Hell’s Bible on the attack with the help of minions

The pragmatical clinchpoops of Hell’s Bible have cobbled together an article written by committee which has no other purpose than to cast the Pope in a bad light.   No surprise.

Written by committee, surely with touching up by the editors of Hell’s bible, this is the sort of headline we will be greeted with everyday for a while.

Church Abuse Scandal in Germany Edges Closer to Pope


Nicholas Kulish reported from Berlin and Rachel Donadio from Vatican City. Gaia Pianigiani contributed reporting from Rome and Laurie Goodstein from New York.

We read this sort of thing three times, not including the title:

  • "ever closer to Benedict"
  • "already come close to the pope"
  • "particularly close to the pope himself"

What Hell’s Bible is doing is trying to set in the mind of the reader that this inevitably will wind up in the Pope’s lap…. it is inevitable.

This is all designed to undermine Pope Benedict’s moral authority.

Doubt it?

"Experts said the scandals could undermine Benedict’s moral authority, especially because they cut particularly close to the pope himself."

What I found especially risible was this [my emphases]:

"Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, who once worked at the Vatican Embassy in Washington and became an early and well-known whistle-blower on sexual abuse in the church, said the [German former VG of Munich under Archbp. Ratzinger] vicar general’s claim was not credible.

“Nonsense,” said Father Doyle, who has served as an expert witness in sexual abuse lawsuits. “Pope Benedict is a micro-manager. He’s the old style. Anything like that would necessarily have been brought to his attention. Tell the vicar general to find a better line. What he’s trying to do, obviously, is protect the pope.” "

I would like to suggest that Fr. Doyle has not the slightest idea what he is talking about.  Anyone who knows Papa Ratzinger at all, knows that the Holy Father was infamously NOT a micro-manager.  He has always self-admittedly been not a great administrator, leaving things to those in key positions under him.

Furthermore, what most US priests don’t understand is that Vicars General in Germany play a far greater role in administration in German dioceses than they do in the US. Talk to German priests.  They’ll tell you that Vicars General really do handle a lot of personnel issues.

In any event, this is all going to be very unpleasant. 

Genuine cases of abuse and genuine cases of hierarchical complacence must be dealt with, but we will be treated to all sort of nonsense of this kind. 

Forewarned is forearmed.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. WBBritton says:

    Another case of the “guilty until proven innocent” mantra of the radical media.

  2. Mike says:

    I read the comments on this article on their website, and oh my, the level of ignorance, misunderstanding, and what appears to be malice directed at the Lord’s Church is, well, amazing.

    And now the wolves are circling the Holy Father. When I am tired, and don’t “feel” like praying, this is one of the things I try to remember to get me going again.

  3. They preen and pride themselves on being intellectuals, but they don’t even recognize the Holy Father as being one.

    They preen and pride themselves on knowing how to tell good from evil, and then they defend the child rapist Roman Polanski while accusing the innocent Holy Father.

    If they had .0000001% of the brains they think they have, they’d know better. But they don’t.

  4. jt83 says:

    Prayers for the Pope.

  5. Brian Day says:

    Pope Benedict is a micro-manager.

    And we should believe this, why? Because Fr Doyle is an “expert witness” in child abuse cases in the U.S.? So Fr Doyle personally knows the Holy Father and his then VG? Fr Doyle intimately knows the workings of a German diocese of 30-40 years ago?

    I’m sorry but this does not pass the ‘smell’ test.

  6. boko fittleworth says:

    Fr. Doyle DOES know what he’s talking about when it comes to the problem.[But he has not a clue when it comes to the Pope “micro-managing”.] He was an heroic canary in the coal mine. He knows the “what” as well as anyone, and he wasn’t afraid to sound the alarm. But Fr. Doyle has been consistently wrong on the “why” from the beginning, and he’s embarrassingly wrong on the “who” here. If the Church had listened to him about the “what,” She wouldn’t be regularly embarrassed about his silly “whys” and “whos.”

  7. Thomas S says:

    It’s also disgusting what the media is doing to Georg Ratzinger. There are claims of abuse in the Regensburg Choir dating before Msgr. Ratzinger took over and they try to dump it in his lap. Plus they try to make hay out of his saying he used to give the occasional smack to a misbehaving student. Corporal punishment in 1960s Germany?! The shock!

    Then today I read a new article on abuse in the Vienna Boys Choir that shows the abuse extends beyond the Church, and the AP casually throws off a paragraph that simply says there was sex abuse in a choir run by Ratzinger. They don’t even qualify that it occurred before his arrival. Why? So they can subtly turn their sensationalism into fact in the readers mind. Anyone unfamiliar with the story already would read it and obviously assume that abuse happened on Ratzinger’s watch, or worse.

    All this sensationalistic yellow journalism has one objective and it is an assault on Pope Benedict and the Church Herself. They’ve spread their lies about Pius XII, they can do it again.

  8. Prof. Basto says:

    Its all over the world now. Brazilian media is also repporting that the Pope, when Archbisop of Munich, accepted the transfer of a priest accused of commiting sexual abuse against minors.

    From O GLOBO (Reuters translation):

    “Pope Benedict XVI took part in the decision to transfer to his diocese a priest accused of commiting sexual abuse against minors, who would then be submitted to therapy, his former Archdiocese informed on Friday. (…) The request to the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising came from the diocese of Essen.

    ‘The then Archbishop took part in that discussion’, said the Archdiocese [I wonder who spoke “for the Archdiocese”].”

    The story continues, mentioning a press release by the Archdiocesan Curia, and claiming that, instead of sending the priest to treatment as had been agreed, the then Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Gerhard Gruber just sent the priest “without restrictions” to a parish in the city. Reuters goes on to quote the Archdiocesan note, according to which “Gruber takes full responsability for the wrong decisions”. The story further notes that, according to the press release, nothing indicates that then Cardinal Ratzinger was involved in the decison of not actually requiring the priest to attend therapy as planned.

  9. Jordanes says:

    Thomas S. said: Plus they try to make hay out of his saying he used to give the occasional smack to a misbehaving student. Corporal punishment in 1960s Germany?! The shock!

    That’s what I was thinking too. He used to slap unruly students — oh the horror! Really, I had no idea the Germans had outlawed corporal punishment. When did they and so much of the rest of the Western world turn into such pansies? It just goes to show how much of this is opportunistic and sensationalised in a barely-concealed attempt to harm the Pope and the Church.

  10. Sixupman says:

    SKY TV have already dug up the case of a priest who BXVI, as a member of the German hierarchy, authorised a priest be sent for treatment for importuning a minor. The priest re-offended and was then prosecuted.

    Whatever, BXVI is going to be the subject of attack by malign influences from both inside and outside Mother Church. Probably in a thrust to topple the Papacy and create the supposed VII concept of the Pope ruling as an equal brother with fellow bishops – probably Protestants to a man.

    Fasten your seat-belts and pray!

  11. Mariana says:

    This is in Finland, too. With the complete self assurance that only total ignorance bestows, the biggest of the serious newspapers here went on about Fr. Georg Ratzinger and abuse in the Catholic Church. I forced myself to read this in order to be able to reply to questions. Well, the paper’s source turned out to be some representative of Wir sind Kirche!

  12. cmm says:

    In the US there was a big change in the mid-1980s where the US bishops’ conference presented the latest findings on pedophilia and showed that therapy did not work, and therefore, that offending priests should not be returned to parishes. For cases that occurred before the mid-80s, the church hierarchy have good reason to say that they were misled by medical experts and made mistakes. (Later cases must be ascribed to willful ignorance and irresponsible leadership).

  13. Andrew says:

    For those who read Italian, http://www.avvenire.it has a good article clarifying in detail much of the background on which all of this smoke is based.

  14. PostCatholic says:

    I agree that Ratzinger is very unlikely to have been personally involved in perpetuating the sexual abuse of children.

    It would be interesting to read your thoughts about the “genuine cases of hierarchical complacence” and the way in which you think they must be dealt. There’s plenty of those cases with less-than-satisfactory resolutions. Have a poke around at http://www.bishop-accountability.org. The moral authority of the Catholic church actually is at stake when its leadership is more concerned about protecting its faithful from scandal than protecting children from intense, irreparable and criminal harm.

  15. Another point that must be considered is that some bishops really did think they were handling the cases of priests in the proper way and they followed the best advice they had at the time: get the guy therapy and see if he can function.

    Today I think there is a stronger tendency to forget the possibility of rehabilitation and an nearly Elizabethan eagerness to watch a public hanging.

    It is all very complicated, especially 40 years – 50 years – after the fact.

    I am simply grateful that the issues are finally being dealt with. I just wish it didn’t have to dealt with also through the filter of a Church and morality hating press, who care not a whit about victims or justice or morals, but only the advertising they can sell and the chance the editors have to attack the Catholic Church.

  16. GWK says:

    The once wealthy US church stands in opposition to the Magisterium regarding the pastoral concerns of homosexual Catholics. A schism exists and the situation is grave. As far as the ‘unpleasantness’ that is to continue regarding Razinger’s malfeasance and ultimately co-conspiracy let the chips fall where they may. Perhaps a lenten meditation on the terror of children (boys) being sodomized by the ‘good shepherds’ may be instructive, oh yeah, it’s messy too. Or alternately why not start a petition to remove cardinal law (small case) from his comfy appointment at St. Mary Major in Rome? True complicity! Christ did not die so that these parasites should live off the avails of the poor and weak. These poor slobs are so far down the ecclesiastical rabbit hole they may never recognize the sound of the ‘trump’ of the archangel when it sounds.

  17. PostCatholic says:

    “Another point that must be considered is that some bishops really did think they were handling the cases of priests in the proper way and they followed the best advice they had at the time: get the guy therapy and see if he can function.”

    Some did. Some didn’t. To pick just one example, Cardinal Egan’s record of inaction as bishop of Bridgeport (accusers not interviewed, witnesses not sought, known abusers transferred) is much more recent. One has to wonder when an expert moral theologian decides to take actions that are contrary to the criminal law, whence this presumed moral authority?

  18. shane says:

    That was certainly the case with the scandals here in Ireland. It was not limited to the Church either. The Archbishop of Dublin commenting on the Murphy Report on Irish TV noted the slackening of diocesan severity in the 1960s. Joe Foyle explained:

    It seems that around the 1960s a major policy change emerged. In line with the secular anti-punishment mood of the times, it was decided that the defrocking sanction was inhumane and that, instead, rehabilitation should be attempted to enable offenders to continue to work as priests. The policy change backfired when offenders re-offended. That hurt children and blighted lives gravely, cost Dioceses and Congregations hundreds of millions, evoked ‘cover-up’ allegations that undermined Bishops and the priesthood in general, and ushered in our current era of Catholic laity who are effectively priestless.

  19. TNCath says:

    As we expected, the National Catholic “Distorter” has already jumped on the “Let’s Bash the Pope” bandwagon. Last week, it was an attack on priestly celibacy. The week before it was about the liturgy. The week before that it was about the Apostolic Visitation of Women Religious. It’s bad enough being persecuted by forces outside the Church. It’s even worse when the persecution is coming from inside as well.

    I’m sure there were all kinds of things going on in the Archdiocese of Munich that then Cardinal Ratzinger knew nothing about at the time. This is not an uncommon occurrence in dioceses or in any organization. Very often, the higher up the person is in a position, the less he knows about what’s going on with the “troops” below. As Father Z. said earlier, when you are dealing with things that happened 40 or 50 years ago, it’s hard to say what truly happened. [I am not so much saying that we can’t determine the truth of what happened, though often that is a problem. What I am really concerned about is coming down so hard on people who were dealing with the problems in the best way they knew how to at the time.]

    This, of course, doesn’t excuse the horrible things that did happen, and the best thing the Church can do now is acknowledge, apologize, and do her best to prevent it from ever happening again. Unfortunately, that will never be enough for The New York Times and other members of the media who hate the Church, to say nothing of SNAP.

    My prayers for all concerned, especially the Holy Father, who seems to be enduring one suffering after throughout his pontificate.

  20. irishgirl says:

    Suburbanbanshee-what you said! Couldn’t have said it any better.

    Prayers for our Holy Father.

    Makes me feel rather grateful that I DON’T have TV or Internet at home right now-reading this garbage would ruin my appetite and give me more sleepless nights.

  21. Prof. Basto says:

    Suburbanshee, I agree with your comment completely.

    But, as a Catholic, I must say that I expect more from the Church then I expect from Roman Polanski.

    I consider myself I faithful subject of the Pope, I don’t condone Pope-bashing, and yes, I believe the pope is being treated injustly and he is wrongfully being bashed for one instance in which he accepted a transfer request in 1980, thirty years ago. And soon after he left Munich for Rome, so he can’t be responsible for what happened he was released from his See.

    That said, I don’t think the Church is still adequately handling this huge problem, a problem that we all know is worldwide, and there is at least anectodal evidence of it in ecclesiastical institutions almost in every Nation. So, appart from the henious crime commited against the children themselves, the FACT of the crimes also greatly harms the salvation of souls, due to the fact that people who are in the Church leave it, and others who are outside don’t come to her because they associate her with those sorts of things, rightly or wrongly. So there is a harm done to the institutional image of the Church, to her moral credibility. In a secularized society such as the present one, the Church is not going to be respected just because she is the Church. The faithful, the committed faithful, know that she is the Bride of Christ, but others don’t. So, a harm is done to the moral authority of the Church, harming her ability to be heard, and to conquer the non-Catholics, the fallen-away Catholics and the Catholics in name only to her fold.

    And it even harms vocations, as the clerical state itself starts go get a bad image in society, by (mostly injust) association. People start thinking (wrongly, but still) that behind rectory doors the prieslty millieu is infested with sex offenders. And even people who don’t think that are still offended. And ashamed. Ashamed for the Church, ashamed of the fact that Church authorities allowed massive cases of abuse to happen, that they failed to report what is, according to the laws of all Nations, a crime. Ashamed for the victims. Ashamed for the fact that perpetrators were given a second, a third, a fourth chance, in a massive failiure in the proper application of the Church’s own canon law, that, if properly applied, would have resulted instead in summary dismissals from the clerical state.

    We cannot condone Church-bashing, but the Church cannot remain that passive about this. The scale of the cases of abuse is impressive, worldwide, and warrants major action on the part of the Roman authorities.

    In the closing lines of its article on the late Holy Father Pope Alexander VI (who was not a paedophile – and so, not nearly as evil as the sexual offenders that perpetrated the abuse scandal -, but had relationships with women, and fathered children, all in violation of clerical celibacy), the Catholic Encyclopedia states:

    “the very indignation that the evil life of a great ecclesiastic rouses at all times (nobly expressed by Pius II in the above-mentioned letter to Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia) is itself a tribute to the high spiritual ideal which for so long and on so broad a scale the Church has presented to the world in so many holy examples, and has therefore accustomed the latter to demand from priests. “The latter are forgiven nothing”, says De Maistre in his great work, “Du Pape”, “because everything is expected from them, wherefore the vices lightly passed over in a Louis XIV become most offensive and scandalous in an Alexander VI” (II, c. xiv).”

    Although Alexander VI was a pope I’m not quoting this as a quote aimed at the current pope. No. Clearly, Pope Benedict XVI leads a holy life; he is no Alexander VI. But I’m quoting this to highlight that, as the passage itself reveals, we always expect great moral examples from the clergy, we expect priests to lead exemplary lives.

    That’s why the actions of a priest cannot ever be compared to the actions of Roman Polanski. Thus, while we must defend Pope Benedict XVI from this abhorent campaign of defamation, we must also recognize that, at least in part, indignation is justified. What is needed now is transparency and action. And yes, whenever genuine cases of abuse are proven, and whenever genuine cases of episcopal complacency are proven, heads must roll.

  22. Aaron says:

    “Another point that must be considered is that some bishops really did think they were handling the cases of priests in the proper way and they followed the best advice they had at the time: get the guy therapy and see if he can function.” — Fr. Z

    Exactly. The Church got into trouble by trying to handle things the way the experts of the time said they should be handled. Maybe it’s easy to forget now just how wacky the mental health field was then, but as one priest abuser pointed out, there were serious theories saying the best way to help a young person with sexual confusion was by experimentation, and that made it easy for him to rationalize his actions at the time.

    That doesn’t excuse it, but it does explain it somewhat. According to the experts of the time, everything could be fixed with enough psychotherapy, so there was no reason to defrock a priest. Just get him some therapy and he’ll be fine (and sometimes they were for several years, before giving in to temptation again), and you don’t have to replace him in the middle of a priest shortage.

    The silly part of all that is that the people bashing the Church the hardest over the scandals today are the same ones who would have screamed the loudest if the Church had ignored those pop psychology theories and kicked out every priest or seminarian caught in sexual perversions, precisely because it would have looked like a purge of homosexuals.

  23. PostCatholic says:

    I really strongly recommend a look through the records of the dioceses which covered up abuse by its clerical employees. What’s interesting especially is the moral clarity in documents from the victimized. They most often are not on “witch hunts”; they prefer to deal with church authority instead of newspapers or criminal courts. Some bishops (the late John D’Arcy, for instance) were very interested the protection of children from predators like the notorious John Geoghan and were silenced by their superiors.

    Really, the facts speak for themselves of the moral failing of the hierarchy. “What’s in a diocesan archive” is a very illuminating article: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ma-boston/archives/PatternAndPractice/sample-documents.htm

    I agree with Rev. Zuhlsdorf that we can be glad “that the issues are finally being dealt with.” I don’t agree, though, that the press hates morality and is merely interested in cheap shots at the church. It may be that they it does like a cheap shot at the Catholic church, but that’s missing the point. What’s made this such a juicy story for them is hypocrisy between what the prelates said they believed, and what they actually did when confronted with a serious evil that has destroyed a great many lives.

  24. PostCatholic says:

    And I see I need to correct my statment: Bishop D’Arcy is alive and well; just retired. Ad multo annos, mea culpa.

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