“The documents were not written by me and do not resemble my handwriting.”

Just a reminder about how everyone must question the veracity and motives behind all reporting by the New York Times (aka Hell’s Bible).

A few days ago I posted – and many others have now posted – a statement by Fr. Thomas Brundage who was the judicial vicar for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee at the time that the monstrous Fr. Murphy was being tried in an ecclesiastical process.

Fr. Brundage makes some things clear – within the parameters of what he was free to reveal – about the bad reporting of the New York Times and others.  I conclude that the mass media outlets were either abysmally incompetent in their "reporting" or they were intentionally and with malice trying to smear the reputation of the Pope, and the Church, by distorting the information they were given. 

Fr. Brundage posted his own clarifications on CatholicAnchor.org.

Let’s have a look at a section of Fr. Brundage’s clarification.  You have probably read this, but some things bear repetition for the sake of the truth.   With my emphases and comments.


With regard to the inaccurate reporting on behalf of the New York Times, the Associated Press, and those that utilized these resources, first of all, [NB] I was never contacted by any of these news agencies but they felt free to quote me. Almost all of my quotes are from a document that can be found online with the correspondence between the Holy See and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. In an October 31, 1997 handwritten document, I am quoted as saying “odds are that this situation may very well be the most horrendous, number wise, and especially because these are physically challenged , vulnerable people.” Also quoted is this: “Children were approached within the confessional where the question of circumcision began the solicitation.”

The problem with these statements attributed to me is that they were handwritten. The documents were not written by me and do not resemble my handwriting. The syntax is similar to what I might have said but I have no idea who wrote these statements, yet I am credited as stating them. As a college freshman at the Marquette University School of Journalism, we were told to check, recheck, and triple check our quotes if necessary. I was never contacted by anyone on this document, written by an unknown source to me. Discerning truth takes time and it is apparent that the New York Times, the Associated Press and others did not take the time to get the facts correct[And that is because they are either incompetent or they had a motive.]

Additionally, in the documentation in a letter from Archbishop Weakland to then-secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone on August 19, 1998, Archbishop Weakland stated that he [i.e., Archbp. Weakland] had instructed me to abate the proceedings against Father Murphy. [Weakland, not Card. Bertone] […]

Second, with regard to the role of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), in this matter, I have no reason to believe that he was involved at all. Placing this matter at his doorstep is a huge leap of logic and information.

Third, the competency to hear cases of sexual abuse of minors shifted from the Roman Rota to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith headed by Cardinal Ratzinger in 2001. Until that time, most appeal cases went to the Rota and it was our experience that cases could languish for years in this court. When the competency was changed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in my observation as well as many of my canonical colleagues, sexual abuse cases were handled expeditiously, fairly, and with due regard to the rights of all the parties involved. I have no doubt that this was the work of then Cardinal Ratzinger.

Fourth, Pope Benedict has repeatedly apologized for the shame of the sexual abuse of children in various venues and to a worldwide audience. […]

Finally, over the last 25 years, vigorous action has taken place within the church to avoid harm to children. Potential seminarians receive extensive sexual-psychological evaluation prior to admission. Virtually all seminaries concentrate their efforts on the safe environment for children. There have been very few cases of recent sexual abuse of children by clergy during the last decade or more.


Father Thomas T. Brundage, JCL

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    the mass media outlets were either abysmally incompetent in their “reporting” or they were intentionally and with malice trying to smear the reputation of the Pope, and the Church…

    How about: they are deliberately incompetent in order to accomplish their real mission, which is to destroy the Church, the only society on earth which still resists their master’s plan to enslave us all?

  2. Dr. Eric says:

    Honestly, I think that journalism was, is, and always will be yellow journalism because that’s the point of journalism, to sell ad space and papers/internet subscriptions.

  3. Scott W. says:

    Disclaimer: I have s00per paranoid anti-Catholic radar. That is, I see anti-Catholics under rocks most others wouldn’t even think of.

    Having said that, I don’t think that is the primary NYT motivator. Certainly they think the Church awful when it isn’t silly and will never miss a chance to score a hit on it when they can, but what is really behind this is that journalists drunken love of power which compels them to try and make the news rather than report it. It’s deliberate agitation for the sake of agitation.

  4. momravet says:

    Scott W is right. Ever since Watergate, the news media have been in love with the fact that they can make the news, after all, they brought down a government. Read a survey somewhere of what the media members beliefs are and they skew far to the left of Joe and Jane voters beliefs. Plus, every Christmas, Easter, Fathers’ and Mothers’ Days for the past 20/25 years we’ve been deluged with stories about the evil, Catholic church and evil parents. This is propaganda intending to indoctrinate the apathetic masses so that they will accept state secularism as their religion and the state control of their lives and their childrens’ lives. Kruschev said that we would bury ourselves and we have.

  5. southerncanuck says:

    Just would like to add to the “finally” paragraph. It seems that the Church has made efforts to dissuade homosexuals from going into the seminary. That seems to be the core of the problem here the last 30 years.

  6. KarenLH says:

    This business reminds me of Rathergate. I’m half expecting someone from the NY Times to say something about “speaking truth to power”.

  7. Fr. Brundage is to be commended for his article. An excellent refute to the garbage in the NYT.
    He was interviewed on Laura Ingraham today (I heard it while doing errands on the radio)…he is very articulate.
    Archbishop Listecki, the new Ordinary of Milwaukee, our former bishop here in the Diocese of La Crosse has also spoken out about how Pope Benedict and Rome had nothing to do with the “Wisconsin case” debacle; it was somehow mishandled on the “local scene”.
    Maybe this whole mess will rally the faithful, the bishops, the priests who are authentically Catholic, love Pope Benedict, and are sick and tired of the MSM having all kinds of manipulative and damaging influence upon the faith of people, both Catholic and non-Catholic.
    It could be a moment of grace for us. Prayer, penance, and love for the Church, our Holy Father, are the answers here. People have to stand up to this evil.

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