Following the announcement that the pope was resigning, bashers came out of the woodwork. But the hit piece that aired on “Entertainment Tonight” (ET) was clearly one of the worst.

The segment began with correspondent Brian Ross complaining that many years ago he was slapped on the wrist by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The occasion for this “brutality” was Ross’ decision to badger the would-be pope as he was walking to a car. Ross said, “It actually stung.” He didn’t say whether he went to the ER.

Next up was a promo for the documentary “Mea Maxima Culpa,” a classic agit-prop film that is strewn with lies. Viewers learned that Pope Benedict XVI investigated, “but without much effect,” the charges levied against Father Marcial Maciel. Another savant asked, “Did Benedict punish him in any way?” To which he exclaimed, “No.” Then why was Benedict credited by his critics for removing Maciel from ministry and launching a Vatican take-over of his religious order?

The ET segment then said “the film implies that the pope…was at the epicenter” of the scandal. Agreed. That’s all the film does is imply. When there is no evidence to support outrageous claims, mud-slinging is all that is left. Similarly, we learn that documents on priestly wrongdoing “are said to be kept in secret Vatican archives.” More innuendo. Absent evidence, conjecture was the best they could do.

Then they rolled out the paranoid attorney Jeffrey Anderson. “There is an enormous worldwide conspiracy—a cover-up at the highest level in the Catholic Church.” Not mentioned was the fact that all of his lawsuits to get the Vatican have failed.

ET owes Catholics an apology for this Mafioso-style propaganda.

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