need to be called out about their despicable bias. I totally reject the Jewish Defense League and the Muslims but I’ll give them credit for making people think twice about attacking them.

    On the other hand, I absolutely support every word of your second paragraph. “All it takes for evil to succeed, etc.”

  10. greg the beachcomber says:

    Any sexual abuse within the Church is intolerable, and should be crushed immediately. That said, this article is about how the media is spinning events to attack the Holy Father. The last paragraph is key: there are reports out there showing that public school teachers sexually abuse their students at roughly the same rate as Catholic priests. Given the number of public schools in the nation, this is an ENORMOUS scandal that’s being given a pass, both in the press and legislatures.

    So TNCath is right about it not being about the abuse, and if anyone tells you it is, ask them if they’re spending the same amount of time protesting their local public schools.

  11. EXCHIEF says:

    While it is usually a good idea for prominent leaders to resist responding to criticism and, in fact, let others rise to their defense in this particular case I believe the Pope must take a firm and very public stand in defense of the Church. There is no question that the anti-Catholic public and the clearly anti-Catholic media are gunning for the Church. The timing couldn’t be worse from a lot of perspectives not the least of which is this week’s battle to keep Obama’s pro-death bill from passing. The U S Bishops have spoken against the bill but if the media ignores that and instead plays “the Pope allowed a sexual deviate priest to keep his job” story enough the Bishops’ statement is marginalized at best.

    I agree that the Pope needs to call together all of the world’s Bishops and clearly establish the rules for dealing with the abuse issue. Thus far it has been done, or at least is perceived as having been done, on a country by country basis. It is now obvious that this is a world wide issue and there must be one and only one firm protocol in place for dealing with such allegations.

    At the same time it might be good for the Pope to cover some other issues like the decline in obedience to him as the Vicar of Christ on earth, the need to support rather than argue against liturgical revisions and the Mass in Latin, the need to deal with so-called Catholic politicians who openly defy the Church and give scandal, the need to openly and strongly oppose abortion, embryonic stem cell research and same sex marriage. In other words, there are many important subjects to justify a meeting in Rome. The Pontiff needs to be clear and firm on all of these issues and spell out the consequences for disobeying his direction (which too many Bishops will). At the conclusion an “executive summary” of the Church’s position needs to be widely disseminated. To trust the Vatican newspaper to do that is misplaced trust. The Pope has argued for the use of all current electronic media–this would be a good time to use it.

    The Church is under attack by those who would distroy it just like our democratic form of government in the USA is under attack by Islamic extremists. The day of physical persecution of Catholics cannot be far behind as our enemies are setting the stage for that as we speak. It’s now or never and as smart as the Pope is I think he must realize it.

  12. John 6:54 says:

    3 Our Fathers & 3 Hail Mary’s isn’t going to make this sin go away. Yes the NYT has a selective agenda as they always have…

  13. doanli says:

    Yes, Bill Donohue IS God’s/Holy Mother Church’s Rottweiler! :) Great man.

  14. catholicmidwest says:

    What’s interesting is that in the news in the days prior to all this child abuse coverage, I was seeing Gabriel Amorth coverage. Coincidence? Don’t think so.


  15. Timbot2000 says:


    It was my observation, based on the 1980’s that, if heterosexual unions are counted, the rate is MUCH higher among public school teachers than the Catholic priesthood, of my high school teachers, I can think of two (that I know of) who had availed themselves of the coeds charms, there were likely more.

  16. New Sister says:

    It just makes me sick what CNN (Hell’s tabernacle) is doing in their “sex abuse scandal” piece tonight- mocking our precious art, the priesthood, our altars, the TLM. I’m on duty tonight where a muted TV is spewing out these images non-stop…the ignorant non-Catholics around me are not even aware of the devils workings here, invading their minds. St Michael…

  17. The worst of the persecutions is about to come.

  18. irishgirl says:

    Arrgh-this why I don’t have TV right now, or read much of the papers. I would only get ‘agita’ with everything that’s going on.

    Good for Bill Donohue to stand up and defend our Holy Father! Yes, he is an Irish Pit Bull!

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