A Jesuit in Honduras announced today that the Catholic Church has “lost all credibility” because it doesn’t support the Hugo Chavez wanna-be Manuel Zelaya’s return as President.

Well, there goes 2,000 years of what we’d have to call a pretty good run for the Catholic Church. Last one out of the Vatican, be sure to turn off all the lights.

Well, before we completely shut down Catholicism let’s check out what the good Jesuit is saying in the news piece.

The biased lede of this story from Reuters is pretty laughable as it adopts a point of view that says the Church has really blown it this time.

Honduras’ powerful Roman Catholic Church has backed the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, surrendering a chance to be an impartial mediator because it would rather take sides in order to counter the influence of Venezuela’s leftist president, Hugo Chavez.

This is not an opinion piece. This is supposed to be news. It didn’t even do the old trick of formulating some bombastic accusation and ascribing it to someone.

It becomes clearer later, however, whose opinion the journalist is parroting. Psst…it’s the aforementioned Jesuit.

The piece continues:

Leaders of the Catholic Church, which polls show is the most respected institution in the conservative Central American country, have backed the ouster and thrown their weight behind the interim government installed by the Honduran Congress…

Ismael Moreno, a Jesuit priest and radio commentator who is not part of the hierarchy, put it more bluntly. “The Church has lost all ability to mediate,” he said. “It has lost all credibility.”

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has said Zelaya’s ouster was justified due to his unconstitutional power grab. Cardinal Rodriguez, however, did oppose Zelaya’s expulsion from the country.

Hardly, a radical stance, I’d think. Fr. Ismael Moreno has been less moderate, I think it’s safe to say.

I know that political fights can get ugly and passions run high but we should hesitate before saying the Church has lost all credibility because you disagree with a political stance of a Cardinal.

So, I guess, Catholicism can limp on from this grievous blow after all. Somehow.