Longtime critic of Catholic Church over sex scandals is vindicated

From S. M. Hutchens at Touchstone:

Following the recent revelations about the career of Cardinal McCarrick and the Pennsylvania grand jury report of clerical sex abuse in that state reaching back at least as far as the 1940s, the editors think it a good time to remind our readers of a July 7, 2008 posting titled “The Scandal of Leon Podles” at a blogsite called Fringe Watch, extensively excerpted here. This posting reflected much respectable Catholic opinion at the time:

You won’t be surprised to learn that Podles was utterly trashed by socially aware persons for his unCool concerns about sex abuse in the Church.

A decade has now passed, and we have come to the place where it is plain that, not to put too fine a point on it, Lee Podles was right, the critics who accused him of hyperbole were wrong, those who abandoned him were cowards, and the contents of this Fringe Watch posting are largely self-refuting. There’s nothing much left of it except the complaint that he sounded like he was very upset when he wrote the book. On that account, one of the respondents to my Mere Comments doggerel (“The bleeding lines of bloody men are not for the polite: They kill the taste of sherry, overthrow Gemütlichkeit. . . .”) remarked, “Is there a seemly and nuanced manner that one should employ when recounting the rape of young boys by predatory sodomites?” More.

The socially aware have, one fears, gone on to do some other damage somewhere else while the rest of us cope with the fallout.

From Willis L. Krumholz and Robert Delahunty at The Federalist:

In Italy, Francesco Zenardi, the president of an Italian abuse survivors group called Rete L’Abuso (Abuse Network), recently described Francis’ management of the sex abuse scandals as “dramatic and disastrous.” “His commitment to ‘zero tolerance’ is only on paper and for the TV cameras,” Zenardi said.

Zenardi discussed four specific cases in which he said Francis had been notified of clerical abuses or cover-ups but had done nothing. In one case, Zenardi alleged that Mario Enrico Delpini, whom Francis named the archbishop of Milan in 2017, covered up for at least one offender-priest who was allowed to continue his abuses for years. That abuser is now serving time in Italian prison. Francis is also reported to have ignored the abuse of at least one boy attending classes within the Vatican’s walls, and the systemic abuse of children at the Antonio Provolo Institute for the deaf in Verona. More.

Of course, any given accusation could be an exaggeration or a smear. That’s precisely why what’s needed is a thorough investigation into such accusations, not saintly silence. One result of failure to act is:

A recent Pew Research Center poll shows that six in ten American Catholics say the pope is doing an “only fair” or “poor” job of managing the scandal.

That is almost double the share who said he was doing a poor job earlier this year, and triple the share who said this in 2015. The lack of confidence is also broadly based—both Catholic women and men, young and old, and church-attending or not, have grown increasingly critical of this pontiff. More.

Meanwhile, from Lauretta Brown at Townhall:

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine announced Tuesday that he is opening an investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington regarding sexual abuse by the clergy.

Roman Catholic dioceses throughout the country are facing civil investigations after a shocking Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing over 1,000 instances of sexual abuse by 300 priests and cover-ups by bishops.

Racine also pointed out that his investigation brings the number of states with open investigations into Catholic clergy sexual abuse to 14. More.

Reality check: Some think that the Vatican is hoping that the media will just move on to something else. Iif so, the Vatican is surely kidding its collective self. Others say no, within and without the Church, the investigation will focus on low-level perps at the parish level, bypassing the storied “lavender mafia” high above them.

Hard to call what the media would prefer to cover in that case: A steady drumbeat against the local parish or the fall of great prelates as a result of undercover investigations?

The Catholic Church is not the Democratic Party or the Liberals. The media don’t need the Church. That is, they don’t need guys like McCarrick the way they needed Bill Clinton. So we’ll see.

See also: What does Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s accepted resignation mean for the Catholic Church?  Progressives and traditionalists seem upset about the same things this time out

Dare we hope for a reform movement soon in the Catholic Church? To judge from some of Francis’s supporters, maybe so


Big left-leaning German mag starts to “get it” about the Vatican’s problem The problem with trashing all who are concerned about the coverup of Vatican gay sex scandals as nasty right-wing fanatics is this: It amounts to saying that only a right-wing nasty would care about churchmen abusing their power over minors and young adults.