April Archive

Cardinal launches scathing attack on New York Times

Michael Cook | 01 April 2010

Vatican officials normally assume a diplomatic look of strained politeness when fielding questions from a hostile press. This time is different. Cardinal Ratzinger’s American successor as head of a leading Vatican department has peeled off his gloves and hit back at the New York Times.

Why were Milwaukee police sitting on their hands?

Michael Cook | 01 April 2010
Finally, finally, the press is asking questions about why a Milwaukee priest who abused as many as 200 deaf boys between 1950 and 1974 was never prosecuted by the police. And the answers they are getting sound as lame as those offered by former Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

Evasive, blustering and blinkered. B16? No, the New York Times

Michael Cook | 01 April 2010

In yesterday’s New York Times, journalist Laurie Goodstein has defended her widely-quoted attack on Vatican obstructionism on sex abuse cases. It is based on an extensive paper trail of documents which resulted in a Milwaukee paedophile priest, Lawrence C. Murphy, dying as a priest instead of defrocked and in disgrace.

German criminologist speaks out

Michael Cook | 01 April 2010

Professional criminologists seem somewhat bemused by the furore over sex abuse in the Catholic Church. A German journal of political commentary, Cicero, interviewed Germany’s most prominent criminal psychologist, Hans-Ludwig Kroeber yesterday. He is the director of the Institute for Forensic Psychiatry of the Free University of Berlin and serves on an independent panel of experts advising the Catholic Church about child abuse. He is not a Catholic.

Feel good stuff for Easter

Michael Cook | 01 April 2010
Terrific YouTube video about Benedict XVI. Very creative and bouncy.

March Archive

Ratzinger wanted full probe of former cardinal

Carolyn Moynihan | 31 March 2010
Here is another piece of evidence that Benedict, while he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Holy Office), was not inclined to cover-ups. He wanted a former cardinal fully investigated.

Trial never ended says Judicial Vicar

Brian Lilley | 31 March 2010
The New York Times, in its coverage of the Milwaukee sex abuse allegations, may quote Fr. Thomas Brundage but the priest says they never spoke to him. This is important because of the role Fr. Brundage plays in the tragedy of Fr. Lawrence Murphy. Fr. Brundage establishes his bona fides on the issue pretty quickly.

Chill out, says radical humanist

Michael Cook | 31 March 2010
Isn’t it odd that the most perceptive article on the media storm over clerical sex abuse comes from a British magazine staffed by ex-Trotskyite pro-abortion libertarians? Writing in Spiked, editor Brendan O’Neill says that the hysteria “is a reaction informed more by prejudice and illiberalism than by anything resembling a principled secularism, and one which also threatens to harm individuals, families, society and liberty”.

How many cover-ups are there? Where are the stats?

Michael Cook | 31 March 2010

Defenders of the Pope in the middle of the media assault over clergy sex abuse are fighting on two fronts. The first is media distortion. Key newspapers have grotesquely distorted accounts of how some cases were handled by the Vatican and by the Pope himself when he was Archbishop of Munich. The second is the widespread impression that paedophilia is widespread amongst Catholic priests. Both of these are best dealt with by referring to facts in the public domain.

How much impact is the crisis having?

Michael Cook | 31 March 2010
March has been payback time for some of the media’s favourite Catholic theologians. Long before Joseph Ratzinger became Benedict XVI, he was christened “God’s Rotweiler” and the “Panzer Cardinal” for supporting orthodox Catholic teaching. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, his theological foes are treating the current controversy as a chance to press for their own vision of the Church.

Hard facts in 2004 report

Michael Cook | 30 March 2010
Articles defending the Catholic Church in the middle of the paedophilia scandal attract hundreds of comments. Many of them contain statements of dumbfounding ignorance such as most priests are paedophiles. How can statements like this be refuted?

Who’s telling the tales?

Michael Cook | 30 March 2010

Few of the recent stories have done more to raise a cloud of suspicion over Benedict than the claim by New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein that he declined to defrock a Catholic priest in Milwaukee who had abused more than 200 boys in an institution for the deaf.

Launching Just B16

Michael Cook | 30 March 2010
Just B16 is MercatorNet’s contribution to clearing the air about the sex abuse scandal enveloping Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church. Last year, in our “Our public intellectual A-list” we described Benedict as “the world's leading voice for human dignity founded upon the divine creation of man” – which he undoubtedly is.  Human dignity sounds like a motherhood statement, but it is viewed with suspicion and even disdain in many academic circles. The idea that human beings are rational and that we can know what is right and wrong is at risk today. Indeed, the modish thing is to describe morality as nothing more than social conventions or evolved responses to ancient threats.

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