Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the cover story of this week’s Time:
Jeff Israely and Howard Chua-Eoan are badly in need of a good Catholic education; they could also profit by having a competent editor. The June 7 cover story begins by speculating whether Pope Benedict XVI will apologize for the behavior of abusing priests, yet in no time the authors quote the pope for apologizing. Guess it just wasn’t enough. It never is. Then they get melodramatic: the pope can’t apologize for fear of damaging the magisterium and papal power. Then why does he do it?
The authors wonder why the pope hasn’t mentioned his own role in the scandal. There is a reason for that: no one, including those at the New York Times, has been able to nail him. But this doesn’t stop Time from laying its dirty seed.
Citing the pope’s apology regarding wrongdoing by some Irish priests—decades ago—Time posits that he didn’t apologize “for anything he or, indeed, the Holy See may have done, much less the mystical entity called the Church, the bride of Christ.” Why anyone should personally apologize for offenses he never committed is not explained: it’s just assumed the pope is guilty and, worse, refuses to admit it. This isn’t objective journalism—it’s an indictment.
“Why didn’t the church simply report to the civil authorities the crimes its priests were suspected of committing?” For the same reason every other religious, as well as secular, institution did not: following the lordly liberal wisdom of the day, the accused was sent to therapy and then returned to his post. Similarly, the decision not to immediately laicize an offending priest in 1985 was not done for sinister reasons, as implied, but because of an age-sensitive policy (he was dumped two years later).
On the subject of papal infallibility, the authors appear as clueless as their managing editor, Richard Stengel (he was recently interviewed on MSNBC).
Contact Stengel: email@example.com