The state-owned media in Australia offers a sober assessment of the Church and a clear-headed and calm way forward in dealing with Benedict XVI:As Mark--astonishingly!***--admits, believing that Pope Benedict XVI is a good pope who is doing his best does not mean that Catholics are obligated to believe our Holy Father never ever made any prudential errors during his tenure at the CDF, or indeed, at any point along the way of his life of ministry.Why then do we not bomb the Vatican and obliterate Italy for harbouring this criminal mastermind, this known protector of evil predators? Why do we not pursue him through the sewers of Europe and riddle his corpse with bullets?Turns out the answer is not, "Because that is the demented spewing of a mind warped by insane hatred of the Catholic faith" but rather "Because Benedict is white."
This, among many other reasons, is why I find it so hard to credit the constant recommendation of MSM journalists that I get down on my knees in gratitude to them for their sterling and knightly high purpose of Reforming the Church. To quote Robert Bolt's St. Thomas More, "This is not Reformation. This is war on the Church." And it is using abused children as human shields. These people have not the slightest interest in knowing or caring what they are talking about. Point out that a slanderous misrepresentation of Pope Benedict has not a dram of truth to it, and the reply is: "So, once again, you fail to see the real issue here, and are more concerned about the problems of the Church and its survival, than of ridding the organization of pederasts and their enablers." Because, of course, the only way to Save The Children is to lie about the Pope. Conversely, any attempt to say, "But the Pope is not the Bad Guy here" is to ignore the victims. It's classic mob mentality. [...]
Me: I don't buy any of this media BS. Once the frenzy is over, we will be pretty much where we were before the frenzy. There is simply no evidence at all that Benedict transferred pedophiles, covered up acts of perversion, endangered children, or did any of the other hideous things that our lying journalist class has now convicted him of in the court of public opinion. The day, I pray, will come when the public will wake up with a hangover and realize they have participated in the maligning of a very good man. Similarly, the day will, I pray, come when Catholics stop stupidly believing that the key to reformation of the Church is "listen to those who wish to destroy the Church and sow salt on Her ashes." This, like those stupid revisionist accounts of the gospel were Jesus says to Judas, "You're the only one who really understands me" is, what's the word?, oh yeah, "idiotic". Reformation will come by living out the teaching of the gospel. [All links in original--E.M.]
But being a halfway decent human being, let alone being a good Catholic, requires one to, you know, actually pay attention to details and weigh evidence and look at these cases in context, not pontificate that we know the Pope was involved in cover-ups, because we know, because everybody knows, because it's common knowledge, because the New York Times said, because we heard it from somebody somewhere, etc. The Court of Public Opinion is a kangaroo court; it makes daytime television look balanced, and reality TV look intellectual.
Nobody is denying that the Scandal has been devastating, first and most of all for the innocent victims for whom we should have the greatest concern. Nobody is denying that it would be a good idea if the Church would universally adopt rules not unlike the Dallas Charter (taking into consideration local conditions and needs, of course; in countries where the victim is likely to be more in danger from being publicly identified in a court case, for instance, it might not be good to mandate handing things over to state authorities). Nobody thinks that reform is unnecessary.
But siding with the "any stick to beat the Church" crowd has never turned out well for the Church, or for Christianity generally. And scapegoating the one person who has both the power and the will to effect reforms in the Church would be an act of cutting off the nose to spite the face--an act of stupid futility.
***Because, of course, only rigid clericalism which thinks that no priest anywhere has ever been in the wrong could be behind an attitude which says the pope isn't a bad sort, at all, and ought to be given a chance to fix things.