WSJ: A different tone of coverage about the German scandal

You know that the MSM is clicking and smacking their spittle-flecked chops at the chance to bite at the Pope.

The Times and the NYT and AP are good examples of twisted coverage which aims at guiding the reader to their predetermined conclusion. 

With my and From the :

Sex Scandal Finds Pope’s Diocese

Amid German Priests’ Abuse Cases, Pontiff’s Munich Home Base Describes His Role in Decisions on an Offender in 1980


VATICAN CITY—A burgeoning sex-abuse scandal among German priests escalated on Friday with a disclosure by Pope Benedict XVI’s former archdiocese[NB: The Times Hell’s Bible and its satellites would have said in its opening that it was the Pope’s diocese, period… that the guilt was getting closer and closer… etc.] which said a priest known to the church as a sex abuser had been returned to pastoral work there while Benedict was the presiding archbishop in 1980.

"It was decided to house (the priest) in a vicarage so he could begin his therapy," the statement said, adding that then-Archbishop Ratzinger "helped make this decision."

In Feb. 1980, General Vicar Gerhard Gruber[Vicar General] the top administrative official in the Munich-Freising archdiocese, decided to return the priest to a parish in Munich, where he worked as a pastor "without any further restrictions" on his ministry, the statement said.  [Again, the VG often would handle issues like that in a German diocese.]

Note the different tone taken by  compared to the NYT or Times or AP.


In your discussions you need to keep clear that the role of a Vicar General in German dioceses can be quite a bit stronger in personnel matters than in other countries. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA, The Drill. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. PostCatholic says:

    If Ratzinger was not personally involved in a conspiracy to conceal child abusers from the law, I’m sure that the evidence will bear that fact out. As I’ve said before, I highly doubt he acted in the nefarious and criminal way so many Irish and American bishops did; it just doesn’t ring true with what I have known of the man. And as you said, anyone who imagines Ratzinger with a strong hand on the administrative tiller is not acquainted with his gentle and collegial style. Sunshine being the best remedy for calumny, I say that the Munich officials would be best to speak the truth plainly.

    And if I may rise on a point of information: I’m not familiar with your shorthand. To which Times are you making reference (New York, London, Los Angeles), and for which news organ do you pejorate as “Hell’s Bible”?

    As for the role of a Vicar General, it can be that strong in an American diocese. I can think of a few ordinaries who spent little to no time on operational matters, preferring to delegate such things to a VG/moderator of the curia/auxiliary bishop/coadjutor/some combination of those titles.

  2. Magpie says:

    I think Fr Z refers to NYT as ”hell’s bible”.

  3. cmm says:

    Between the spin coming from the “hell’s bible” and the counter-spin coming from the Vatican, right now it is almost impossible to figure out the truth. I feel confident that Pope Benedict, when he was Archbishop, didn’t do anything any more questionable than what other bishops and archbishops were doing at the time. But that might already be bad… In any case, I wait with some anxiety for the details to come out.

  4. doanli says:

    You KNOW our mainstream media is just (probably literally) drooling over this.

    Trouble is, as my former parish priest told me, common psychology teaching at the time was that these people could be rehabilitated. What a horrible error.

  5. Maltese says:

    *You know that the MSM is clicking and smacking their spittle-flecked chops at the chance to bite at the Pope.*


    There REALLY are some shit-eating folks in the media, just waiting to pounce, and use their little minds, and little talents to belittle anything good out there! They use their small talents to get under the skin, and like cock roaches, annoy to death those trying to do good things. They lurk, and wait about with shifty eyes, waiting to see anyone who may slip-up in the slightest manner so they can write about it the next day. They make their money through others’ mistakes and foibles. Therefore they wait for and yearn for nasty things. The media is like Judas: it’ll kiss you for a story…

    I avoid the media like the plague; I’d rather be bitten by a spider than speak to the media. They want one thing: to sell your soul to the devil, and have change left over. Seriously, I’ve been burnt belittled and bitten by the media. Stay away from them, shun them as a demon-in-waiting. They don’t love you or care about you, they just want, and demand, the thing that makes money for them, even if it destroys and defames you.

    So, if a media person ever confronts you, though you may be tempted by the cameras behind him, shun it and walk away as fast as you can!!

  6. As an undergraduate at the Johns Hopkins University in 1974, I was told, in a public lecture during for a class in psychology by the professor (full and tenured) that “children who have had sexual relations with adults are not harmed by this; the only negative result comes from people becoming too upset over this and traumatizing the child.” And I was told in the same class by the same professor: “those who sexually abuse children almost always never do so a second time if they receive some therapy.” This is verbatim from my notes from that class.

    When are bishops going to stop listening to the “professionals” and simply apply canon law? As the report of the study group in Ireland said, the problem there is that the bishops violated the clear canon law of the Church and failed to discipline criminal clergy.

  7. Theodorus says:

    Those agents of the devil will continue to use every opportunity to attack our Holy Father and the Church. They have no interest in truth/fact whatsoever, since their master is the father of lies.

    Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, protect our Holy Father; Mary Help of Christians, pray for our Holy Father! Amen.

  8. Steve K. says:

    Fr. Thompson, that is interesting (and horrible) to hear. It seems to me there is some (deliberate?) amnesia or compartmentalization on attitudes towards sexual sin by the intelligentsia. Witness people who strive to find the slightest connection of the Holy Father to a pedophile in his diocese to do him in, yet amongst that class of people one will find plenty of defenders of Roman Polanski, for example. There was an article in the recent First Things called “How Pedophilia Lost Its Cool.” Attitudes toward this problem was quite a bit different not so long ago. It is not surprising that the Church got bad advice from “experts” neither surprising that there are people in the Church who have adopted these evil views. No one should be surprised with the catastrophe that the embrace of modernity – particularly modern sexual views – has brought us.

  9. PostCatholic says:

    “When are bishops going to stop listening to the “professionals” and simply apply canon law?” How about applying common sense and the sort of ordinary sense of justice that the laity seems to have in abundance over these prelates? The sort of clerical tunnel-vision that “applying canon law” is what ought to be done is what is fueling the ethical outrage. Keep it up. More for our side.

  10. Grabski says:

    Maltese Language Please!

  11. Scott W. says:

    When the secular pluralists grow weary of the incoherent doctrine of consent, then their outrage will no longer be directed at church hierarchy’s failings regarding sexual misconduct, but that it insists retaining an “outdated” doctrine. That is to say, their outrage is flavor of the month.

  12. Gail F says:

    It’s true that for several decades the accepted psychological opinion was that children were not particularly harmed by sexual abuse, and that it was a pretty simple thing to cure. One can hardly blame the church for trusting all the professional psychologists who told them so. An excellent book on the way child sex abuse has been seen over the years is Philip Jenkins’s “A Moral Panic, Changing Concepts of the Child Molester in Modern America.” We have gone to the opposite extreme now, so that it’s not uncommon to hear people opine that a child who was sexually abused in any way is “scarred for life” and “can never recover,” which is absurd — and cruel as well. There are all different types of sexual abuse, and a child who was groped once is lumped in with a child who was raped by a relative hundreds of times over a period of years.

    However, this attitude has long since been disproved, and the American church obviously messed up big time. What I find interesting and horrifying now, though, is that the European church seems to have messed up even more — deciding that the whole thing was an American problem while they were covering up the same thing! There was no good option, if by good one means keeping the church from scandal. Was there a better option than what the bishops did? Is certainly seems that there couldn’t be a worse one…

  13. kradcliffe says:

    Whenever I hear someone say, “I won’t take the Church seriously on moral matters since they raped all those kids,” I always think, “You sound happy to have that excuse.”

    I really think that there are many people who are OVERJOYED to hear about this child abuse.

    I also fully expect that someone will simply be paid to lie and say that they were abused by Ratzinger, personally. I honestly do. That sort of story would sell for a lot of money to the tabloids, and there have to be people out there who would pay a lot of money just to be told such a story so that they could scoop it.

  14. eulogos says:

    Kradcliffe, such a thing never occurred to me. Oh, how I hope you are wrong! God help us all!
    Susan Peterson A’73

Comments are closed.