Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lucia Another rebuttal defending the Pope from the latest attack by CNN

The CNN documentary hatchet job on Pope Benedict XVI screened recently in America has been responded to in a vigorous way by William Donohue in the linked article.  Every assertion made by the show has been countered and goes to show that truth,when it comes to the Holy Father is not the goal.
From top to bottom, what CNN did was the televised version of what the New York Times did in print form earlier in the year. The goal was to tarnish the image of Pope Benedict XVI, making him out to be a co-conspirator in the scandal. Though it came up empty handed with proof of his culpability, there was enough innuendo to convict Snow White.
As an example:

Father Lawrence Murphy, who allegedly molested some 200 deaf boys in Wisconsin in the 1950s, is covered in depth. But it didn't go far enough. What was omitted is startling.

Tuchman reports that "Father Murphy's case would come to the direct attention of Cardinal Ratzinger." (My emphasis.) The viewer then waits in vain for evidence that Murphy's case came to the direct attention of the pope. There isn’t any. We know that Terry Kohut, who was one of Murphy's' victims, wrote to Ratzinger's office, but neither CNN nor the New York Times (which first reported on this story) has ever provided evidence that Ratzinger was personally involved in this case.

Jeffrey Anderson, who has made tens of millions suing the Catholic Church, and hates the Church with a passion, is asked point blank by Tuchman, "Do you think Cardinal Ratzinger knew about the case of Father Murphy?" Anderson parses his words in textbook lawyerly fashion. "Well, we know the letters went to his secretary, [Tarcisio] Bertone." This is not in dispute. But was Ratzinger directly involved? Anderson adds, "thus, that Ratzinger was directly involved." So because Bertone fielded the letters, thus Ratzinger was directly involved? That Tuchman never challenged Anderson is telling.

Here is what CNN did not tell the viewer. The crimes alleged against Murphy extend to the 1950s, yet the civil authorities were not formally asked to investigate until the mid-1970s; following a probe, the police dropped the case. Fast-forward to 1996, the first time the Vatican is notified. The Vatican decides to ignore the fact that the statute of limitations has expired and orders a trial. Melodramatically, CNN characterizes the internal inquiry a "secret church trial," as if internal probes at CNN for employee wrongdoing are televised.

CNN, like the New York Times before it, never bothered to interview the one person who may have known about Ratzinger's knowledge of the case, Father Thomas Brundage. He was the Judicial Vicar, the one who presided over the case between 1996-1998. When asked this year about Ratzinger's role, he said, "At no time in the case, at meetings that I had at the Vatican, in Washington, D.C. and in Milwaukee, was Cardinal Ratzinger's name ever mentioned." Brundage added that he was "shocked" when the media tried to tie Ratzinger to the Murphy case.

In CNN's eyes, if there was one hero in this case, it was the Archbishop of Milwaukee at the time, Rembert Weakland. It credits him writing to Ratzinger in 1996 asking how to proceed against Murphy, noting that Weakland acceded to the Vatican's request to stop the trial, knowing the priest was dying; Murphy died two days later. But there is much the viewer does not learn.

Weakland was anything but a hero in dealing with sexual abuse. In 1984, he branded as "libelous" those who reported cases of priestly sexual abuse, and was rebuked by a judge for doing so. In 1994, he accused those who reported such cases as "squealing." Moreover, he had to resign when his lover, a 53-year-old man, revealed that Weakland paid him $450,000 to settle a sexual assault lawsuit (Weakland fleeced church coffers to pay the bill).

With regard to the Murphy case, Weakland is again anything but a hero. Last spring, in a section called "Documents Trail" posted on the website of the New York Times (alongside an article by Times reporter Laurie Goodstein) there is a revealing letter from the Coadjutor Bishop of Superior, Wisconsin, Raphael M. Fliss, to the Vicar for Personnel of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Father Joseph A. Janicki. Bishop Fliss says, "In a recent conversation with Archbishop Weakland, I was left with the impression that it would not be advisable at this time to invite Father Murphy to work among the deaf." The letter was dated July 9, 1980. So why did it take 16 years for Weakland to contact the Vatican about Murphy? CNN does not say.

Related link: CNN hatchet-job on the Pope ~ SperoNews

2 comment(s):

scrubone said...

The whole recent thing is bizare.

We've known about these historical problems for years, and the issues with dealing with them so why has it suddenly become a major scandal again?

It's old news. And it's not like any of the various organisations who've had similar issues have handled it any better.

Lucia Maria said...

Not so bizarre if you look at it from the perspective of destroying the moral authority of the Pope.

It's been done before with Pius XII. Now, because of a play called The Deputy, a great deal of people believe he didn't do enough in WWII to save lives.

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