Catholic League president Bill Donohue addresses an article in today’s New York Timeson a case of priestly sexual abuse “linked” to the pope:
Many pundits have recently given Pope Benedict XVI higher marks than his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in handling abuse cases. The entire point of today’s story in the Times by Katrin Bennhold is to cast doubt on the pope’s record. The headline says his role was actually “complex.”
Consistent with previous Times stories on abuse cases in the Catholic Church, this one does not involve any current incident. Moreover, the old case dug up this time is from Austria. In 1995, a journalist broke a story about alleged sexual abuse by Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër of Vienna. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who was not formally in charge of policing such cases at that time, nonetheless pressed for an investigation. At first, he was turned down, but soon thereafter Pope John Paul II approved an investigation.
Because there isn’t a whole lot more to this story, it just underscores our accusation that the point is to cast doubt on the pope’s commitment to ending abuse. In other words, this is pure politics. Nonetheless, the story contains some unintended chestnuts. How so? It shows, without ever saying so, that homosexuality was once again the problem.
The article says that Cardinal Groër was suspected of “abusing minors and young men.” Not kids. As has been true in most cases, the abuse did not involve pedophilia, but homosexuality. Also, the story mentions how a Fr. Udo Fischer was molested by Groër “in the early 1970s.” Since Fischer was born in 1952 (we check out everything at the Catholic League), that means the Times has unwittingly found yet another homosexual “victim.”
Which makes us wonder: just how many of the other “abuse” cases involved consensual homosexual sex.
Contact public editor Clark Hoyt: firstname.lastname@example.org