Andrew M. Brown at the Telegraph.co.uk says it all in his opening paragraphs.
I read the coverage of the Pope every day in the newspapers and listen to the BBC news and as a Catholic and a journalist I feel like crying out pathetically: “This is not fair!” And it isn’t fair, or reasonable. Intelligent journalists who are normally capable of mental subtlety and of coping with complexities have abandoned their critical faculties. There is an atmosphere of unreason.
I cannot help feeling that a lot of it is down to sheer, blind hatred. It amounts to the demonisation of a whole institution and its leader. We have come to a stage where nothing good whatever, no good faith can be assumed of anybody involved in the Church – however senior, however greatly respected, loved, admired, including the Pope.
Damian Thompson says its liberal payback time!
It is also clear that many prominent liberal Catholics are turning a blind eye to this media vendetta because they don’t like Pope Benedict. They are happy for him to take the rap for diocesan cover-ups initiated, in some cases, by liberal prelates. Those relates are grateful for the opportunity to pass the buck to the one man who, though his record on this matter is certainly not beyond criticism, has done more than any other to rectify the Church’s lax procedures – Joseph Ratzinger.
If I was Benedict XVI, I’d be asking myself if I even wanted to visit Britain this autumn. For, when he does, he will meet English bishops, Catholic journalists and self-appointed spokesmen for the Catholic community who did not dare offend liberal opinion by defending him properly, or whose judgment was clouded by personal dislike of the Pope and his agenda.
Some Catholics – not many, but they are prominent – are actually thinking: it’s payback time, Ratzinger. If we can make this mud stick, then we can continue to sabotage your liturgical reforms. In other words, they are using the victims of clerical child abuse to fight internal political battles. Why am I not surprised?
The Pope, for his part, say he won’t be intimidated by the gossip mongers.
Pope Benedict today risked inflaming opinion as he appeared to round on critics of the Catholic church over the widening sexual abuse scandal, saying he would not “be intimidated by … petty gossip”.
The 82-year-old pontiff led tens of thousands of people in a Palm Sunday service in St Peter’s square. He did not mention the scandal engulfing the church directly, but parts of his sermon alluded to it.
The pope said that faith in God helped lead one “towards the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion”.
March 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm
—"You're misunderstanding Crimen Sollicationis"
From Rev. Tom Doyle:
"Though some have claimed that Crimen Sollicitationis applies only to solicitation in the confessional, and not to other sexual crimes perpetrated by clerics, the opposite is true. The very words of the document itself clearly establish that those acts included under the classification of “the worst crime,” (de crimine pessimo) are to be processed according to the norms set forth for the crime of solicitation."
"Title V of the (Crimen sollicitationis), “De crimine pessimo,” includes the crimes of sexual contact with same sex partners, sexual contacts with minors and bestiality."
—"H didn't reoffend until after Cdl R was off to Rome"
H wasn't convicted until 1986. Even after his conviction in 1986, Father Hullermann continued working with altar boys for many years.
—"We DO know that as soon as B16 took over, the sociopath was ordered to retire to a life of private prayer and penitence."
Two whole years of seclusion without defrocking him doesn't seem like sufficient punishment for molesting seminarians and fathering several children.
March 29, 2010 at 6:00 pm
If you want to discuss the document, why not go to the actual Vatican translation:
Right off the bat it tells us:
"1. The crime of solicitation occurs whenever a priest – whether in the act itself of sacramental confession, or before or immediately after confession, on the occasion or under the pretext of confession, or even apart from confession but in a confessional or another place assigned or chosen for the hearing of confessions and with the semblance of hearing confessions there – has attempted to solicit or provoke a penitent, whosoever he or she may be, to immoral or indecent acts, whether by words, signs, nods, touch or a written message, to be read either at that time or afterwards, or he has impudently presumed to have improper and indecent conversations or interactions with that person (Constitution Sacrum Poenitentiae, §1)."
March 29, 2010 at 6:31 pm
As I said, from Title V of the link you put up:
71. The term crimen pessimum [“the foulest crime”] is here understood to mean any external obscene act, gravely sinful, perpetrated or attempted by a cleric in any way whatsoever with a person of his own sex.
72. Everything laid down up to this point concerning the crime of solicitation is also valid, with the change only of those things which the nature of the matter necessarily requires, for the crimen pessimum
73. Equated with the crimen pessimum, with regard to penal effects, is any external obscene act, gravely sinful, perpetrated or attempted by a cleric in any way with pre-adolescent children [impuberes] of either sex or with brute animals (bestialitas).
March 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm
Does no one see it? This is the clearest example yet of the Lavender Mafia protecting its own. Archbishop WEAKLAND had supervision – the very same one who had a homosexual affair with a man and then paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars (of parishioner money) to keep him quiet. Bishops, particularly American bishops, have managed to wrest so much authority away from the Vatican that they can operate with virtual impunity. You want somebody to blame? Blame Weakland, that morally defunct, disease-ridden sod who could have obliterated that disgusting priest straightaway but instead sheltered him because they're part of the same clique. BXVI could have tried anything he wanted but ultimately the axe falls on Weakland. What an appropriate name.
Yet you won't hear a peep against him. Why? Hmmm, that's a tough one to fathom. The agenda grinds on. But what do we expect, if our Lord, our Master, our Commander, suffered far worse? We should be so lucky to suffer for Him!
Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat!