The Theocons Dig In


George Weigel, once a staunch defender of cultist and multiple child-rapist Marcial Maciel, a man protected by both Woytila and Ratzinger for years, now blames gay former archbishop, Rembert Weakland, and Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times for airing the hideous story of how a Catholic priest was able to rape countless deaf children in Milwaukee for decades. All of it is now a liberal media conspiracy against the church:

[T]he crisis of sexual abuse and episcopal malfeasance has been seized upon by the Church’s enemies to cripple it, morally and financially, and to cripple its leaders. That was the subtext in Boston in 2002 (where the effort was aided by Catholics who want to turn Catholicism into high-church Congregationalism, preferably with themselves in charge). And that is what has happened in recent weeks, as a global media attack has swirled around Pope Benedict XVI, following the revelation of odious abuse cases throughout Europe. In his native Germany, Der Spiegel has called for the pope’s resignation; similar cries for papal blood have been raised in Ireland, a once-Catholic country now home to the most aggressively secularist press in Europe.

But it was the New York Times’ front page of March 25 that demonstrated just how low those determined to bring the Church down were prepared to go.

Notice how Weigel still blames the revelation of child abuse in Boston on the Globe, rather than, say, Cardinal Law, who was rewarded for covering up and enabling the rape of children by a sinecure in Rome and a right to elect the current Pontiff. Yes, he's still there, sitting pretty. And, although Weigel concedes some errors in the church, he argues in the case of the rapes of deaf children for decades in Wisconsin, that the current Pope had nothing to do with ignoring this case of abuse, even though it was referred directly to his office in 1996:

The New York Times made available on its own website the supporting documentation for the story. In those documents, Cardinal Ratzinger himself does not take any of the decisions that allegedly frustrated the trial. Letters are addressed to him; responses come from his deputy.

So it was the deputy's fault. Ratzinger never signed anything. Even though Weakland went directly to Rome, he never actually got to meet Ratzinger. The future Pope kept his distance, but didn't actively shut down any investigation; his deputy merely recommended suspending it because of Murphy's illness and age. Case closed for the theocons.

Once again, there is "non-responsibility" for failing to act, and for allowing the investigation to peter out because of the priest's impending death in 1998. Once again, there is an attempt to blame all this on a liberal media conspiracy. Once again, the person at the top never bears responsibility because someone lower down will protect him. And once again, on both Weigel's and D'Souza's pieces, there is no explicit account of what was actually done to these vulnerable children, even within the confessional itself.

Again, what matters is the reputation of the church, not the raped psyches and violated souls of children.

They still don't get it.

And those who put the prerogatives of power and institutional reputation over the lives of vulnerable children never will.