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The campaign of the New York Times and copy cats
"In fact, the documents state that the only ones to be concerned with the evil done by Father Murphy were top officials of the American diocese and of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, while the civil authorities filed the case.
The above quote is from an article by Riccardo Casciolo, which appeared in the Italian newspaper Avvenire from 25th March 2010. It is also available in English on the net. The article analyses the allegedly case of cover-up by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was published by the New York Times (NYT). Other media, like the Tagesschau, eagerly followed suit, perverting the truth even more in part.
The Avvenire gave its analysis of the documents, which the NYT itself had posted on the net and reached the conclusion: “If one actually reads the entire documentation on the NYT on the internet site exactly, he assesses, that it contains quite the opposite of such a biased reading.”
But online media like oe24.at continue to spread the fairy tale of the cover-up even days later by reference to the same case.
In the Frankfurter Allgemeine from April 13, 2010, Patrick Bahner accuses Christopher Hitchens of ‘pornographic phantasies’ who along with Richard Dawkins want to drag the Pope into Court. Both of these exponents of the ‘New Atheism’ regard the Church as a global gang of pedophiles. In the light of this suspicion, Hitchens dubiously lifts out of context even Ratzinger’s episcopal instruction, “take them even when they are young”, which actually concerned children going to confession before First Communion.
The far-fetched model for these phantasies was supplied by Hans Küng. He made out the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now pope to be the chief one responsible for the worldwide cover-up by his implementation in 2001 of the mandatory notification of the bishops in all cases involving chld abuse. Mandatory notification of the Holy See was meant to put a stop to any cover-up. Küng reverses the clear meaning of this measure. In conjunction with local bishops’ procedures, Cardinal Ratzinger’s zero tolerance policy has had such success that the number of new cases of misconduct with minors has rapidly dropped. The so- called ‘papal secretiveness’ is nothing more than professional confidentiality, just as it is obviously practiced in governmental affairs. In no way does mandatory notification of the bishops preclude the filing of charges with state authorities.
It must be assumed that a theologian like Han Küng knows this very well. Despite this, he twists the truth into a systematic cover-up. For other theologians, like Peter Bürger, a Pax Christi member, this is clear proof of the Pope’s responsibility for the whole sordid mess.
Thus the carousel of quotations spins merrily around. By the way, the partisanship of Peter Bürger’s judgment of Pope Benedict the XVI is obvious in a Telepolis article he wrote. The only aspect Bürger assesses of the permission for the Tridentine liturgy is that it is, in all seriousness, ‘anti-Semitic’. The Jesuit Klaus Merle’s approach started the ball rolling back in January with his “promise to link ruthless enlightenment and research into the causes with extreme polemics against Church teaching and Church”, as Bahners observed. Merle admits that the motive of the perpetrator is of little interest. Instead the system of concealment was most significant. It was only a matter of time until the campaign reached the Pope at the top of the ‘suppressing’ system, even if the cases dredged up by the New York Times and the Süddeutsche Zeitung fall apart like a house of cards upon thorough examination.
On balance: the phantasies of Hitchens and Dawkins and their attempt to have the Pope arrested are mainly consequences of the slander generated by theologians like Hans Küng.
Freiheit u. Gnade