Of bulletpoints and wolves

Some bullet points about the California case with which APs and others continue to try to smear Pope Benedict.

  1. At the time, the CDF did not have competence in the cases of clerical pedophilia.
  2. The case before the CDF concerned a request by a priest for a dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state. 
  3. It was not a punitive case or an appeal about a sanction.
  4. The request was submitted by the priest and not the priest’s diocese of Oakland.
  5. The CDF didn’t not grant immediate dispensations to men who were not at least 40 years old.
  6. Once the CDF studied the case and the priest reached 40 years of age, the dispensation was granted.
    There was no cover up.
  7. If the Diocese of Oakland was pressing the Holy See to dispense this man so quickly, why did that same Diocese of Oakland permit the suspended priest to work as a volunteer with young people? The Holy See had nothing to do with that.
  8. The AP and now all other MSM outlets who without hesitation or verification pick up the AP’s sloppy work, never bother to do background and ask basic questions about procedures and timing.  They fail in the basics of curiosity, much less journalistic professionalism.

Why are they trying to smear Pope Benedict?

To shut him up or to cast into doubt what he has said and what he will say concerning moral issues.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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


  1. pattif says:

    “Why are they trying to smear Pope Benedict?”

    I think St. Augustine has the answer to this one: like Cain, theirs is ‘…the diabolical envy that the wicked feel for the good simply because they are good, while they themselves are evil’ (City of God, XV, 5).

  2. Anyone who is a parent, has taught school, is in charge of others can recognize the inability for some folks to accept reality and continue to try to “wear down” the authority.
    Give it a rest, MSM!
    Get some decent canonical counsel; we’re getting tired of this hash…it’s not convincing, AT ALL!
    Unfortunately, most people, including most Catholics, who have no idea of what this is all about, will believe this.
    “To shut him up or to cast into doubt what he has said and what he will say concerning moral issues.” That’s it.
    They don’t care about truth; that’s their agenda.

  3. kelleyb says:

    My sense is that the last several weeks barrage against the Pope was a premeditated prelude for the birth
    of the Great American Catholic Church. (NYT article published the same day as the ‘spontaneous’ demonstration at the Vatican.) Our Church will continue to be ravaged in the press. The great birth will be harolded as a new era of enlightenment and inclusiveness this country. That old relic in Rome will be relegated to the dust heap of time. The Pope’s moral authority will be silenced in the US media. The remnants of the Papists will be hounded as hate mongers blah blah (fill in the blank).
    I will continue to pray for our holy Pope. But I will also pray that I am strong enough to accept the graces necessary to stand with him against the marauding wolves.

  4. Theodorus says:

    By sending its minions to smear the Vicar of Christ and vilify the Church, the devil is surely waiting for a great harvest time. Eternal Father, for the sake of Christ’s sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

  5. Rob Cartusciello says:

    As I told my wife this morning, if the Catholic Church were pro-choice, pro-divorce, pro-premarital sex & pro-gay marriage, all of this would have been swept under the table.

    The Church is attacked because it is the sole institution that stands in the way of “anything goes” morality.

  6. Thomas G. says:

    The Church has had it worse – we’ve had Popes kidnapped, tortured, and martyred, and Rome sacked, Lutheran troops pillaging the churches and torturing the clergy – seeming the end of the Church. Not only will the Holy Father and the Church survive this character assassination, it will be better than before.

  7. TJerome says:

    This is political payback from the Democratic Party auxiliary, the press, for not supporting ObamaCare. Catholics who support the press are “Collaborators” not a very nice term in WW II.

  8. Prof. Basto says:

    The Cross of John Paul II’s pontificate was physical pain: assassination attempt, illness, physical disability.

    The Cross of Benedict XVI’s pontificate is this campaign of defamation, of hatred, of misunderstanding against the Roman Pontiff; this constant smearing of the Church and of Her visible Head.

  9. Oneros says:

    But I think 5 and 6 are what people have a problem with…

  10. Oneros: Why do you say this?
    This has nothing to do with civil prosecution; this has to do with canon law. Maybe or not it’s what is just and right; but what is your “beef” with this?
    The “local Church” is many times the problem here. Why is this Rome’s “flub”?

  11. Karen Russell says:

    TJerome, re “This is political payback from the Democratic Party auxiliary, the press, for not supporting ObamaCare. ”

    That may well be a factor, but it is overly simplistic to imply that it is the only reason. This particular media attack is also going full tilt in Canada, Australia, and much of Europe–areas where the “Obamacare” business is almost completely irrelevant.

  12. Randii says:

    This is Rome’s problem, nazareth priest, because Rome knew of this for the longest time and did nothing to fix the local churches. Like replace bishops. In fact one bishp, Cardinal Law, was given a cozy retirement in Rome – in charge of one of the 4 largest churches there.

    If the Pope is the sheperd of the flock then for a long time now, back to the time of JP2, the sheperding seemed to be dubious.

  13. Traductora says:

    kelleyb, was there really an article in the NYT about an “American Catholic Church?”

    I too have felt for some time that this is the actual objective of these attacks, that is, they are an attempt to provoke a schism and spin off a sort of “Catholic Episcopal Church” which would, of course, get all the property and be the best friend of Obama and happily persecute those Catholics who remained loyal to Rome. I think the US is not the only country in which this is the plan, of course, and I suspect that other countries (particularly those that already have some insanely liberal bishops, such as Germany) would also be encouraged or forced to abandon Rome so that we then have an easily controlled confederation of “National Catholic Churches.” They think that if they strike the shepherd, the flock will be scattered.

  14. Randii: Sorry. This is much more complex than you make it.
    Before 2001, there were not the kinds of legislation that are present in place.
    The local bishops were responsible to oversee this; VII and all; I’m not knocking it, at all. But when you put the “subsidiarity” thing into place, you’re going to have some problems.
    As for Card. Law; I have no idea what that is all about. It’s beyond my scope.
    I just know that Pope Benedict’s track record, regardless of what this “hyena” media want to make of it, does not indicate any lack of proper over-seeing, since he was put in charge of CDF and then its charge of the priests who were obviously guilty of either “the crime of solicitation” or the abuse of minors.

  15. Jord says:

    It seems to me that it is those who want to be pedophiles who attack their own wicked version of the Holy Father.

    Regardless of the truth, they will believe their own lies.

    Then, when the last bastion of morality on earth is sundered in their eyes, there will be nothing which will hold them back.

    But, in the midst of the violence of Sodom, when the blood of the martyrs is flowing, then they will say, at least some of them, “Truly these were the beloved sons of God.”

    The Holy Father will lead many to heaven.

    A true shepherd. Facing the wolves. Go Holy Father!

  16. Brian Day says:

    In almost every on-line discussion where the pedophile priest issue comes up and people correctly point out that the Church has substantially cleaned up its collective act, someone will invariably invoke the case of Cardinal Law. Give it a rest!

    We need a new version of Godwin’s Law concerning Cardinal Law and the Vatican covering up episcopal shortcomings.

  17. kelleyb says:

    No, the original NYT’s article, and for that matter, no article has mentioned an American catholic church. I just have a feeling that the NYT article was the first salvo toward that possible end. Various progressive catholic groups have agitated for the ‘necessary changes’ that the Church “must” make to be more inclusive and ‘loving’: abortion-contraception-women priests-same sex marriage et al. I have a sense that the current political atmosphere in the US might foster such a move. The powers of darkness will not prevail over the Church of Christ.

  18. Maltese says:

    *Why are they trying to smear Pope Benedict?*

    On the day the revolutionaries entered St. Etienne in Paris, disinterred the remains of St. Genevieve, put them on a sheet, went out into the sunshine, and with great mirth, flapped the sheets into the wind, and drank a merry song of sedition that night, foretelling their own souls’ demise.

    You can’t say “why” since it has been happening since Christ expelled His last breath.

    That is not to sugar-coat the real concern of priestly abuse; but methinks that that now tired story is the catalyst to a fresh, full-frontal, fanatical attack on the Church.

    What a great target! Even Her own members are internecine!

  19. I say this utmost sincerity: I might be a moron or utterly clueless;
    Why is it such a scandal that Card. Law was placed in Rome after the ‘outbreak” of the 2002 scandal?
    He’s not an ordinary in any American diocese.
    He goes about his business, practically under “the radar’, meaning he’s not doing any damage, that I know of.
    He, although complicit in all kinds of priestly misbehavior and crime, according to the documentation, seemed to be doing “what everyone else was doing”, including law enforcement, the psychiatric/psychological community, the public schools system, which doesn’t make it right, it just was “the way it was” in many respects.
    Why is he the “scape goat” in these rehashed abuse cases; is this wrong that he was basically put into “exile”…do they want his blood? His money? Extreme humiliation? Imprisonment?
    What the heck good would any of that do? The damage is done, and he’s gone. Period.

  20. catholicmidwest says:

    The progressives and news media are always talking about collegiality–how good it’s supposed to be and how it’s increased after V2. So much so that they’ve attempted to split themselves off from the Holy See and exert themselves as policy-makers and administrators.

    It comes home to roost right here. Collegiality, indeed. The mistakes were made in the houses of the bishops with their precious policy-making and “administrating,” which turned out to be little else than sitting around being pompous and favoring their own buddies.

    This is NOT the Vatican’s fault and it’s NOT Pope Benedict’s fault. He’s done more than any person alive to deal with this awful situation and he’s had to fight the bishops here and in Ireland every step of the way.

  21. catholicmidwest says:

    Nazareth priest. He was a token. He still is.

    He was removed to show that the Vatican was willing to do “something.” (He may have been removed for his own safety too. It is Boston, after all, land of the political freaks. And regardless of the fact he broke the law, he was a decent man, compared to most of the idiots in the American episcopacy. He was also a “conservative,” and there was a political aspect to it.)

    The problem is that the “something” they did was as incomprehensible to most people as all the rest of what happened. I don’t know why he wasn’t merely moved out of the way, never to be heard of again. The fact that he was placed in charge of one of the large churches of Rome looked like taunting to many Americans.

  22. Sandy says:

    “…to cast into doubt…” Father, I believe your statement or question is quite prophetic, unfortunately. This whole thing is bigger than what it appears to be on the surface, because it is part of the devil’s plan that has been evolving for centuries. We are in “the best of times and the worst of times”. The Church is in her passion, but there are many blessings and graces at the same time. Just look at today’s feast of Divine Mercy!

  23. TJerome says:

    Karen Russell, the impetus was the US. However, I suspect in countries like England and Canada the bishops have taken positions on public issues which have angered the looney left politicians and media. It’s really the same script, different location. Are the abuse cases in Europe and Canada recent or just tired rehashes of decades old ones?

  24. Roland de Chanson says:


    The Vatican (as well as Law himself) saw his downfall as the result of what they thought of as the malign reporting of the Boston Globe in exposing the abuse scandal. He was (in their opinion) an innocent victim of an irresponsible press.

    Ever since Law had called down the wrath of God on the Globe during the earlier Porter scandal in the neighboring diocese of Fall River (which implicated Law’s predecessor Medeiros), the Globe had had it in for him (in their way of thinking.)

    Law’s resignation paved the way for O’Malley’s accession; O’Malley had earlier cleaned up the Fall River and Palm Beach scandals.

    The cynic in me thinks that the archipresbyterate of Santa Maria Maggiore was Law’s price for taking himself out of the fray and deflecting the media scrutiny elsewhere. Law quipped around the time of his installation, “after Boston, there is only heaven.” Perhaps he was right; if so, a papal basilica must be a palatial pitstop in Purgatory.

    And Law is certainly not invisible or “below the radar” as he sits on some seven congregations including the Congregation for Bishops. His appointment was Wojtyla’s blunder; it is probably asking too much that Ratzinger right that wrong when so many greater evils beset his reign.

    This hubris on the part of the Church will eventually transform the present buffoonish Atellan farce into a classical Greek tragedy which will destroy the Church as we know it. Of the remnant Benedict has already prophesied.

  25. catholicmidwest says:

    I’m afraid I agree with you, Roland.

    And the worst part is this: It’s not that most people who would turn against the church know or care about all these minute details you cite. It’s that the people who decide these things are so completely wrapped up in their politics that it never dawns on them a) how it looks, b) how long it takes, c)what it really appears to mean to most people, and d) what it means for the bigger picture of the Church in history.

    Pope Benedict is far wiser and far more aware than most and I certainly don’t include him in what I’m going to say next. I can’t say that about all the popes we’ve had, or even all the popes I’ve seen.

    Many of the men who run the church, particularly those below the level of the papal office, are quite simply oblivious. This goes double for bishops and their chanceries. Oblivious. As long as they have meetings to go to, their friends are happy, and they have a plate in front of them three times a day, they don’t seem to comprehend anything else.

  26. TJerome says:

    I think the real story should be:have the safeguards put into the last 10 years worked? If they haven’t, then the criticism is legitimate. If they have worked, then this is like white liberals in the US running around apologizing for slavery even though it was abolished in the 1860s and the US has spent billions of dollars over several decades addressing the issues associated with slavery.

    The media would have us believe the Borgias are back. I’m sick of the media because they are left-wing, agenda driven, and reflexively anti-Catholic, the last legitimate prejudice of elites. I’m not buying, and neither should any of you.

Comments are closed.