So It Attacks The New York Times for Telling the Truth; Denial is Also a River That Runs Through Rome
Ah, nothing like a tsunami of stories about pedophile priests to put a damper on Holy Week. And it seems like the Vatican has had enough -- with the media coverage, that is.
Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the Associated Press: "I am not proud of America's newspaper of record, the New York Times, as a paragon of fairness."
This harrumphing is over the startling and sad story by Laurie Goodstein about how the church mishandled the case of a Wisconsin priest accused of molesting deaf boys, even though officials knew going back to the 1950s he may have been up to no good.
What has the Vatican incensed, though, is that Goodstein reported that Milwaukee's archbishop sought to have the priest defrocked and appealed to the office run by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, and was apparently discouraged from pursuing further action. At no point did the Times report that edict came from Ratzinger. But Levada still views that as guilt by association, and he's not a happy camper.
But, of course, as a Times spokeswoman pointed out to the A.P., the Church never disputes the accuracy of the article. It merely doesn't like what it says.
Just for chuckles, I looked to see what Bill Donahue, the president/mouthpiece of the Catholic League had to say about this, if only because Donahue always reflexively attack anything and everything that even remotely smacks of being anti-Catholic. He didn't disappoint.
Donahue also went into kill-the-messenger mode. "Why did the victims' families wait as long as 15 years to report the abuse? Why were the civil authorities unconvinced by what they uncovered? Why did Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland wait almost two decades before he contacted the Vatican?"
Again, Donahue never says that they're lying. But that doesn't stop him from questioning motives anyway.
That's typical Donahue and it appears the Vatican is reading from the same playbook. That's a mistake, yet another one it has made as this scandal begins to spiral out of control.