Tag Archives: New York Times

The complex stance on abortion of Catholic bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., prays the rosary Nov. 10 on the sidewalk in front of the E.M.W. Women's Surgical Center, an abortion clinic in Louisville. The archbishop prayed with about 300 pro-life supporters from Kentucky and southern Indiana. (CNS photo/Mary Ann Wyand, The Criterion) (Nov. 19, 2007) See KURTZ-CLINIC Nov. 19, 2007.

By Stephanie Block

People are so inconsistent.  Three years ago, Bishop Blase Cupich, then-ordinary of Rapid City, SD, wrote an article for America Magazine designed to help voters sort through the morass of conflicting opinions about the duties of a Catholic citizen in the voting booth.  In it, he penned this marvelous paragraph: “In the early 1960’s one bishop, Archbishop Joseph Rummel of New Orleans, excommunicated outspoken opponents of his plans to desegregate the archdiocesan schools, including a powerful local politician. In this he received the support of the Holy See whose spokesman, as reported by The New York Times, said that ‘any Catholic unwilling to admit the fundamental equality of all human beings…proclaims that he is not a Catholic.’”[i]

Given the context of recent elections, it’s tempting to apply the Bishop’s thought to the civil rights issue of our times: abortion.  It could just as truthfully be said of Catholic pro-abortion politicians as of Catholic racist politicians: “any Catholic unwilling to admit the fundamental equality of all human beings…proclaims that he is not a Catholic.”

One expects the rest of the article to either explain a warning of excommunication to all such politicians in the diocese (there is no warning) or to expound on the evils of depersonalizing a child in the womb and the moral claim of abortion on the Catholic voter (there is neither point to be made).

Rather, the Bishop – primarily concerned about the evil of racism – cautions that “Voting for a candidate solely because of that candidate’s support for abortion or against him or her solely on the basis of his or her race is to promote an intrinsic evil. To do so consciously is indeed sinful. That is behavior incompatible with being a Christian. To allow racism to reign in our hearts and to determine our choice in this solemn moment for our nation is to cooperate with one of the great evils that has afflicted our society.”
Now, Bishop Cupich has confronted pro-abortion politicians.  In 2002, when Senator Tom Daschle “wrote a letter encouraging financial contributions to the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, NARAL, specifically as a means of helping it support the election of candidates with pro-abortion positions,” the Bishop understood that the senator had not only aligned himself with the pro-abortion position of NARAL but “he has also made abortion THE issue of this year’s campaign.”
This “crossed the line and I cannot let it go unanswered,” Bishop Cupich wrote.

In response, he issued a statement to be read at all Sunday Masses in his diocese, explaining what Senator Daschle had done, reiterating the Church’s position about “the dignity of the human person: bringing human life safely into the world and protecting it until natural death” as well as a host of other related concerns, and urging his listeners to vote.[ii]
But confronting a pro-abortion politician and excommunicating one – despite BishopCupich’s admiration for Archbishop Rummel’s stance – are different matters.  During the 2008 US Catholic Bishops’ annual fall conference, a heated discussion about abortion and pro-abortion politics came back to the parallels between this issue and the problem of racism faced by previous generations. “’At some point this conference will have to address its reticence to speak to Catholic politicians who are not just reluctant, but stridently anti-life,’ said Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Martino argued that in an earlier era, when some Catholic politicians supported racist laws, Catholic bishops of the time ‘spoke strongly and took canonical measures against them.’”
Bishop Cupich’s published contribution to the discussion was: “A prophecy of denunciation quickly wears thin….We need a prophecy of solidarity with the communities we serve and the nation we live in, which needs healing. We must be, and be seen to be, caring pastors as well as faithful teachers.”[iii]
Why does the depersonalization of infants in utero call for a substantially different response than was appropriate when American society depersonalized darker-skinned people?

Bishop Cupich now leads the Diocese of Spokane, Washington.  Today’s news brought the startling story that he told his priests and seminarians at a diocesan meeting[iv] that they cannot pray outside of Planned Parenthood, promote or organize peaceful protest outside Planned Parenthood in their parishes (naming 40 Days for Life specifically), or allow pro-life material to be distributed in their parishes unless it is published by the Washington State Conference of Catholic Bishops or the USCCB (which does support 40 Days for Life). “The reason he gave for his decision is that he does not want his priests being identified with ‘extreme’ pro-life persons”[v] such as those who “demonstrate with large, graphic photos of aborted babies.”[vi]

One doesn’t question the Bishop’s commitment to Church teaching but such judgments are confounding.  Is the fetus a person or not?  Was Jesus, the Man-God present in the world from the moment of the Annunciation or not until the Nativity?  If the answer is “yes,” then the consistent position is that excommunication of public Catholic opponents – a “prophecy of denunciation,” if you will – is imperative, just as it was when the depersonalization was a matter of race.  If the answer is “yes,” then the consistent position is that peaceful public witness – today’s abolition movement – against abortion is imperative.

But consistent people are rare.

Stephanie Block is a Spero columnist. She edits the Los Pequenos newspaper of New Mexico and is a member of the Catholic Media Coalition.
——————————————————————————–

[i] Blase Cupich, “Racism and the Election,” America Magazine, 10-27-08. Blase Cupichwas Bishop of Rapid City, S.D at the time of this writing.
[ii] Statement by Bishop Blase Cupich read at masses in the Diocese of Rapid City during the weekend of
November 2-3, 2002.
[iii] John L. Allen, Jr., “Bishops in agreement – and not in agreement – on abortion,” National Catholic Reporter, 11-12-08.
[iv] September 2011
[v] Mark Shea, “I don’t get Bp. Cupich,” Catholic and Enjoying It! Blog, 9-14-11.
[vi] Mary L. Harrell, “The Bishop and the pro-life brouhaha,” The Domestic Apologist blog, 9-12-11.  Harrell also reports that all pro-life political material be restricted from distribution in parishes.

The Satanic Bumblebee — Conrad Black on the Church and her enemies…

Catholicism, and the Oceans, Will Survive

2010 was a year of turmoil, and of triumph.

 

By Conrad Black — National Review Online

The year now ending has been one of immense alarm followed by serenity’s sudden rushes to the head. It is hard now to remember the hysteria generated by the tawdry and often appalling scandal of clerical abuse of young men in the Roman Catholic Church, between February and July. The New York Times appeared to be offering free visits to New York with city tours of all boroughs, capped by five-course dinners in five-star restaurants, for anyone who could recall an indiscreet clerical hand on the knee from decades before. I repeat it is a grievous problem and there were many disgusting and shameful incidents, compounded by excessive episcopal indulgence in many cases. These facts do not alter or diminish the fidelity, dedication, and self-discipline of the 99 percent of Roman Catholic religious personnel who have served through living memory throughout the world with unblemished devotion, nor blight the education and care they gave to an approximately equal percentage of the scores of millions of children confided to them.

All bad news for the Roman Catholic Church brings that Church’s enemies swarming out like hornets whose nest has just been squirted with a garden hose. To the litigators, the editorial mudslingers, the deep, thick, serried ranks of militant skepticism, Rome is a Satanic bumblebee which infests the brave, aging secular world of utilitarian progress and the methodical human march toward a plenitude of knowledge. Earlier this year, they thought they saw the end, at last, of Rome’s ghastly, tenebrous, saturnine magisterium that defies all laws of nature and reason by not simply crashing to the ground as the endlessly proclaimed laws of rational aerodynamics require. They were, as always, mistaken.

The long-promised ecclesiastical fall of Rome was to be celebrated, like a spectacular crash at the great Farnborough Air Show, by the fiasco of Pope Benedict’s madly insouciant visit to Godless Britain to beatify the already Venerable Doctor John Henry Cardinal Newman in September. The allegedly dogmatic pope supposedly combined all the dislikes of the British caricaturist, commentator, and pub bore: Germanic, authoritarian, sophistical, pompous, superstitious, and curial. In the first half of 2010, the pope was reviled as complicit in the crime of hiding the molestations, and even as an ex-Nazi and a ruthless dogmatist. In his British visit, though, Benedict was seen as intellectually courageous, the quietly spoken wise man. He was apologetic for the Church’s failings, solicitous of its victims, indomitable in the championship of Christian faith, and reverently admiring of Newman, a quintessential Englishman and one of the intellectual giants and greatest English prose stylists of the 19th century. The pope did not put a Prada-clad foot wrong. Leftist pundits who had predicted huge outpourings of hostility were completely silenced, as the pope came and went in an ambiance of reciprocated good will in which all, including Queen Elizabeth, the prime minister, and the archbishop of Canterbury joined.

Benedict was finally recognized as a Nazi resister whose cousin was liquidated because of a mental defect, and who deserted the German Army; and as a great scholar devoted to the reconciliation of faith and reason, who has been decisive and effective and unsung in combating child abuse in the Church for 30 years and had largely eliminated it before it was fanned into a conflagration this year. It was like Edward VII’s visit to Paris in 1903, when he arrived to shouts of “perfidious Albion” and left a week later to choruses of “Long live the King!” Benedict appealed to the strong British appreciation of the underdog, the undemonstrative man of principle. As the year ends, these qualities are again demonstrated by the pope’s refusal to tolerate the ordination of bishops by China’s puppet Catholic Patriotic Association, the People’s Republic’s enactment of Napoleon’s famous dictum that “the people must have their religion and the state must control it.” China antedates the Roman Catholic Church, but Communist China does not, and this usurpation, like all its precedents in church history, will be a complete failure.

By the time of the pope’s British trip, the swords of the worldwide Catholic-baiters had already been blunted by the sudden surge of alarm over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. For several months, War of the Worlds horrors of the destruction of the world’s oceans, the end of the shrimp industry, the irreversible sliming of the entire Gulf and Atlantic coastlines of America, had shouldered and bullied into the back of the public mind the cherished prospect of the exposure of the Roman Church as a racket of pedophiles and predatory Sodomites. Of course, the oil spill was a terribly serious problem too. But in the one case as in the other, there was a determined effort, halting at first, hampered by bumbling and by an urge to downplay and deny, but soon indomitably determined and focused, to address the causes of the problem and stop it, and then to put things right as much and as quickly as possible and prevent repetition. It is not obvious why the swift and dramatic progress in both crises came as such a surprise, and to many, even apparently, as a disappointment.

In the most imperfect days of the Church’s very human history as the custodian of the Christian message and mission, it plumbed much greater depths of depravity than these. The modern media seem to believe it can make or break anything, sacred or profane. The irrational hysteria over the oil spill must have contained a backlash from the rout of the Global Warming Terror. The mad Copenhagen Conference proposal to commit the advanced world to $100 billion in annual Danegeld to the world’s 77 designated poor countries — including the chief carbon-emissions-footprint offender of them all, China — was finally dismissed as nonsense, as was much of the “settled science” Al Gore had invoked to make himself a green centimillionaire and a Nobel laureate.

The Church’s enemies forgot that it does not have adherents because of its personnel, but because it is an ark of faith. The atheists, though often articulate and courageous and knowledgeable, and heavy-laden with the ammunition provided by the fatuity and hypocrisy of much Christian history, can never deal with the insuperable evidence of spiritual forces, miracles, and any ecclesiastical concept of grace. Nor can they surmount the challenge of man’s inability to grasp the infinite, the absence of an end and beginning of space or time. In these vast areas, notions of the supernatural and the deity will always circulate, no matter how great dissent may be. And no one, and certainly not a rag-tag of sacerdotal perverts, will displace Rome from its 2,000-year primacy in this sphere. Even more fundamentally, the ecology of the world has survived paroxysms of destruction such as World War II, when endless oil spillages and pollutions of the air and water were inflicted on the world for over five years. The world and its institutions are racked by the consequences of human failings, but they have what life and its primary modes of organization must have to go on. This is the trite but salutary lesson of 2010, and isn’t a bad Christmas message.

A dissenter in the pews of the Church of the New York Times

 Former Newsweek Editor Slams NY Times For Creating ‘Own Version’ Of Church Scandal

Kennedy's reading Hell's Bible...

New York City, N.Y., May 4, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News).- A former editor for Newsweek slammed the New York Times for their recent attempts to link the Pope with Church sex abuse cover up and charged that the paper created its “own version of the scandal as if they had discovered something new.”

Kenneth Woodward, former religion editor of Newsweek, argued in an April 28 Commonweal article that the NY Times has not been “fair” in its “all-hands-on-deck drive to implicate the pope in diocesan cover-ups of abusive priests.”

Woodward began his commentary by suggesting that that lawyer Jeff Anderson, the “nation’s most aggressive litigator,” who has a financial interest in prosecuting the Church and who provided documents to the NY Times on the Fr. Murphy abuse case in Milwaukee, should have had a “co-byline” in the paper’s coverage of the scandal.

Not only did the NY Times fail to mention that Anderson has already received more that 60 million in settlements from the Church to date, said Woodward, they have also unfairly zeroed in on abuse committed by Catholics priests over other groups. Recent stories on sex abuse scandals within other organizations were given much less coverage and were buried “deep inside” the paper as opposed to the front page, Woodward claimed.

The former Newsweek editor continued in his article to liken the NY Times to the Catholic Church in the sense that the paper resembles the Church in “size, organization, internal culture, and international reach.”

Although the NY Times is not distinct in that it “rivals the Catholic worldview,” said Woodward, what makes the paper unique is its scope and influence.

“Again like the Church of Rome,” he explained, “the Times exercises a powerful magisterium or teaching authority through its editorial board. There is no issue, local or global, on which these (usually anonymous) writers do not pronounce with a papal-like editorial ‘we.’”

“Like the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” Woodward added, “the editorial board is there to defend received truth as well as advance the paper’s political, social, and cultural agendas.”

“The Times, of course, does not claim to speak infallibly in its judgments on current events. (Neither does the pope.) But to the truly orthodox believers in the Times, its editorials carry the burden of liberal holy writ.”

Woodward then criticized the current executive editor of the NY Times, Bill Keller, who Woodward claims has described himself as a “collapsed” Catholic.

“As executive editor, Keller is now responsible for front-paging journalistically questionable stories that attempt but never quite manage to make the pope personally complicit in the clergy-abuse scandal,” Woodward underscored. “He apparently thinks that Jeff Anderson has handed over the ecclesiastical equivalent of the Pentagon Papers.”

The former Newsweek editor then clarified that he is “not suggesting that the scandal is merely media-driven, as some at the Vatican have argued. There would be no stories if there had been no history of abuses and cover-ups in the first place.”

However, he added, “I am saying that the Times has created its own version of the scandal as if they had discovered something new.

“They haven’t,” Woodward charged. “Until they do, I remain a dissenter in the pews of the Church of the New York Times.”

END OF POST

Pope Benedict XVI was falsely accused by The New York Times

The Pope and the press

By Father Raymond J. de Souza

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.

While the case was not new — the priest died in 1998 — the charge landed on front pages around the world, including the National Post, because the Pope was supposedly involved. Within days we learned that the Times was false on the facts, suspect in the sources and reckless in the reporting. All of which the paper had to implicitly concede a week later in an extraordinary rewrite by the same author. So what happened? Were the reporter, Laurie Goodstein, and her editors merely careless, genuinely duped or willing collaborators in an orchestrated smear?

The story did not get the extra scrutiny it deserved. The documents on which the story was based did not support the newsworthy charge against the Pope. After the National Post repeated the charges on our front page on March 26, I read all the documents, posted at the Times web-site. I wrote a point-by-point rebuttal, which was immediately linked to all over the world and played a contributing role in exposing the Times story. (It can be found now at fatherdesouza.ca)For those who knew this file, the sources used screamed out for greater scrutiny. The first was Jeffrey Anderson, who gave the documents to Goodstein, a longtime reporter on Vatican affairs who covers the religion beat. Anderson is the most prolific contingency-fee lawyer in suing the

Church, from which he has made tens of millions. He has current civil suits pending against the Vatican. It is in his direct financial interest to promote the public perception of complicity by the Pope. That alone should have prompted Goodstein to examine what the documents showed and to inquire of others whether there were other relevant documents that he did not give her. Instead, her story accepted fully the Anderson spin.

Read the rest of the story at the source: NATIONAL POST

END OF POST

Pope Benedict — Never has he more resembled his divine savior than today…

PSALM 22

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning.

O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest. Yet thou art holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In thee our fathers trusted; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

To thee they cried, and were saved; in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed.

But I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people.

All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads; “He committed his cause to the LORD; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother’s breasts.

Upon thee was I cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God.

Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help.

Many bulls encompass me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death.

Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet— I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.

But thou, O LORD, be not far off! O thou my help, hasten to my aid!

Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!

Save me from the mouth of the lion, my afflicted soul from the horns of the wild oxen!

I will tell of thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee: You who fear the LORD, praise him!

All you sons of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel!

For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

From thee comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.

The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD!

May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.

For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.

Yea, to him shall all the proud of the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and he who cannot keep himself alive.

Posterity shall serve him; men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation, and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, that he has wrought it.

END OF POST

The Just Judge — Setting the record straight in the case of abusive Milwaukee priest Father Lawrence Murphy

“The Catholic Church is probably the safest place for children at this point in history…” Father Thomas Brundage, JLC

Then-presiding judge for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee gives first-person account of church trial 

By Fr. THOMAS BRUNDAGE, JLC 

For CatholicAnchor.org 

To provide context to this article, I was the Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1995-2003. During those years, I presided over four canonical criminal cases, one of which involved Father Lawrence Murphy. Two of the four men died during the process. God alone will judge these men. 

To put some parameters on the following remarks, I am writing this article with the express knowledge and consent of Archbishop Roger Schwietz, OMI, the Archbishop of Anchorage, where I currently serve. Archbishop Schwietz is also the publisher of the Catholic Anchor newspaper. 

I will limit my comments, because of judicial oaths I have taken as a canon lawyer and as an ecclesiastical judge. However, since my name and comments in the matter of the Father Murphy case have been liberally and often inaccurately quoted in the New York Times and in more than 100 other newspapers and on-line periodicals, I feel a freedom to tell part of the story of Father Murphy’s trial from ground zero. 

As I have found that the reporting on this issue has been inaccurate and poor in terms of the facts, I am also writing out of a sense of duty to the truth. 

 The fact that I presided over this trial and have never once been contacted by any news organization for comment speaks for itself. 

My intent in the following paragraphs is to accomplish the following: 

To tell the back-story of what actually happened in the Father Murphy case on the local level; 

To outline the sloppy and inaccurate reporting on the Father Murphy case by the New York Times and other media outlets; 

To assert that Pope Benedict XVI has done more than any other pope or bishop in history to rid the Catholic Church of the scourge of child sexual abuse and provide for those who have been injured; 

To set the record straight with regards to the efforts made by the church to heal the wounds caused by clergy sexual misconduct. The Catholic Church is probably the safest place for children at this point in history. 

Before proceeding, it is important to point out the scourge that child sexual abuse has been — not only for the church but for society as well. Few actions can distort a child’s life more than sexual abuse. It is a form of emotional and spiritual homicide and it starts a trajectory toward a skewed sense of sexuality. When committed by a person in authority, it creates a distrust of almost anyone, anywhere. 

As a volunteer prison chaplain in Alaska, I have found a corollary between those who have been incarcerated for child sexual abuse and the priests who have committed such grievous actions. They tend to be very smart and manipulative. They tend to be well liked and charming. They tend to have one aim in life — to satisfy their hunger. Most are highly narcissistic and do not see the harm that they have caused. They view the children they have abused not as people but as objects. They rarely show remorse and moreover, sometimes portray themselves as the victims. They are, in short, dangerous people and should never be trusted again. Most will recommit their crimes if given a chance. 

As for the numerous reports about the case of Father Murphy, the back-story has not been reported as of yet. 

In 1996, I was introduced to the story of Father Murphy, formerly the principal of St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee. It had been common knowledge for decades that during Father Murphy’s tenure at the school (1950-1974) there had been a scandal at St. John’s involving him and some deaf children. The details, however, were sketchy at best. 

Courageous advocacy on behalf of the victims (and often their wives), led the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to revisit the matter in 1996. In internal discussions of the curia for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, it became obvious that we needed to take strong and swift action with regard to the wrongs of several decades ago. With the consent of then-Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland, we began an investigation into the allegations of child sexual abuse as well as the violation of the crime of solicitation within the confessional by Father Murphy. 

We proceeded to start a trial against Father Murphy. I was the presiding judge in this matter and informed Father Murphy that criminal charges were going to be levied against him with regard to child sexual abuse and solicitation in the confessional. 

In my interactions with Father Murphy, I got the impression I was dealing with a man who simply did not get it. He was defensive and threatening. 

Between 1996 and August, 1998, I interviewed, with the help of a qualified interpreter, about a dozen victims of Father Murphy. These were gut-wrenching interviews. In one instance the victim had become a perpetrator himself and had served time in prison for his crimes. I realized that this disease is virulent and was easily transmitted to others. I heard stories of distorted lives, sexualities diminished or expunged. These were the darkest days of my own priesthood, having been ordained less than 10 years at the time. Grace-filled spiritual direction has been a Godsend. 

I also met with a community board of deaf Catholics. They insisted that Father Murphy should be removed from the priesthood and highly important to them was their request that he be buried not as a priest but as a layperson. I indicated that a judge, I could not guarantee the first request and could only make a recommendation to the latter request. 

In the summer of 1998, I ordered Father Murphy to be present at a deposition at the chancery in Milwaukee. I received, soon after, a letter from his doctor that he was in frail health and could travel not more than 20 miles (Boulder Junction to Milwaukee would be about 276 miles). A week later, Father Murphy died of natural causes in a location about 100 miles from his home 

With regard to the inaccurate reporting on behalf of the New York Times, the Associated Press, and those that utilized these resources, first of all, I was never contacted by any of these news agencies but they felt free to quote me. Almost all of my quotes are from a document that can be found online with the correspondence between the Holy See and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. In an October 31, 1997 handwritten document, I am quoted as saying ‘odds are that this situation may very well be the most horrendous, number wise, and especially because these are physically challenged , vulnerable people. “ Also quoted is this: “Children were approached within the confessional where the question of circumcision began the solicitation.” 

The problem with these statements attributed to me is that they were handwritten. The documents were not written by me and do not resemble my handwriting. The syntax is similar to what I might have said but I have no idea who wrote these statements, yet I am credited as stating them. As a college freshman at the Marquette University School of Journalism, we were told to check, recheck, and triple check our quotes if necessary. I was never contacted by anyone on this document, written by an unknown source to me. Discerning truth takes time and it is apparent that the New York Times, the Associated Press and others did not take the time to get the facts correct. 

Additionally, in the documentation in a letter from Archbishop Weakland to then-secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone on August 19, 1998, Archbishop Weakland stated that he had instructed me to abate the proceedings against Father Murphy. Father Murphy, however, died two days later and the fact is that on the day that Father Murphy died, he was still the defendant in a church criminal trial. No one seems to be aware of this. Had I been asked to abate this trial, I most certainly would have insisted that an appeal be made to the supreme court of the church, or Pope John Paul II if necessary. That process would have taken months if not longer. 

Second, with regard to the role of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), in this matter, I have no reason to believe that he was involved at all. Placing this matter at his doorstep is a huge leap of logic and information. 

Third, the competency to hear cases of sexual abuse of minors shifted from the Roman Rota to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith headed by Cardinal Ratzinger in 2001. Until that time, most appeal cases went to the Rota and it was our experience that cases could languish for years in this court. When the competency was changed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in my observation as well as many of my canonical colleagues, sexual abuse cases were handled expeditiously, fairly, and with due regard to the rights of all the parties involved. I have no doubt that this was the work of then Cardinal Ratzinger. 

Fourth, Pope Benedict has repeatedly apologized for the shame of the sexual abuse of children in various venues and to a worldwide audience. This has never happened before. He has met with victims. He has reigned in entire conferences of bishops on this matter, the Catholic Bishops of Ireland being the most recent. He has been most reactive and proactive of any international church official in history with regard to the scourge of clergy sexual abuse of minors. Instead of blaming him for inaction on these matters, he has truly been a strong and effective leader on these issues. 

Finally, over the last 25 years, vigorous action has taken place within the church to avoid harm to children. Potential seminarians receive extensive sexual-psychological evaluation prior to admission. Virtually all seminaries concentrate their efforts on the safe environment for children. There have been very few cases of recent sexual abuse of children by clergy during the last decade or more. 

Catholic dioceses all across the country have taken extraordinary steps to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults. As one example, which is by no means unique, is in the Archdiocese of Anchorage, where I currently work. Here, virtually every public bathroom in parishes has a sign asking if a person has been abuse by anyone in the church. A phone number is given to report the abuse and almost all church workers in the archdiocese are required to take yearly formation sessions in safe environment classes. I am not sure what more the church can do. 

To conclude, the events during the 1960’s and 1970’s of the sexual abuse of minors and solicitation in the confessional by Father Lawrence Murphy are unmitigated and gruesome crimes. On behalf of the church, I am deeply sorry and ashamed for the wrongs that have been done by my brother priests but realize my sorrow is probably of little importance 40 years after the fact. The only thing that we can do at this time is to learn the truth, beg for forgiveness, and do whatever is humanly possible to heal the wounds. The rest, I am grateful, is in God’s hands. 

Father Thomas T. Brundage, JCL 

Editor’s note: Father Brundage can be contacted at brundaget@archmil.org or by phone at (907) 745-3229 X 11.

END OF POST

NYT: Visiting the Benedict Scandal Learning Network for Kids…

‘Teaching And Learning With The New York Times…’
Nice propaganda Huh?

Dissident Catholic rags like the National Catholic Reporter have nothing over the New York Times (or as some prefer to call it these days  Hell’s Bible) when it comes to hit jobs. NYT takes no prisoners–women and children be damned…

Our daily permeation of scandal spew continues on with Holly Epstein Ojalvo’s effort on The Learning Network found within the Education Section of the NYT’: 

We realize that many teachers and parents want to help their students and children understand the current sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. I chose the article below because it provides a good basic overview, without any graphic details. To find updated news and more background, visit the Times Topics pages on the Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse Cases, Pope Benedict XVI and the Roman Catholic Church.

WHO are the key figures in the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church?

WHAT has been the current pope’s role in and response to the scandal, including when he was serving as an archbishop?

WHERE in Europe and the United States are extensive cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests concentrated?

WHEN did the abuse reported in the article take place?

WHY are many Irish Catholics experiencing a “growing sense of anger”?

HOW did church officials initially respond to allegations made against priests?

Education is where the false spirit of Vatican II reformation of the church failed, crashed, and continues to burn… Under John Paul II and today under Benedict XVI the Church is being refreshed in truth… Albeit, slowly and to the chagrin of many…

COUNTERPOINT: Here’s some reliable facts on the Benedict scandal: A Response to the New York Times by Father Raymond J. de Souza

VIDEO H/TSt. Joseph’s Vanguard And Our Lady’s Train (A fine site I just discovered…)

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