Friday, April 9, 2010

Somebody Should Sue the New York Times

Now that Holy Week is over look for the child sex abuse scandal to die down. Now that Pope Benedict XVI, who has done more than any other single person to purge the Church of what he termed its "filth" has had his character assassinated by journalists supposedly concerned about abused children, but actually anxious to knock down the one major institution in the world that still opposes the sexual revolution and the culture of death - now everybody can go back to sleep. Until the next opportunity for attack comes along.

The allegations against the Pope made by the New York Times last week have now been shown to be the result of malicious intent, shoddy reporting and irresponsible sensationalism, rather than being based on facts responsibly investigated. Here is how Father Raymond de Souza's article in The National Post begins this morning:

Pope Benedict XVI was falsely accused two weeks ago by The New York Times. That same false charge was repeated and amplified in the National Post. The facts are now in, and even the Times has corrected itself by rewriting the story. Two weeks later, however, and despite its flaws, the story is reverberating around the world. Indeed, without the Times' accusations, the sexual abuse story would not have dominated Holy Week as it did.

On March 25, the Times set off a worldwide firestorm with a front page story that made an incendiary accusation: "Top Vatican officials -- including the future Pope Benedict XVI--did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit."

Falsehood upon falsehood -- four errors in the first paragraph. First, the case to defrock Father Lawrence Murphy was approved by the "top Vatican officials," was never stopped by anyone in Rome and was ongoing when Murphy died. Second, Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict, is not shown in the documents to have taken any decisions in this case. Third, the real villain, aside from Murphy himself, was the compromised former Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland, who had sat on the case for 20 years. Fourth, the files were not "newly unearthed"; a general chronology had been released by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee years ago, and the documents were released by the archdiocese itself.

The New York Times was guilty of egregiously shoddy reporting -- or worse -- on a story of global implications.


True, homosexuality and pedophilia are separate issues, but most of the child abusers have been homosexuals who have abused children. These issues have been bound together in this scandal and both have contributed to the culture of cover-up. And both are against church law and the moral teaching of almost all cultures everywhere in the world throughout most of human history. To dismiss them as having nothing to do with each other is too simplistic.

Scorning the truth and facts, the Times prefers to rely Archbishop Weakland, a man who spent $450,000 of church funds to pay his homosexual lover to keep quiet and Jeffrey Anderson, a lawyer who has already made tens of millions of dollars suing the Church and who stands to make millions more. You would have thought that the Times would want to check with other sources who did not have such obvious axes to grind with the Vatican before splashing reckless accusations against Pope Benedict XVI all over the front page of their paper.

Somebody should sue the NYT for its vicious attacks on a good man. In the precarious financial situation the NTY finds itself (hence its need for sensational headlines?), it would be nice to see them struggling to pay the lawyers and the millions of dollars needed to settle out of court. It wouldn't be entirely fair to all the employees of that corporation that they should suffer for the sins of a few; but would be educational in helping them come to understand what it must feel like to be a loyal, faithful and morally upright Roman Catholic priest today and pick up the daily newspaper.

1 comment:

Naomi said...

I know Benedict has had HUGE shoes to fill as it is. It is so sad to see that he has been publicly humiliated like this in a lasting way. Regardless of 'revised stories' people will always be suspicious of Benedict, even though they SHOULD be suspicious of the media instead.