Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why The View is wrong about the Catholic Church and the Pope

I just watched a clip from the View which aired earlier this month where the 5 women on the show talk about the Pope. It seems they thoroughly researched their topic, if by thorough you mean looked at a few headlines from the mainstream liberal media and filled in the rest.

I will go through the clip one bit at a time. It can be found here:

0:00 First, Sherri Shepherd says she doesn't know much about the Catholic religion. This is one part of the segment I can agree with. Then she says when it comes to children, the Church should speak up or do whatever "you could". Well, the Church has spoken up. The pope has written many letters condeming priest sexual abuse. But much before this, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger was put in charge of weeding out pedophile priests. He was determined to rid the church of what he called "filth".

Cardinal Ratzinger, in fact, decided that a more swift process for trying alleged abusers was preferred over a more thorough, church-sanctioned procedure, and 60% of cases were quickly brought through a trial. And none were dismissed sumarily.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was very tough on these offenses. Many saw its zero tolerance policy as excessive, but Ratzinger would have it no other way.

In 2008, Cardinal Ratzinger met with sexual abuse victims. I saw a television report on the pope meeting with victims when he visited the US. They said he really tried to understand them. Some were clearly moved by his love for them.

No one can claim the pope doesn't care if they read his pastoral letter to Ireland.

0:20 Joy Behar brings up allegations against Pope Benedict. However, there is no evidence that Pope Benedict was even aware of these cases. She does not mention anything specific, because if one were to see the facts, they would realize there is no story. But just mentioning a few locations and then the name of Pope Benedict seems to be enough for the media these days.

0:35 Elizabeth Hasselbeck then says that if a person were in charge like this in the real world, wouldn't they be charged with a crime? That's kind of like saying if there is a sexual assault victim in the US somewhere, the President should be held accountable even if he is unaware of the case. As I mentioned earlier, the pope didn't "do nothing" as Elisabeth claims, but rather did a lot

Then Elisabeth reads a quote from a bishop that says the Church must tell the truth. She then says the pope has to "tell the truth". I'm not really sure what "lie" she's implying. He has admitted that there was sexual abuse in the church. And he has done a lot to stop it. So, where is the "lie"?

1:10 The Whoopi claims that the pope said something to effect that only Americans have a problem with sexual abuse. Could I see a quote about this? I have never heard this and frankly, it sounds absurd. Then she goes on a tirade while slapping her hands together and making fists. There is little content however. She just says he must be adament and clear. He has been very clear. She says he has not been. Is it possible that Whoopi has not read much about the Pope? She calls him "Mr. Pope". That should indicate her depth of knowledge on him.

1:55 Joy Behar now adds on to Whoopi's comments and says "he should admit he was negligent then". Not sure again what she's talking about. Why are they so desperate to lay all the blame on the pope? They are talking in riddles, in nuance. But their goal seems simply to implicate His Holiness somehow.

2:08 Joy Behar, who probably has a degree in theology, now gives us a lesson on Papal infallibility. She says according to the church, the pope is infallible which means he cannot make mistakes. Common misconception, but wrong. Papal infallibility is a very specific doctrine related to issues of faith and morals. It is rarely used. I doubt it has been used even once during Pope Benedict's pontificate. The pope goes to confession regularly. He would not if he could not make a mistake.

Whoopi then pipes up and says "Only God is infallible!" to which Joy Behar declared, "That's not the teaching of the Church". Please, someone get these women a Catechism!

2:34 The tone becomes a little more solemn as Barbara Walters has a "the more you know" moment with the audience. She brings up the fact that many believe homosexuality in the priesthood contributed to this issue. She flatly rejects this claim, of course unsupported by any evidence. Anything that is not politically correct can be dismissed without reason. But in fact, homosexual sin does have something to do with this scandal. Most of the victims of the abuse were post-adolescent boys. Priestly sexual abuse was generally not between the priest and a female. Priests were often teachers, catechists, and other professions which would put them in contact with boys and girls. So the fact that almost all cases involved post-adolescent boys tells us something.

Barbara Walters says there is no connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. Perhaps, perhaps not. That's not the point. It may have been homosexuality plus pedophilia. I've read that a common theme in homoerotic literature is a relationship between a man and a younger post-adolescent male. We can even see this relationship in Ancient Rome. It's not a stretch to link homosexual sin to these issues. The conversation sort of continues on this path for a little while then fizzles out.

The Church has made great strides in riding itself of sexual abuse. Virtually no cases have been reported since the 1980s. Cardinal Ratzinger and now Pope Benedict has done a significant amount to make the situation right. When people say the Church is not doing anything, they are either uninformed or lying.

Much of the information I used can be found in the following New York Times article:

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