Media Bias Over Papal Canonizations

The satisfaction and indeed joy that Catholics can derive from the double canonization of Pope-Saints John XXIII and John Paul II cannot be significantly compromised by the objections that some have raised with respect to the Church’s action elevating the two of them to the honor of her altars. Still, it was disconcerting, for example, to learn of the opposition of some traditionalists to the canonization of “Good Pope John” because he had convoked the Second Vatican Council, which the traditionalists think harmed the Church. But to instance a particular official action as a reason for disbarring this pope of such manifest personal goodness and kindliness is to forget that sanctity pertains to one’s personal life and behavior, not to one’s official actions in office or to the effects of those actions.

Then there was the vulgar piece by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd about John Paul II opining that because “he presided over the Catholic Church during three decades of a gruesome pedophilia scandal and grotesque cover-up, he ain’t no saint.”

The president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Bill Donohue, immediately and properly responded to this charge in a press release entitled “Maureen Dowd Lacks Guts,” pointing out that Dowd herself works for the current president and CEO of the New York Times company, who was himself silent in a notorious pedophilia case at the BBC where he formerly worked, and about which he had to have been privy long before the case was ever finally exposed. And yet he has remained silent to this day. Dowd pointedly does not apply to him the standard she requires of John Paul II.

Bill Donohue also correctly pointed out that the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church was never, in fact, a “pedophilia scandal” in the first place. 81 percent of the verified cases involved Catholic priests engaged in homosexual relations with older boys, not younger children. To be sure, these cases were no less immoral, according to Church teaching, but they were precisely not “pedophilia,” as critics such as Dowd obstinately continue to claim.

Ironically, in view of the knee-jerk support typically given to “gay rights,” even by many of those otherwise so quick to condemn the Church in the case of her alleged “pedophilia scandal,” it is not entirely clear what the moral basis might be for their condemnation of the Church’s clerical sex-abuse cases. These cases obviously are morally wrong and deplorable, but how can this be so for someone who accepts and even celebrates homosexual behavior?

Actually, as documented in the Winter, 2014, issue of the journal, The Family in America, there is definite a new movement afoot within the broader culture to legalize and normalize pedophilia itself, as has already been the case with homosexuality. Thus, it is not clear how much longer pedophilia can be used as a club with which to beat the Catholic Church. No doubt it will continue to be used as a club until it suddenly becomes recognized and even celebrated as the latest instance of human liberation from hidebound and outmoded sexual morality and mores.

In the meantime, though, the denial by a Maureen Dowd of the sanctity of a St. John Paul II can presumably seem not just possible and plausible but true and right. The same thing is true of a vile Washington Post cartoon that appeared a few days after Dowd’s Times column. This cartoon prominently featured a poster proclaiming, “Prevent Child Abuse”—to which a smaller cartoon figure standing by asks, “What do you call somebody who drags his feet on identifying and punishing abusers”? To this question, another small cartoon figure holding a leaflet titled “John Paul II” replies: “Saint.” In small letters at the bottom, no doubt making reference to the Vatican’s longtime reputation for dragging things out endlessly, it is further asserted: “They can move fast when they want to.”

Cartoons, notoriously, simplify things. Even well-established and indisputable facts can get lost. One salient fact that has gotten lost today is that the clerical sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, along with the disgraceful record of episcopal cover-ups which accompanied it, was primarily a phenomenon of the 1960s through the 1980s, that is, at the height of the sexual revolution. And then there is the further fact that, after the media exposés of the cases of abuses and cover-ups from 2002 on, when the U.S. bishops, in panic mode, adopted their Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the clerical sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church very soon became “history” in the true sense of the word. For effective safeguards were instituted and put in place.

Today the Catholic Church in the United States has one of the best records of child protection of any major social institution, especially by comparison with, e.g., the U.S. public school system—and, apparently, the orthodox Jewish rabbinate. As the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, again, has reported, in 2013, in a population of more than 40,000 Catholic priests, there was a grand total of “credible accusations”—not convictions!—adding up to the massive number of only—ten!

And this record has been consistent. In the past five years, in fact, there has been a yearly average of only about eight credible accusations made annually against Catholic priests in America, all 40,000 of them. There is no factual basis upon which the Catholic Church in this country can continue to be depicted as in the throes of a “pedophilia scandal.”

However, the fact remains that Maureen-Dowd-type columns and Washington-Post-type cartoons unfortunately do continue to be common, indeed pretty much the norm. This is the same false basis on which the UN Committee on Torture, for example, recently faulted the Church as somehow guilty of “torture” in implementing her teachings—as, earlier, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child had also severely criticized Church teachings. As long as the lies continue to be believed about the Church, similar attacks on her—as on the newly canonized St. John Paul II!—will no doubt continue to be made both self-righteously and with impunity.

Still, the public vilification of Pope Saint John Paul II at the time of his canonization surely marked some kind of low point in journalistic ethics. That the head of a 1.2 billion-member organization would—or could—know the details of crimes committed by a tiny minority of his clergy in more than 5000 dioceses around the world would be the remarkable thing. It is true that the Polish pope was at first reluctant to credit accusations of the kind of clerical sex abuse that the Communists under whom he had had to function for so many years in Poland had been so adept at manufacturing.

No doubt too a man of his acknowledged personal holiness found it hard to believe that ordained Catholic priests could be capable of acting against chastity in the way that the priest-abusers were reported to have done (though it might have occurred to him that some of those tempted and prone to engage in this kind of abuse might well have deliberately chosen the clerical state as a cover). However that may be, nothing that the pope ever did or did not do added up even remotely to what Maureen Dowd felt able to style as “presiding” over “nearly three decades of a gruesome pedophilia scandal”—which she thought meant that he “ain’t no saint.” But this is just slander.

It was never in any case the pope’s personal responsibility to monitor the behavior of everybody down the line in his worldwide organization. This would have been a sheer impossibility—unlike being necessarily aware of the notorious predations of a criminal pedophile in one’s own immediate organization, as apparently was the case for Maureen Dowd’s boss when he was at the BBC. The double standard of judgment here leaps to the eye.

The cases of clerical sex abuse that occurred in the Catholic Church during the pontificate of Pope Saint John Paul II were always the responsibility of the bishop in each of the dioceses where they occurred; and it is quite true that many of these bishops did indeed let the pope down badly; but that in no way reflected upon his own personal sanctity, nor on the Church’s judgment that this sanctity was in fact nothing less than heroic and thus definitely merited the canonization that has now happily taken place.

Catholics can affirm and rejoice in the manifest holiness of this successor of Peter, who in so many other ways was such an outstanding leader as to be called by many “the Great.” We too can now honor him as John Paul II the Great, the Saint!

Kenneth D. Whitehead

By

Kenneth D. Whitehead is a former career diplomat who served in Rome and the Middle East and as the chief of the Arabic Service of the Voice of America. For eight years he served as executive vice president of Catholics United for the Faith. He also served as a United States Assistant Secretary of Education during the Reagan Administration. He is the author of The Renewed Church: The Second Vatican Council’s Enduring Teaching about the Church (Sapientia Press, 2009) and, most recently, Affirming Religious Freedom: How Vatican Council II Developed the Church’s Teaching to Meet Today’s Needs (St. Paul’s, 2010).

  • Dick Prudlo

    The imposition of sainthood upon the good Pope John and JPII are a clear and present exposition of the state of the Church. The current method of sainting (sic) illustrates the histrionics.

    Now it must be understood that Maureen Dowd does not qualify for the expletive of Trad, as Mr. White may say. We all know that the true deceivers of Faith are found among that bunch, no Mr. White?

    Even the NeoCatholic recognizes that prudence hardly played a role in these proceedings. And why is it that so many are so critical of the criticisms many find in these acts? After all, we all know the real Catholic Church didn’t start at Pentecost, but in Rome in 1962.

  • Watosh

    Interesting the speed that Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II was canonized, yet the canonization of Pope Pius the XII has been delayed. Again, the speedup in the canonization process represents a marked change in canonization procedures. It is naturally for some to wonder about.

    Our society seems to want instant gratification in everything. Look at the military men during the few times they appear in dress uniform rather than the rumpled baggy fatigues that they normally wear now, their chests are covered with medals. In earlier times medals were few and hard to come by. And when we observe an unseemly rush to judgment on canonizing now, it is naturally to wonder. Particularly when so few Popes have been canonized over the thousands of years of church History, yet now it seems like the only qualification for canonizing a pope is his support of Vatican II. I think some of us have legitimate concerns that the canonization process has been cheapened. Of course anyone who dies in a state of grace and enters heaven can be considered a saint, so no one is saying that the recently canonized Popes are not saints, it is that it would be better to take more time and see what histories verdict is before canonizing anyone. right now on earth most of us may not be saints and we are subject to temptation and errors in judgment, and this applies to all Catholics, not only traditionalists.

  • hombre111

    Pope John Paul and Pope John XXIII smile down on us from above. I had my own rediscovery of St. John Paul when I was working through Veritatis Splendor for the umpteenth time, and paused to reflect on his meditation on the Rich Young Man. This led me to Redemptor Hominis, which will be my meditation book for the next few months.
    That said, I still cringe when I think of the sex abuse scandal, which heavily damaged the moral credibility of the Church, and will continue to haunt us for another generation. Maureen Dowd won her Pullitzer for trashing a foolish young woman who got into an affair with a president. She is not exactly a profound thinker, and her rant can be ignored. But the scandal will be a drag on St. John Paul’s reputation. I came across a picture of him giving his blessing to Marciel Maciel, the moral monster who founded the Legionaires of Christ. I shuddered. When that picture was taken, the rumors about him were already well known in Rome, but the Pope would not listen. Rome was also familiar with the simmering sex abuse scandal in the United States. Pope John Paul was a micromanager, and his followers cannot relieve him of his responsibility.

    • fredx2

      And yet you place zero culpabilty at the feet of the people who realy were responsible – The Weaklands, and Mahonys.
      Look at the report of the John Jay sex abuse panel. They have a chart that shows that when John Paul II took over, and most bishops were liberals, abuse cases were running at about 600 per year. That consistenly declined during JP II’s pontificate. And now that conservative bishops are in charge, there are about 10 per year.
      The Pope did not pay any attention to the rumors about Maciel for a couple of reasons. He had broad experience in the way the Communists routinely used such rumor spreading as a way of getting at their political enemies in the preisthood. Also, the Pope was over 80 at the time that the rumors became more widespread, and at that age people have problems. And, he expected that since Maciel was running a fairly conservative organization, some hated that and would try to tar him in some fashion.
      By the same thinking Obama is responsible for every public school abuse case. Yet we never hear of his culpability.

      • Art Deco

        And yet you place zero culpabilty at the feet of the people who realy were responsible – The Weaklands, and Mahonys.

        The people who were really responsible were the diddling clergy. A great many bishops were hopelessly irresponsible in addressing that (and a great many were not). The worst in this regard (Cdl. Law; Bps. McCormick, Tschoeppe, Grahmann, Curtis of Bridgeport, &c.) I do not think had a crisp profile as regards their fidelity to received teaching and promotion of dignified liturgy. IIRC, the Great Plains-Rocky Mountain dioceses like Grand Island had low offense rates and these tend to be loci which have had a series of conservative bishops (and not just one), but the correlation is weak.

        I suspect the big problem you had was the effect of the ambient culture on the formation of the applicant pool for the seminaries after about 1920. The problem starts quite small and grows and you begin around 1950 to have a critical mass of latent homosexuals being ordained the Catholic clergy. It passes under the wire, for the most part and seminary rectors dither when it does come to their attention (see Lee Podles’ memoir of his time as a seminarian ca. 1966). By around 1970, seminaries starved for recruits are admitting screwballs (see Louis Tarsitano’s and Patrick Henry Reardon’s memoirs of the era).

        The trouble these people cause is fairly subterranean until ca. 1981 due to the disinclination of violated youth to report it, but eventually the dam breaks and bishops are facing a sudden six-fold increase in the fequency of accusations against priests. Cdl. Law fielded one accuastion in 11 years as Bp. of Springfield – Cape Girardeau (concluding in 1984), but more than 70 in his years in Boston prior to the Geoghan trial. Some bishops put accused priests on ice (as was done in Syracuse) and some adopted treat and transfer policies (as was seen most flagrantly in the Geoghan case).

        • fredx2

          Thanks I will try to read Podles and the other sources you cite.

      • hombre111

        I scorn the Laws, the Mahonys, and the Weaklands. But I will not let the Pope off the hook. In the late 1980’s letters were sent, delivered to the Pope’s own hand. As a secular leader named Truman once said, “The buck stops here.” During that time, Ratzinger took time to lecture a bishop about altar girls. But he could not warn the bishops of the whole world to start to put their house in order? Why was it always up to the secular press to force the bishops into the open?

        • Art Deco

          Letters were sent? The Holy See has a staff in the low four digits, from the Holy Father himself down to the custodians who clean the toilets. They are not in a position to police 3,000 dioceses worldwide. The Pope can address some procedural matters and some peculiarly acute spot problems. That is all.

          • hombre111

            As I have said several times before, Look it up at the NCR, which was the only Catholic newspaper to break the story of the scandal in 1985, while the rest of the Catholic press said nothing. In a recent article, they interviewed one of the key figures in the affair, who testified that an American cardinal put a letter describing the situation indetail into the Pope’s hand.

            • Art Deco

              Catholic newspapers did not need to ‘break’ the story. It was on CBS news for chrissakes. The only mainline Catholic publication with a news facility is Our Sunday Visitor in any case.

              • hombre111

                For the umpteenth time, the NCR published a report to the bishops, ordered by the bishops, and suppressed by the bishops, about the extent of the sex abuse crisis. I have already done this research for you. CBS did not get the story until the NCR published the leaked report. Most of the bishops went merrily on, as if nothing was going to happen. And it still took until Boston for the full extent of this horror to come to the awareness of the average American Catholic.

                • Art Deco

                  CBS reported on the Gauthe case contemporanous with that.

                  Doyle’s report simply does not have the significance you wish to assign to it. The only thing a cross-diocesan report could do was alert bishop x that a mess of other bishops were having the same problem.

                  • hombre111

                    Read the NCR. I can’t do your work for you.

            • fredx2

              But no one had any idea in 1985 that there was any kind of serious problem. All they knew at that time is that a handful of priests had been caught doing this. I think you are referring to the letters that Tom Doyle sent via the Nuncio around 1985. As I remember the article, Fr Doyle said that he sent the letter, etc, and the cardinal told him this or that. No real evidence that what he said happened, but even if we assume his account is correct, – No doubt the Vatican get thousands of letters, on all sorts of issues where people were being killed, persecuted, jailed, sent to Soviet labor camps, erc. There is always a lot going on in the world. In this case, the depth of the scandal was not yet known. So the letters would have been appreciated but the Vatican would have thought “Local issue, bishop can handle”. It is in 1993 or so that it became clear there was a large scandal – and it appeared to be only in the US. Again, bishops would have been expected to handle this and no need for the Vatican to get involved. Only in 2001 or so when it erupted again, with charges that bishops moved priests around was it suspected that the problem had not been handled properly.

              • hombre111

                I guess I will have to Google the original study that appeared in the NCR. They must have done a lot of research, because they predicted that sex abuse lawsuits would cost the Church more than two billion dollars.
                As for whatever excused the Vatican’s lack of response, I would respond that the Hierarachy did not consider the damage to children to be of more concern than the damage to the institution. They chose the institution over the kids. If Rome had really considered the damage to kids to be of the gravest concern, then they were derelict in their duty when they just left it up to the bishops.

              • hombre111

                I went online and found a 2002 article in the NCR summarizing what was known in 1985. First, the report was 92 pages long, and the bishops were aware of its implications. It makes grim reading, and shows me again, why it is important not to identify the hierarchy with the Church. What the American bishops did was beyond excuse. There was no excuse for the fact that the other bishops in the world did not take pre-emptive steps based on the disaster in the United States. A hundred million dollars had been paid in lawsuits by that time, and so surely, if Rome was paying any attention at all, it should have been alarmed. I typed in “1985 report about clergy sex abuse,” and a whole raft of articles showed up.
                Your statement and the statement of so many others on this issue illustrates a point: Enough time goes by, and well meaning people can begin to distort history if they do not do their research. Google is an easy tool at hand, and a good place to check before we state our opinions. I was going by my memory of the time, but I should have checked Google, as well. .

        • TheAbaum

          “I scorn the Laws, the Mahonys, and the Weaklands.”

          You are so incoherent. You scorn them for what would be broadly described as dereliction of duty, but that could be applied to you on a daily basis.

          Who are you to judge?

      • hombre111

        If the pope was over eighty at the time, and unable to keep track of things, why did he harm the Church by refusing to step down? I think witnessing a Vicar of Christ who did not have enough brain cells left to be a Vicar, is what caused Pope Benedict to step down. Some day, historians will say that it was Pope Benedict, and not Pope John Paul, who had the greatest impact on the future of the Church.

        • TheAbaum

          At 76, you shouldn’t be leading the pitchfork rebellion for forcible superannuation.

        • fredx2

          I think this was precisely why Benedict stepped down when he did. He felt his strength failing and did not want a repeat of the curia taking over as it did during JP II’s last years. I don’t agree that Benedict will will be considered greater than JP II, but I think he will, in the long run, be seen as a man who helped turn the church around at a time of great stress.

          • hombre111

            Thanks for a good post. I didn’t say Pope Benedict was a greater man than Saint John Paul. He was a towering figure, and that cannot be denied. But I did say that Benedict will have a greater impact on the Church.

      • TheAbaum

        Don’t you know, people who don’t subscribe to Hombre’s theological novelties are afforded no leniency, no mercy.

        It would be interesting to see what else would be under the rock Hombre slithers out of to hiss at us everyday.

  • TheAbaum

    Then there was the vulgar piece by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

    Is there anything the ol’ hag writes that isn’t vulgar?

  • windjammer

    The Church is in shambles and of the 3 popes responsible, 2 have been Canonized and the 3rd one is to be raised to “Blessed” in October…..Saaay What???? This makes sense, NOT. It’s almost like “get it done now” before the sheeple wake up and figure it out. Something is very wrong in the Vatican. This is warp speed. Too much visible and invisible damage done to the OTF in last 50 years to justify the rush and waiving even watered down requirements etc…WHY? God knows and we can only guess.

  • WRBaker

    “But to instance a particular official action as a reason for disbarring this pope of such manifest personal goodness and kindliness is to forget that sanctity pertains to one’s personal life and behavior, not to one’s official actions in office or to the effects of those actions.”
    Shouldn’t the “whole person” be viewed in context? The Devil’s Advocate used to be charged with being the skeptic but not now. What if the person was “saintly” in his duties as pope but not so personally? It makes no sense to divorce the two because they both represent who the person was.
    As for the homosexual – pedophile distinctions, why weren’t more priests thrown out and the seminaries cleaned out, as well (today, too)?

    • cpsho

      Well John Paul 2 abolished the Devil’s Advocate. And now be benefits from that action. Curious. Smells unpleasantly fishy.

  • accelerator

    “However that may be, nothing that the pope ever did or did not do added up even remotely to what Maureen Dowd felt able to style as “presiding” over “nearly three decades of a gruesome pedophilia scandal”—which she thought meant that he “ain’t no saint.” But this is just slander.”

    Really, not Father Marcel and the Legion of Christ? You have got to be kidding me. Dr. Whitehead might as well be an apologist for Joseph Smith.

  • cpsho

    A century ago could a Catholic Pope have kissed the Quran?
    150years ago could a Catholic Pope have prayed that St. John the Baptist should protect the heretical religion of Islam?
    John Paul 2 is not a saint despite what his acolytes say.

    • Objectivetruth

      I guess all those miracles attributed to JP II’s intervention are fraudulent too, eh?

      • cpsho

        With all due respect, are we all suffering from collective
        hypnosis? John Paul 2 is not a saint.
        A saint is someone who was close to the Lord Jesus in life and death.
        If John Paul 2 was close to the Lord Jesus in life how come the Lord did not reveal to him the type of friend – Macial Maciel – that he was keeping?
        How come John Paul 2 never knew Macial Maciel was a sexual predator, child molester and a thief? Why did our Lord Jesus not reveal all these to John Paul 2, either directly or indirectly?
        I will tell you why.
        It is because John Paul 2 was no saint; never mind what the sycophants are saying.

        • Tony

          The Lord also did not reveal to St. Vincent Ferrer that he was supporting a fraud for Pope.

          Milton says that hypocrisy is the one evil that can pass undetected before innocent men and angels. Maciel was a champion hypocrite. Is it really so obviously evil, that one should not wish to believe the evil that is spoken about other people, especially in our times? Sure, I wish that the Pope had figured Maciel out. But only Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him.

          • cpsho

            To pray for St. John the Baptist to protect a religion that
            says “Jesus of Nazareth is not the Son of God” and “is not the Lamb of God” – THAT IS BLASPHEMY!
            To canonize a man who should know better and yet carried out
            such an act, is also BLASPHEMY.
            My sincere advice: all faithful Catholics should meditate
            seriously on this issue before getting themselves involved in the events for 27th April 2014.
            http://popeleo13.com/pope/2014/02/27/category-archive-message-board-14/#more-188

        • Objectivetruth

          This reply is at best, ridiculous.

        • antonsdatter

          “Why did our Lord Jesus not reveal all these to John Paul 2, either directly or indirectly?”

          cpsho, You have the gall to question Jesus, Himself?
          What makes you think Jesus should do what you think He should do?
          And why do you feel you know what Jesus did or did not reveal to Saint John Paul II?

          I hardly think you’re in a position to question anybody, least of all, Jesus Christ Himself.

          • cpsho

            I have already told you why the Lord Jesus did not reveal the evil of Maciel Marcel to John Paul 2.
            The Lord Jesus did not reveal it because John Paul 2 is not the saint his acolytes are claiming he is.
            I think that is clear. With all due respect it boils down to simple comprehension.
            John Paul 2 is not a saint. Period.

  • thebigdog

    “81 percent of the verified cases involved Catholic priests engaged in homosexual relations with older boys”

    And sadly, many Catholics find themselves enabling this form of mental illness in order to popular with the “cool kids”

  • Pingback: "Honor Thy Children" - BigPulpit.com()

  • schmenz

    I am sorry, Mr Whitehead, but I’m going to have to side with the media on this one, or at least some of them. Raising to the altars two men whose disastrous performance as Pope brought the Church to near-total ruin is such an outrage that I have no words to describe it, and when I say that I am talking not of their personal kindness and charm – and I am taking note of John Paul II’s vigorous defense of the unborn child. But therein lies the problem: talk is, after all, quite cheap. John Paul never backed up those great words with concrete actions, particularly when it came to disciplining recalcitrant Cardinals, Bishops, priests, etc. who (like the execrable Donald Wuerl, for example) looked the other way when it came to these issues or who gave sacrilegious Communions to slimy politicians who were nothing but abortion and sodomy fanatics. That John Paul II let these clerical creeps do their worst and remain in good standing in the Church is an issue that he is now taking up with his Creator.

    And now the news that Pope Paul is scheduled for canonization, an outrage even worse, if that were possible. All these men sat on their tuffets while scandals abounded. That these canonizations are purely political moves to shore up their failed Vatican 2 is so obvious that it hardly needs to be mentioned.

    By the by, for Mr Whitehead’s information I am not a “traditionalist” (I detest that appellation); I am a Catholic. What I am not is a Modernist and that is getting to be a minority view in a Church that has seemingly gone off its rocker.

    • JB

      Well said. The author’s “discussion” of the traditionalist objection is so reductivist as to be incorrect.

    • Scott S.

      “By the by, for Mr Whitehead’s information I am not a “traditionalist” (I detest that appellation); I am a Catholic. What I am not is a Modernist and that is getting to be a minority view in a Church that has seemingly gone off its rocker. ”

      Well said.

      It ought to be pointed out that, with a few exceptions, “traditionalists” believe and practice everything the Church has since Trent.

      Their crime is to be anti-liberal/anti-modernist. Hence the perceived need for preface to set themselves apart from the 70% of the self identifying Catholics who neither attend mass no believe in the real presence and the conservative/”neo-catholic.”

  • clintoncps

    “81 percent of the verified cases involved Catholic priests engaged in homosexual relations with older boys, not younger children.”

    In light of the above, by what stretch of the imagination can homosexualism be seen as to be harmless and not contributing to moral degradation in the Church, not to mention in society at large? Why then are many within the Church, including some ordained and religious, trying to normalize homosexual bahaviour and even present it as a “gift” from God?

  • Pingback: Crisis Magazine - Catholic League()

  • bill b

    The abuse probably came from an older generation who could not exit the gay closet to their tough Catholic …often Irish parents. Rather than answer marriage questions to parents wanting grandchildren, such gay men entered the priesthood in the 1940’s and 50’s….to conquer themselves and to avoid questions from parents about marriage. It failed. That’s why the crimes began to decline in the 80’s. Gays after them were coming out to their parents and hence had no need to enter the priesthood to hide. The above essay turned into a sex abuse essay which means the author is trying to convince himself. Maureen Dowd did have the pedophilia inaccuracy but Donahue’s stretch to a BBC period of an editor…not a ruler…was typical Donahue. Why is that man getting $400K?
    Canon law states that the Pope is not only a ruler but…canon 331…”By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.”
    St. John Paul II could have decreed after the well publicized Fr. Gauthe case in the 1980’s that all such cases were to be referred to the police of at least the highly developed countries.
    He did not. It bothers Donohue and it bothers Whitehead even if they never print it. I believe John Paul is in Heaven as of the canonization date. I believe he spent severe moments in Purgatory first of an unspecified length…like hopefully we will.

MENU