This Diabolical Campaign


Benedict XVI

Harrased by a Loud Few...Loved by a Silent Many

A lot has been said about the Clerical Child Abuse scandals gleefully reported tabloid style by the media. Sadly the opinions of many(even Catholics) has been moulded by biased reporting by the mainstream news media which seems to be motivated by a desire to bring the Catholic Church down. I thought I would never have to write on this here but I am Catholic and cannot keep silent. I have seen my comments along with similar ones of others being moderated out on the BBC’s World Have Your Say blog and CNN’s In the Field blog  for lame reasons (‘too long’ explained Nuala McGovern of the BBC  in an Email sent to me). The ideas in these article were put to gether from a string of comments (9) on the BBC Have your Say’s Facebook page.

First things first: Pedophilia is EVIL. The catholic Church has always taught,teaches and will continue to teach this even when  the likes of the Party for Neighbourly Love, Freedom, and Diversity (Partij voor Naastenliefde, Vrijheid en Diversiteit, PVND, ) have their way in Netherlands and the rest of the world and pedophilia becomes as acceptable as homosexual acts once ,considered as wrong, now are. By the way the one in the forefront of the fight against PVND is Fr. (yes, Father as in Catholic Priest!) Fortunato di Noto . This kind of information seems to be missing from the sensational news reports.

Here are a few falsehoods propagated and insinuated by the major news media that can easily be broken down if only people were more interested in the truth than in hearsay:

That pedophilia is rampant/widespread/endemic in the priesthood.

While even a single case of pedophilia in the priesthood or in the whole world is one to many to call it widespread is a falsehood easily shown by simple statistics:

In the United States a study was carried out, for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice ( ‘I’m surprised’ the ‘journalists’ at the BBC CNN and New York Times haven’t)  according to the study:

the total number of Catholic priests and deacons in the United States who have been accused of sexual abuse of children is 4,392…2.7% of all the priests in the US.

Similar of even lower percentages can be produced for Germany(of the 210,000 registered cases of sexual abuse in Germany since 1995, only 94 are related to people or institutions of the Catholic Church, 0.045%)., Ireland, Brazil etc. To label any group of people as paedophiles based on such a statistic is simply unfair if not downright libelous.

That pedophilia is peculiar/most common/occurs only among catholic priests.

The most recent “Child Maltreatment” report compiled by the US Department of Health and Human Services identified 60,253 different perpetrators of sexual abuse of minors in the U.S. during 2008. Statistics from all 50 states show 56% were parents or other relatives and 8.8% were a parent’s unmarried partner. The category “other professionals”, which includes “clergy, sports coach, camp counselor, etc.”, accounts for 349 perpetrators (0.6%).

Again the devil is in the statistics which is also similar in other parts of the world. How does less than 0.6% of all abuse cases merit the thesis bandied about by the ‘expert reporters’?.

That many priests are paedophiles because they are not allowed to marry…

The lamest of them in my opinion and the one always suggested recommended in the reports. See above for the statistics that blows away this claim

Clerical Scandal is a problem of Celibacy…Celibacy not lived faithfully. Does anyone seriously think that marriage is a cure for wayward sexual tendencies? (Ask Tiger Woods and John Terry). The Priest who are guilty of this scandalous crimes will be just as likely if not more likely to do the same outside the priesthood. It is because of these kinds of sins that the church insists on the very attainable virtue of chastity and gets criticized for it. If you read the John Jay report you would notice that most of the reported cases occurred in the decades 60-70;  the years when the even more widespread dissent from church teaching (especially regarding sexual norms) by priests and theologians along with the BBC, New York Times, Planned Parenthood et.al was upon the church. In those heady days of the sexual revolution there ere quite a few who saw the taboo of ‘loving’ very young girls or boys as one of the ‘shackles’ to be broken (remember Lolita?). We are in the Church reaping the fruits of this as, I insist, one incident is one too many.

We cannot therefore trust Priests or the Catholic Church  as the educators of our children

Ditto all teachers and educators especially in state-run institutions…
Here is a 2004 Department of Education report on “Educator Sexual Misconduct”, which estimated that 9.6 % of pupils are targets of sexual misconduct by teachers or other school staff sometime during their school career another piece of information left out by the ‘reporters’

Here are some interesting excerpts

‘Few students, families, or school districts report incidents to the police or other law enforcement agencies. When criminal justice officials are alerted, it is almost always because parents have made the contact. […]As one consequence, abusers are subject only to informal personnel actions within the relative privacy of school employee records.’

And another…

None of the abusers was reported to authorities and only 1 percent lost their license to teach. […] 15 percent were terminated or, if not tenured, they were not rehired; and 20 percent received a formal reprimand or suspension. Another 25 percent received no consequence or were reprimanded informally and off-the-record. Nearly 39 percent chose to leave the district, most with positive recommendations or even retirement packages intact. Of those who left, superintendents reported that 16 percent were teaching in other schools and that they had no idea what the other 84 percent were doing.’
(this is from a 1994 investigation which identified 225 teachers in New York who had admitted to sexually abusing a student)

The overlooked purposely hidden homosexual dimension

80% of the reported cases in the John Jay report were on boys. (Now that’s endemic)
Well maybe this is why the Church tries to keep and should men with homosexual tendencies who are not willing to fight it but see it as their identity from the priesthood…and is criticized by the same media for it!

The Cover ups

The alleged cover ups are the most painful part of the whole thing…But let us get things clear…coverup from who?

Is a protection of the accused who is innocent until proved guilty while the allegations are investigated coverup?

What happens if someone (priest or not) has been accused of abuse and found to be innocent after everything. Surely some if not many priests have actually been falsely accused. There are cases when the victim identifies the Priest from memory alone after decades and not knowing the name of the priest at the time. Or cases where a teen of 16-17 years with a crush on a priest accused him because attempts to seduce the priest was rebuked. The accused has a right to his good name until proven guilty. Also the church never prohibits the cases from being reported to civil authorities.

Mistakes were made and things were not properly done (and the Code of Canon Law is clear on these things), but more than any other institution the Catholic Church has been the one who has done the most in accepting that the scandals have occurred, apologizing (most times with a lot of money) and taking on the crises head on and from the root.

Benedict XVI…

Here lies the real motivation behind the attacks…

Bishops were not obliged to send cases of priests accused of abuse to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith CDF until 2001 with John Paul II’s  motu proprio Sacramentum Sanctitatis Tutela. Before then only cases where the sacredness of the confessional was abused were referred to the CDF which was why the infamous Fr. Murphy case got to Rome. Since then one can say that hard action has been taken. Benedict XVI has contributed to the solution than to the problem. This is clear in the fact that clerical abuse is falling and this whole hype is  based simply a digging up of events (mostly anecdotal) that happened decades ago.

Effects

This scandal has done a lot of harm as all scandals do. One sees why Jesus Christ pronounced such hard words against those who cause his ‘little ones to fall’. But what should be the Catholic response? First, humility we are capable of such but for grace (don’t we deserve our own millstones?). We also need faith; faith in the holiness of the Church which is not because the members are holy but because it head -Christ- is all-holy. Even if the Pope is shown to be guilty of these abuses the above statement will remain true (there have been Popes in the past who were ‘sinners’). Even this ‘effect’ is being hyper inflated by the media.

Concluding thoughts…
Nixon was hated by the media mainly because he appealed over the heads of the ‘opinion-formers’ in the media to the ordinary, unfashionable, family loving, church going ‘middle americans’. And he had to go down for that…and the media made sure of that with Watergate.

One doesn’t need to look too hard to see that the mainstream media doesn’t like Benedict XV: in 2005 he was attacked for having been enrolled by force in the Nazi youth; in 2006, it was his citation of a Byzantine emperor was taken out of context; then he was branded a homophobic for saying in his annual Christmas message that the distinction between men and women is central to human nature, and this order, set down by creation, should be respected. In 2009 it was his comments on the way to Cameroon that condoms were not the solution to the AIDS (as if it wasn’t true). Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church consistently go against the ideal the mainstream media stand for, and he knows how to defend his faith. This scares the crap out of the self-styled ‘experts’ who feel that only dumb and dis informed people disagree with them. When the see they can nail the church on matters of promiscuity they can help climbing over themselves in the rush to weaken the moral authority of the church on these issues.

But of course we shouldn’t be surprised. Jesus himself predicted this (John 15:18-19).

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16 thoughts on “This Diabolical Campaign

  1. You have not only done justice to this topic, but have also outlined the main cause of the outburst . . .
    The part I like is “Jesus himself predicted this”.

  2. Not to worry Ikenna, you’ve got as much right to get angry – Catholic or not. This sorid media agenda setting is certainly more than the media responsibility to seek and report the truth.

    However, when the truth becomes stained by a parnoid approach that only seeks to reflect the hate of anything Benedict, then no one can remain silent any longer.

    I cannot keep wondering that this is the same world that cried wolf on his election as very conservative. They wanted a liberal pope, they didn’t get one. Yet the shout against him is precisely because he came down hard as expected. Others being a combination of lies and half truths

    Thanks for givng the world another fresh perspective, that is balanced and lacks the bashing outrage of a cordinated propaganda against Pope Benedict 16 and the Catholic Church.

  3. i agree that the criticism is excessive, but i don’t agree that the Catholic Church plays the victim here. what is important, like i said in my blog post, is that the Church come clean with ALL allegations of abuse, and deal with each case. those guilty should be defrocked. from now on, there should be zero-tolerance for anyone found guilty of such acts. that has NOT been happening in times past and we must face up to this.

    • I said it and will say it again: every single act of abuse of minors is a grave sin which ‘cries out to heaven’ whether it is by a Priest or layman or Pagan or Atheist. When the scandal broke in the US a zero tolerance ‘one strike and you are out’ was the stance taken by the US bishops and it is working abuse cases (new cases) have been falling at least in the US since 2002. The same can be said for the whole world as 2001 was the year when the CDF took responsibility for these cases and have let the Bishops know the gravity if the crises…The crux of this matter is that this effort, unparalleled anywhere else is being overlook on purpose by the media who -I insist- have an axe to grind with B16 in particular and the Catholic Church in general

  4. Is a protection of the accused who is innocent until proved guilty while the allegations are investigated coverup?

    That’s the problem. The Church hierarchy, including Cardinel Ratzinger, did their best to ensure there would be no civil investigations. It’s simply unconscionable that priests were allowed to continue to rape and torture children for so long. By covering up their crimes, the Church demonstrated where its true concerns lay: its own reputation, and not the victims.

    The criminals who perpetrated these crimes and its coverup need to be brought to justice. At the least, there should be criminal investigation from which even the Pope should not be immune.

    • Robert, to say that Cardinal Ratzinger and the Church ‘did thier best to ensure that there would be no investigations’ is the kind of falsehood that this article is against. Do you have any facts to support this statement apart from the libel carried around by the New York Times et.al. Has the government in the US, Germany and Ireland done more to address the other 99% incidents of sexual abuse of minors than the Catholic Church in these Church in these countries for their less than 1%.

      Even in criminal investigations there is some protection for the suspect who is guilty till proven innocent…knowing that people will be falsely accused

      • Do you have any facts to support this statement…

        Yes, I do.

        Do you have any facts to support your claim that the news media, including the Times, are “motivated by a desire to bring the Catholic Church down”? You’re accusing them of a vast conspiracy. Where is your support? Perhaps the Catholic Church is “motivated by a desire to bring the rule of law down”. That would certainly ease a lot of its troubles, wouldn’t it?

    • Hi Robert took a look at your blog and will one day comment on your ‘was Atheism the cause of 20th century atrocities’…
      To your link I did not have to guess to much that you evidence will come form the New York Times. Another hearsay article with the normal lines
      ‘ but that Father Gruber refused to rule out that “the name had come up.”’
      “But the memo, whose existence was confirmed by two church officials” (they could be anybody)
      This Robert is another hearsay article…If the Times were intent on a criminal investigation why not get hard evidence?

      Ok so what do you want that the Pope resign?…Ok if I agree. You are american I presume what about the 60235 incidents cited in your countries child maltreatment report 2008. Why are your jails not full of pedophiles? Why is no one harassing the US police force, The US educational board, the Government…With a whooping 60000 kids being molested in the US Obama should be asked to resign because unlike the Church the government is not doing anything serious about it…I mean to get porn even Pedoporn is no big deal. American media is soaked in so much sex that it is small wonder that one in twenty adults according to a CNN survey has molested a child… Is is not he UK government that is considering giving sex education to 5 year old…Not only the Pope, Robert.
      I’m sure you will have your own story about witnessing first hand sexual abuse by a Priest…if so why did you not report? You should also go to Jail on that ground

      • Another hearsay article with the normal lines…

        Er, practically everything newspapers, or any media for that matter, report is “hearsay”. When you read any newspaper, do you throw it on the ground and yell “hearsay”? I doubt it. The Times is reporting what someone said, in this case, what particular Catholic Fathers said or confirmed.

        Ok so what do you want that the Pope resign?…

        No, I want there to be a criminal investigation of him and other members of the Catholic hierarchy, conducted by the civil authorities. None of this hush-hush secret investigation performed soley within the Church.

        Why is no one harassing the US police force, The US educational board, the Government…

        A red herring. The issue is the Catholic leadership’s longtime cover-up of pedophile priests. The misdeeds of others don’t absolve Catholic misdeeds.

        I’ve still yet to see any facts supporting your claim that the media are “motivated by a desire to bring the Catholic Church down”. You seem very insistent that allegations against the Church are supported by facts. So why aren’t you supporting your allegations with any facts?

      • A red herring. The issue is the Catholic leadership’s longtime cover-up of pedophile priests. The misdeeds of others don’t absolve Catholic misdeeds.

        Of course they don’t but when Clerical misdeeds consisting of less than 1% of all incidents are treated selectively as the ONLY offender then one gets suspicious of whether the motive really stems from love of the victims rather than hatred of the Church. For if it did stem from a true concern of the victims these reports would highlight the true extent of Pedophilia especially in the families (for instance single parent families with live-in boyfriends). Longtime cover up? I thought these thing were brought to light in the US in 2002.

        The best book so far written on this issue was written as far back as 1996 by a non-catholic Philip Jenkins(do take some time to read the first page of the book in the reader and compare it with waht is being said today) at a time similar to now when there was much the same news about Clerical Abuse Scandals.to use your words the media reports are a red herring

  5. I appreciate the time and effort you took to do the write up. The media is hell bent on tarnishing the image of the church and all it stands for because it does not susbcribe to the own view of liberialism. All the media hype is selfishly motivated with no definite goal to help the victims or even strenghten the church. No matter the noise they make one thing is certain the gates of hell will not prevail against the church.

  6. Of course they don’t but when Clerical misdeeds consisting of less than 1% of all incidents are treated selectively as the ONLY offender…

    Funny, there’s nothing in the news media about prosecutors pursuing only Catholic clergy for child rape. Where are, you know, the facts that Catholic clergy are being singled out?

    Your cognitive dissonance is blinding you to why people are outraged. It’s not simply that Catholic clergy raped children, but also:

    1) The Church’s cover-up and delay in refering the priests to the civil authorities when the allegations of abuse surfaced.

    2) The Church’s moving of alleged pedophile priests to different parishes where they could abuse more children.

    3) The Church’s concern for its own reputation over the welfare of the victims.

    4) The Church’s attempt to deflect blame for the scandal to anyone from Jews, to gays, to the news media.

    More evidence of this pattern appeared a couple days ago, where it was disclosed that Ratzinger delayed the defrocking of a priest in Oakland, CA for years for “the good of the universal Church”.

    • Did you actually read the article you linked to the end?
      On that and on whether the Pope deserves the blame he is getting see here

      I agree that some Bishops in the church have made grave mistakes and have not be firm in tackling the issue of which on case is too many. But we know is all too easy to retrospectively judge others…It is one thing that there were procedures that can be improved (and were improved by BXVI for your information) regarding what to do with cases. It is another for the people who were supposed to carry them out failing to do so (for this BXVI has apologized many times). Another is the Church’s perenial teaching on this issue. It is a grave Sin just like fornication, Abortion, Adultery, Homosexual acts, rape, pornography etc. And I and many others trust that the Church will continue to condemm these things in her members and in society even if the opinion formers allow pedophilia into the list of acceptable action like the others listed. This is why unlike many other insitutions the Church can look at herself acknowledge her mistakes and apologize to the victims.
      Some questions…
      1. Why doesn’t the NYT the Guardian, The BBC, CNN etc report the pedophile scandals which are more frequent with more instances of coverups in other insittutions eg the Armed forces, the Boys Scouts the schools, hollywood etc with the same coverage as it does the Catholic Church?
      2. Why is it that the reports fail to focus on the offender (the Rapist) but rather on the Bishops the Pope (especially BXVI)?
      3. Why is it that most of the cases cited in the reports occured in the 70’s.
      4. Why is it that the reports always bring in the issue of Priestly Celibacy, the Credibility of the Church’s teaching or of Religion given that Pedophilia is not even rampant among the clergy?

      Anyone with a sense of objectivity (no matter how cognitively dissonant) can see that the media have merged with the mob. They are not standing outside the crowd, coolly examining the facts. And it is a great disservice to peolple like you and eye who expect unbiased information.

      I suggest you visit this The media have merged with the mob. They are not standing outside the crowd, coolly examining the facts.

      Here is a site you can look up for another side of the reports
      You can also read this

      • The articles you link to are not convincing in the slightest. Let’s start with the first one titled “Message to the lynch mob: the Pope is innocent”. Its author claims, “The time Rome took over each defrocking says nothing whatsoever about cover-up or collusion. It says only that defrocking was then a complex and elaborate procedure that took too long.”

        What a crock. It took Ratzinger four years to decide whether to defrock the Oakland priest–and then only to decide against it! In the meantime, the priest continued to rape children in other Catholic institutions. Ratzinger was aware of the priest’s crimes, but chose instead to bury them “under a complex and elaborate procedure” in order to protect the Church’s reputation.

        The author further states, “Some try to make out that Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2001 letter orders a cover-up by insisting that parties observe secrecy under pain of excommunication. What it actually says is that confidentiality should be observed during church trials, to allow the victims to give evidence freely and to protect the accused until found guilty.”

        The Catholic church is not an arm of the civil authorities with the right to perform criminal trials, and yet Ratzinger attempted to assert that very thing. From the article linked to by the author:

        “Father John Beal, professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America, gave an oral deposition under oath on 8 April last year in which he admitted to Shea that [Ratzinger’s] letter extended the church’s jurisdiction and control over sexual assault crimes.”

        The author goes on to state, “There is nothing in that letter preventing victims reporting the case to the police, and the assumption is that they should.”

        Yet, again, this is flatly contradicted by article:

        “The Ratzinger letter was co-signed by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone who gave an interview two years ago in which he hinted at the church’s opposition to allowing outside agencies to investigate abuse claims.

        ‘In my opinion, the demand that a bishop be obligated to contact the police in order to denounce a priest who has admitted the offence of paedophilia is unfounded,’ Bertone said.”

        I’ve already stated why this scandal has generated such outrage. That you chose to ignore it and continue to put up smokescreens like “Hey! There are lots of other pedophiles too! Why not go after them?” demonstrates a moral compass gone seriously awry.

        And where are those facts about a media conspiracy you’ve alleged?

      • About the kiesler case you spoke about

        It took Ratzinger four years to decide whether to defrock the Oakland priest–and then only to decide against it! In the meantime, the priest continued to rape children in other Catholic institutions. Ratzinger was aware of the priest’s crimes, but chose instead to bury them “under a complex and elaborate procedure” in order to protect the Church’s reputation.

        read this and/or this. i hope the difference at least between suspension (defrocking) which was done by the Bishop and Laicization, requested by Kiesler himself, supported by his Bishop and delayed by the CDF.
        About the biased reporting on this issue see here, here and here….and even here

        As to the Church’s procedure regarding clerical abuse see here
        It’s funny that the link you refered to did not care to put a link to the official latin or even the english translation of the document in question.

        This is the part in the real document that you speak about:

        It must be noted that the criminal action on delicts reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is extinguished by a prescription of 10 years.(11) The prescription runs according to the universal and common law;(12) however, in the delict perpetrated with a minor by a cleric, the prescription begins to run from the day when the minor has completed the 18th year of age.

        After looking up the Code of Cannon law canon cited as 12 i think that the documents speaks of criminal action by the CDF and does not say anything about criminal action by civil authorities. The prescription is for penalties to be given by the CDF. I may be wrong but this look like a explanation consistent with the CDF own procedures fro dealing with cases of clerical abuse (quoted above) which clearly states that ‘Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed’.

        Chew on this properly and reply. I expect it

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