Sydney Morning Herald columnist with her head screwed on straight

A reader down under said that Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald has a piece about how the Holy Father and Church have been attacked.

Let’s have a glance.

Evildoers, not Pope, to blame
April 15, 2010

Miranda Devine
Sydney Morning Herald columnist

The pursuit of the Pope reached absurd heights this week with news that atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have asked the Australian barrister Geoffrey Robertson to draw up a case to arrest Benedict XVI for alleged cover-up of paedophilia in the Catholic Church.

That these exhibitionist atheists should seize on the tragedy of child sexual abuse by a small minority of Catholic priests to pursue their vendetta against religion is stomach-turning. [OORAH!] Dawkins has become shrill with excitement, describing the Pope as ”a leering old villain in a frock”.

He said the Pope "should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice – the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gouging, truth-hating, child-raping institution – while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, around his ears”. From what deep cesspool of hatred do those words spring?

But it is even more nauseating to read about the priests who abused children [I agree.]


Just to contemplate the depths of human depravity can make you wonder about the value of life at all. But it also has to be said that if paedophilia seems to be on the increase, it has been enabled by the eroticisation of our culture over decades, and even priests are not immune.

Why, for instance, should the Dutch be surprised by the launch in 2006 of a paedophile party, the Charity, Freedom and Diversity (NVD) party, which wanted to cut the age of consent from 16 to 12. Since dissolved, it was just another step in the continuum of social disorder in which the taboos and social norms protecting children break down.

In a similar vein were moves in 2003 by psychiatrists at an American Psychiatric Association conference to stop classifying pedophilia as a mental disorder, thus normalising it as just another sexual preference.

It is the Catholic Church which has been most vocal about the breakdown of moral order, from paedophilia to abortion. And this has made it a target of those who object to moralising they regard as an infringement of their freedoms.

You can read the rest over there.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I made the mistake of glancing at the first few comments on that article. Very discouraging.

  2. greg the beachcomber says:

    I made the mistake of glancing through the first few pages of comments on that article. I think I saw one comment that agreed with her. The level of atheism, anti-Catholicism and outright hatred of religion (pretty much all the same thing) in Australia makes one’s heart sick.

  3. Norah says:

    Miranda seems to be damming the Church with faint praise. She refers only to paedophilia and does not mention the abuse of older boys which made up the majority of sexual abuse claims. She says ” The Pope may have made mistakes” – what mistakes? and “defensive pronouncements from the Vatican and other church leaders have been needlessly provocative diversions – one has linked homosexuality and paedophilia and another claimed the church is being attacked because it is anti-abortion. This is not helpful. Nor is attacking the media. ” Is it surprising that people in the Vatican would speak out about the untruths being put out by the media? Is the telling of the truth a diversion? She does not mention the numerous articles whch point out the errors in the media’s understanding of documents and the outright bias shown by the media. One only has to read the comment boxes to see hw successful the campaign against the pope and the Churh has been.

  4. JP Borberg says:

    Wrt the ‘defensive pronouncements from the Vatican’, I think Miranda might have a point. What has weakened the Church’s credibility, and what the Pope is being attacked for at the moment, is not the fact that priests were sexually abusing people, but rather that many Bishops (that is, the institution of the Church herself) were actively protecting these predators. Rounding up what abusive priests remain doesn’t seem to be an issue to those outside the Church. What the world wants to see (and by the world, I mean the people on the street, not the MSM), and feels it hasn’t seen, is the hierarchy admitting it’s failure in that regard, and seeing some bishops and cardinals thoroughly slapped down for their role in the scandal.

    Ok, the Pope has made some statements to this effect, and some changes have been made, and such statements and changes haven’t been given sufficient emphasis by the press who are out for the Pope’s blood. And yes, they are more or less making stuff up in order to attack him. But the PR from the Vatican, as usual, isn’t helping the issue.

    Yes, the Vatican is more than entitled to state the facts clearly when falsehoods are being spread by the press. But all statements must bear in mind that there is just grounds for attacking the Church, even if the MSM are twisting those grounds to follow their own agenda. The Vatican should be constantly admitting the failings of the hierarchy, and those who were responsible should be punished publically and severely, in a way that the world can see justice being done, whether the MSM want them to see it or not. That’s what the people in the street expect from a moral authority, and that’s what they need to see if they’re going to take the Church seriously on this or any other issue. But this is what they haven’t seen.

    So all this talk of the abuse being the fault of homosexuals is counterproductive, whether it’s true or not. If homosexuals were abusing kids and they’d been stopped, there’d be no scandal. If heterosexuals had been abusing kids and had been stopped, again, there’d be not global problem. The sexuality of the offenders is irrelevant in the eyes of the world. What has shocked people is the Church’s defence of the offenders. The Church’s efforts need to be towards showing the world that it knows such defence was wrong, and is now a thing of the past, and that those responsible are being brought to justice.

  5. Scott W. says:

    So all this talk of the abuse being the fault of homosexuals is counterproductive

    No it isn’t because homosexual acts between a priest and a post-pubescent boy is either wrong or it isn’t. It IS wrong of course, but to media it is only wrong if it is a priest doing it. Everywhere else its glorious according to them. Any sex between a priest and anyone should have sever disciplinary consequences and anytime it is with anyone under the age of 18 it should carry the most severe disciplines. So when at least 60% of the cases are of these are between priests and post-pubescent boys compared to the less than 10% that are true paedophile cases, while ALL should be watched against, concentrating on the lesser is a misallocation of effort. Both/and, not either/or.

  6. Denis says:

    I like what Peter Hitchens had to say about his brother’s vendetta against the Holy Father . I know now why he’s known as “the reasonable Hitchens. Want to see the psychological and moral benefits of being a Christian? Compare these two siblings.

  7. Laura says:

    *sigh* are we really surprised that the Church is being persecuted? Didn’t He warn us that this would happen? Wasn’t He just crucified?

    I was actually pleased to hear on the BBC program World Have Your Say today a pretty good discussion with two vocal defenders of the Church making some really good points. This is a show where people from all over the world phone in… so there were some interesting comments.

    And the local (Oregon) show had a different institutions sex scandal on as their topic– The Boy Scouts of America. Which I didn’t listen to… but what glad it wasn’t about the Church!

  8. Rob Cartusciello says:

    I, too, made the regrettable mistake of reading the comments. I shouldn’t have read the comments section of a few other articles, either. It causes too much spiritual distress.

    Psalm 52 was my most recent consolation:

    Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man?
    Why do you boast all day long,
    you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?

    Your tongue plots destruction;
    it is like a sharpened razor,
    you who practice deceit.

    You love evil rather than good,
    falsehood rather than speaking the truth.

    You love every harmful word,
    O you deceitful tongue!

    Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
    He will snatch you up and tear you from your tent;
    he will uproot you from the land of the living.

    The righteous will see and fear;
    they will laugh at him, saying,

    “Here now is the man
    who did not make God his stronghold
    but trusted in his great wealth
    and grew strong by destroying others!”

    But I am like an olive tree
    flourishing in the house of God;
    I trust in God’s unfailing love
    for ever and ever.

    I will praise you forever for what you have done;
    in your name I will hope, for your name is good.
    I will praise you in the presence of your saints.

  9. Peter in Canberra says:

    but now in the same Sydney paper today you have this almost unbelievably hate-filled article.
    “The enforcer with a gentle manner” by PAOLA TOTARO

  10. JARay says:

    Yes Peter, Paola Totaro did indeed write a hate filled article, covering up her venomous ways by smarmingly talking about meeting Pope Benedict on his plane after World Youth Day in Sydney and saying how the Pope gently held her hand as he talked to her.
    None of you will know that a similar attractive young woman here in Perth was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for smashing a beer glass into the face of another young woman and leaving her disfigured for life. She has succeeded in being granted bail whilst she awaits a further Court appearance because her lawyer has lodged an appeal against the severity of her sentence. This pretty, but very nasty young woman and Paola Totaro have much in common. They both think that because they are good looking they can get away with having the vilest of natures.

  11. Hey, there is POLL under that article and your votes are sorely needed!!

  12. Hidden One says:

    No kidding:

    “Poll: Do you support attempts by atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens to have Pope Benedict XVI arrested over his handling of child sex abuse claims?

    Yes, what happened to these children is horrific and the Pope should be held accountable for his role in the cover-up. – 82%
    No, they are using the terrible tragedy of child sex abuse to pursue their vendetta against religion. – 18%

    Total votes: 4344.

    Poll closes in 12 hours”

  13. We must look beyond the actions of individuals to the huge forces of good and evil that battle each other through our smallest actions. ‘The individual’ is fantasy conjured up at the Protestant Reformation. There are no individuals, only soldiers in the armies of Christ and Lucifer. So, don’t be shocked or unnerved by the strength of these old hatreds, or their sudden eruption to the surface of society. These are just the precursors: prepare for worse.

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