Saturday, April 10, 2010

In Defense of Pope Benedict Part 2

Blue Collar Philosophy took the bait from the secularist media hook, line, and sinker. I have posted another defense of the Pope here and more information on the issue here. I would have thought that a person of his usual skepticism of the liberal media and liberals in general would have been more adept at realizing the true intent of the liberal secular media in relation to its attacks on the Catholic Church.

MercatorNet states "According to the London Times, Fr Kiesle was only 31 when in 1978 he was “sentenced [by civil authorities apparently] to three years’ probation after pleading no contest to charges of molesting two young boys” ages not given, in a rectory in San Francisco. Three years later his bishop wrote to the CDF recommending that Kiesle be laicised. (As in Irish cases, however, it would seem the bishop already had powers to do this under Canon Law.)"

Please remember the social atmosphere in 1981 versus today. The same year that a letter was sent to the Vatican, Cardinal Ratzinger had just become the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and had a mountain of letters awaiting him regarding various types of abuse issues within the Catholic Church resulting from the chaotic 1970's, and had new set of responsibilities on his plate. This wasn't like Cardinal Ratzinger had been in the position for many years and outright ignored the pleas coming from San Francisco. It would seem that whomever Cardinal Ratzinger took over for should take the lions share of the blame.

"The CDF letter, bearing Cardinal Ratzinger’s signature, and no doubt representing his views if not actually written by him, said the arguments for removing Kiesle were of “grave significance”, and he urged more careful review and more time, taking into account the “good of the universal Church” and the “detriment that granting the dispensation can provoke within the community of Christ’s faithful, particularly considering the young age” of the priest. "

Could this have been handled differently? Maybe. But, that doesn't mean that Cardinal Ratzinger was part of a huge "cover-up" with the Catholic Church. In fact, it was the Bishops across America who were complicit in the coverup of sexual abuse allegations and listened to the advice of secular thereapists who thought there was a cure for these pedophile priests. The therapists thought the solution for the problem was to move the pedophile priests from parish-to-parish. This is outrageous!! This is unconscionable!!! I feel for all those little children who were violated. What those pedophile priests did was immoral and horrific.

"It is clear that pastoral considerations required more caution, not for the case to be buried. Didn’t the local population in San Francisco know about Kiesle already? Was he ever returned to active ministry? It seems not, but this is a crucial point that the reports don’t cover. In any case, Fr Kiesle was laicised in 1987. In 2002 he was arrested and charged with 13 counts of child molestation -- all from the 1970s, note. Eventually he served time in prison for molesting a young girl in 1995."

Plus, as Phil Lawler points out, journalists had their eyes blind-folded to the facts and ignored journalistic standards all to enagage in an anti-Catholic smear campaign. Here are some key questions and facts that Phil Lawler points out:

• Was Cardinal Ratzinger responding to the complaints of priestly pedophilia? No. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which the future Pontiff headed, did not have jurisdiction for pedophile priests until 2001. The cardinal was weighing a request for laicization of Kiesle.

• Had Oakland's Bishop John Cummins sought to laicize Kiesle as punishment for his misconduct? No. Kiesle himself asked to be released from the priesthood. The bishop supported the wayward priest's application.

• Was the request for laicization denied? No. Eventually, in 1987, the Vatican approved Kiesle's dismissal from the priesthood.

• Did Kiesle abuse children again before he was laicized? To the best of our knowledge, No. The next complaints against him arose in 2002: 15 years after he was dismissed from the priesthood.

• Did Cardinal Ratzinger's reluctance to make a quick decision mean that Kiesle remained in active ministry? No. Bishop Cummins had the authority to suspend the predator-priest, and in fact he had placed him on an extended leave of absence long before the application for laicization was entered.

• Would quicker laicization have protected children in California? No. Cardinal Ratzinger did not have the power to put Kiesle behind bars. If Kiesle had been defrocked in 1985 instead of 1987, he would have remained at large, thanks to a light sentence from the California courts. As things stood, he remained at large. He was not engaged in parish ministry and had no special access to children.

• Did the Vatican cover up evidence of Kiesle's predatory behavior? No. The civil courts of California destroyed that evidence after the priest completed a sentence of probation-- before the case ever reached Rome.

Yes, this is tragic, but that doesn't mean that there is evidence that Cardinal Ratzinger is culpable for a "cover-up". We must pray for the healing of all the children who were violated by pedophile priests. We must not let our feelings, axes to grind, political or theological differences with the Catholic Church cloud our judgement as to the reality as it relates to the sex abuse cases within the Catholic Church.


Anonymous said...

Teresa... I am not one to blame the Pope for some cover-up. This ongoing scandal has been both a human and institutional tragedy.

The shock and fallout from the Holy See's lack of concern could have been minimized if Rome had immediately taken swift and dramatic action against sexual predators. They did not, and they are still paying the price.

The embarrassment and attempts at justification will continue to haunt the Church until strong men make some difficult decisions. At present, the people in the pews are not listened to. Even the empty pews fail to make the point. I'm beginning to believe that the Holy Father and the Catholic Church still believe it will all just go away. It won't.

Teresa said...

You are absolutely correct! This is both an institutional and human tragedy. In addition as you said, the Church could have minimized this if they had taken swift actions against the sexual predators.

I am not quite sure whether the Church or Rome tried to justify their inaction or not but the priests and Bishops in America did. I do think that the Church as whole needs to start listening to the people in the pews.

I think to some degree that they are hoping it goes away. Maybe, the Church is trying to balance between rehashing the past (or reliving it over and over again), solving the abuse problem and trying to rebuild the Church in as anew and in a positive way?

But, the fact that the Pope is willing to meet with more abuse victims is a continuation of a start to being proactive with regards to the sex abuse issue.

BTW- I had a complicated situation happen to me( which I hope to release my true story in a booklet soon) so I could believe about the coverup. And, due to that I had become a dissillusioned Catholic.

Anonymous said...

I just don't want you to become a disillusioned Christian. You are in my prayers, young lady.

Andrew33 said...

I will be frank about this. Pope Benedict is a victim of militant atheists who have hated the Catholic Church since the inquisition in the 17th century that went after the "atheist" movement in Germany. Since then, atheists have sworn to destroy the Church. In 1985, the Priest in question was 20 years past any allegations of abuse. Also, his health was already failing. While I think that things could have been handled better, I don't blame Pope Benedict. The only people talking about this are liberal birdcage liners such as the NYTimes. They are owned by angry hateful atheists who would love no more than to destroy the Catholic Church.
Keep in mind that I strongly disagree with the position of "Pope" as well as non marriage policies for priests among many other things in the Catholic Church. The reason I am pointing this out is not because or that I have a problem with Catholic people in general, but to show that it is very rare when I come to the defense of the Pope. I believe that America should be a place of tolerance where anybody should be able to worship God however they so choose. I'd much rather have a nation of Catholics and Lutherans, of which I am neither, rather than have a nation of militant atheists who want to take all of our religious freedoms away. Isn't Christianity supposed to be about forgiveness?

Anonymous said...

Andrew... That is a powerful comment. Thank you.

Andrew33 said...

Nickie, we Christians of all beliefs and demoninations share a common enemy in the militant atheists. Their agenda is the complete removal of God from this Country. Their ultimate goal is to push us into being looked at as an extremist fringe so that they can ultimately persecute Christians. The religious Jews will be persecuted too as historically Jews and Christians have been persecuted more so than not historically. In the past, the Catholic Church was a persecutor of any Christians that did not bow down to the Pope, but that stopped 150 years ago. As I said,
Christianity is about forgiveness and religion by choice. If it was the Catholic Church who had such an agenda, I would stand as strong regarding that as I am now against the militant atheists. The atheists in reality are anti-Judeo-Christian in their beliefs and want to tear down the fabric of our society and I hope more people will come to realize this. I hope people such as you and Teresa will help wake others up to this fact.

eutychus said...

Excellent post and excellent comments all around. While I consider myself a "closet Catholic", I am , at least for now, a Protestant, born and raised. Still I share the disgust expressed here and elsewhere, at the msm's attempt to drag the Pope and the Catholic Church down to the depths at which they (the msm and others) already live. It is a tragedy what has happened within the Church but it has happened in EVERY institution. This is not to excuse the action, but merely to point out what is conveniently being left out of current conversations. The abuse that has occurred within the Church is matched or exceeded in public schools for one example. For better and (in this case) for worse, the Church will never take "swift and dramatic action." But neither does it ignore or encourage such activity as has been suggested by unseemly writers elsewhere. Like Andrew I'd "much rather have a nation of Catholics and Lutherans" than militant atheists or anything goes liberals either. I've liked this Pope from the beginning and nothing I've read has diminished those feelings. My prayers are with him, the Catholic Church, and for all Christians as we are all increasingly, under siege.

Ron Russell said...

I will not be one to blame the Pope for these events, but those in the MSM will never miss a chance to pile on when it comes to discrediting anything to do with religion. I've not kept up with this so can't really comment on the details.

Joe said...

What this DOES do is to point out the importance of teaching character and integrity to our children at an early age, lest their perceived lapses later in life bring them this kind of opportunity for MSM to conduct a "witch-hunt" on them.

Teresa said...

Prayers are much appreciated.

Thank you so much for that inspirational and touching video. That almost brought me to tears. Thanks for caring. God Bless!

Opus #6 said...

The LSM is using the Alinsky tactic of forcing your opponent to live up to their own standards. It has been too effective. I hope things get better soon. We need institutions that stand for something. The left hates that, though. Right and Wrong are so inconvenient. They want the Anything Goes society.

Teresa said...

That was indeed a powerful comment. Different religions or different people of all faiths must stick together and stand up for religious freedom, while being attacked by the secularists in our society today. Thanks for sticking up for the Pope.

Teresa said...

You are right. Sexual abuse has reached EVERY institution, and actually moreso in the secular world or institutions. Any type of sexual abuse is outrageous, a tragedy and wrong. But, what these journalists are doing is out of theistic hatred and anti-Catholic bias, in trying to destroy the Church using any means possible, and not in any way advocating for the abused.

Teresa said...

Your right, The MSM never seems to miss a chance to attack a religion, or a Church.

Teresa said...

Exactly. Character and integrity and very important. Yes, this is a witch hunt. So despicable.

commoncents said...


I really like your blog!

Common Cents

ps. Would you care to exchange links?

Blue Collar Todd said...

Thanks for tipping me off about this post so I can offer a response. The Liberal threat to Christianity (Protestant) and Catholicism has been constant for over a hundred years now. It is surprising that the Catholic Church had not sniffed out these agenda driven gay priests. The decisions to keep these priests around and shop them to other churches was still made by the Church hierarchy. They bear responsibility for their failure, and that was my main point and may have been distracted by the issue with Ratzinger in the 1980's.

Teresa said...

Your right. The Left wants an anything goes society. They are against moral standards. We must reverse course on that and pass down a sense of moral absolutes or standards to children.

Teresa said...

Blue Collar Todd,
Under Canonical Law, Ratzinger did not have the authority until at least 1997 to intervene in the sex abuse cases. The Bishops had the only authority to recommend the defrocking of the priests. But, the Bishops were relying on the advice of secular counselors on the "healing" of the priest abusers and they are the ones that recommended that the priest pedophiles get shipped from parish-to-parish.

The fault lies with the U.S. Bishops, and maybe even to a degree the late Pope John Paul II, but not Ratzinger.