A useful summary of the controversy

The UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald, has a useful summary of the controversy which has lately engulfed the Holy Father and the Church.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Last night on ABC there was a story on Fr Maciel. Cardinal Ratzinger was the only one pushing for an investigation of him.


  2. Padre Steve says:

    Archbishop Dolan writes a great post on the matter:
    God bless him for standing up to the New York Times!

  3. Glen M says:

    The secular mainstream media never misses an opportunity to attack the Church. I’ve read the Boston Globe ran more stories on the so called sex scandal than they did on WWII. This latest round of lies and false accusations is baffling. I’m giving the conspiracy theory of Obama’s administration initiating the smear campaign serious consideration.

  4. Mariana says:

    Engulfed the PRESS, I would say.

  5. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Jimmy Akin has, in my opinion, done the best summary yet:


  6. Toan says:

    “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith handled the case because of the claim that Murphy abused the sacrament of Confession.” (Catholic Hearald)

    “The matter of solicitation in the sacrament of confession required notifying Rome, but that too could have been done as early as the 1970s …. Archbishop Bertone…recommends using pastoral measures to ensure Father Murphy has no ministry, but without the full burden of a penal process. It is only a suggestion, as the local bishop retains control.” (de Souza’s article)

    Was de Souza’s statement that solicitation required simply notifying Rome incomplete? In other words, was the CDF responsible for handling Fr. Murphy’s case in that last year, or was Weakland responsible for handling it (with the CDF giving suggestions after notification)?

    I need to know what to tell my aggravated friends about that.

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    Toan: I need to know what to tell my aggravated friends about that.

    Tell them that, contrary to what they have read in erroneous press reports, the CDF in Rome did not have jurisdiction over clerical sex abuse cases in the 1990’s. Indeed, it received such jurisdiction later at the best of Cardinal Ratzinger.

    The local bishop (Ab. Weakland) asked — 20+ years late, on might argue (a separate question) — for CDF advice how he should proceed because of question involving abuse of the sacrament of confession. As Jimmy Akin reports plainly in the NCRegister article linked above, Ab. Bertone writing for the CDF told Weakland, “Go ahead, prosecute him,” (as Mr. Akin puts it)

    But by now, Fr. Murphy was on his death bed, having been effectively isolated since his offenses had surfaced in the 1970’s, and died 4 months later.

    In short, there’s just nothing here to justify all the hullabaloo. In contrast with so many previous cases when some responsible head probably should have rolled.

  8. Bressani56 says:

    Thank you for posting this important summary article.

    Everyone should read this.

  9. Toan says:

    Henry: Thanks! So, from beginning to end, Ab. Weakland had the authority and responsibility to follow through with the prosecution. The CDF just gave advice. It’s a bit misleading to say that the CDF “handled” the case after the report of the confessional abuse, then, right?

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