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Vatican blasts anti-Catholic hate campaign

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In terms of crisis management, the Catholic church is doing everything - and I mean everything - wrong. This is nothing less than an ongoing PR disaster for the RC church.

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Looks like the PR/propaganda higher ups have decided this IS the way to handle the crisis. It's a conscious decision, not just incompetent bungling, to say this stuff. Seems pretty risky to me to equate being anti-pedophilia with being anti-Catholic, and maybe they are doing everything wrong, but they don't think so. We'll see if they can pull it off or if it blows up on them.

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It is unfortunate that the NY Times is off on a vendetta against the Catholic Church for purely ideological reasons. Howerver, until everything comes out and the Church can assure their adherents that priests are not preying on little boys, they will continue to get hammered - and deservedly so.

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Wolfpack, Catholic priests HAVE been preying on little boys. That's the whole problem.

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This is known as "digging your own grave."

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Wolfpack -- as a practicising Catholic, I think your comment is absurd. I have been following the NYT articles, and I don't see a "vendetta" there. Instead I see them reporting facts. Facts, which unfortunately even the Catholic Church cannot refute. Pope Benedict was the Cardinal in Munich when this case happened, and, he was head of the bureau at the Vatican when the Wiconsin priest's case came to light as well. The NYT has not said that he covered them up personally. They are just stating that he was in those key positions when stupid/immoral decisions were made. Decisions that call into question the moral authority of the Church. And, unfortunately, it appears the Vatican went to the Bush/Cheney school of PR, so they are trying the "diversionary tactics" strategy, rather than really coming clean. The statement on Good Friday by the Pope's official speaker likening this to anti-sematism is just silly beyond words. Benedict is getting some very bad advise on all this.

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I don't see this as a hate campaign. I see it as payback. You know what they say about payback.

Or, to use a phrase the priests might be more familiar with, "you shall reap as you sow." It's time the pedophile ring was broken up. The church needs more priests and fewer perverts. The only way to do that is to end the celebacy requirement. Does Benedict have the guts or will the priests continue to protect their brother pervs? Time will tell.

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The Vatican heatedly defended Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday, claiming accusations that he helped cover up the actions of pedophile priests are part of an anti-Catholic “hate” campaign targeting the pope for his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

This is ridiculous. It's the same as saying "hey, I shot him because he slapped me - it hurt a lot and my face is now red and I..."

Where's the other's rights?

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You know what they say about payback.

Then why not strike against every organization where this is widespread? According to the US Department of Education "nearly 9.6% of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career.", or the fact that 3.7% of stepparents sexually abuse their stepchild, compared to the 2% of priests that engage in these activities that result in the abuse of less than a percent of the number of children the catholic church tends to. That by no means justifies the monstrous behavior but why the focus on the church? Because Catholics are easy to bash on, second to the Jewish population the Catholics are perhaps the most popular scapegoat for any and all of society’s problems because we’re so deadened to the constant outpour that there is rarely little if any backlash from the Vatican.

time the pedophile ring was broken up. The church needs more priests and fewer perverts.

You make it sound like plot to seduce the children of the world when it's really just a number of gross old guys spread throughout the world. Nobody gives a flying frack about the child prostitution going on in some countries or the child trafficking going on in the U.S, but because of a 2% minority number of perverts the entirety of the Church is a pedophile ring eh? Here's another fun statistic from the UK, probably the least Catholic place in Europe, "Of 2019 men and women (aged 15 years and over) interviewed as part of a MORI Survey of a nationally representative sample of Great Britain. 10% reported that they had been sexually abused before the age of 16 (12% of females; 8% of males)."

This isn't a exclusively a Catholic problem, it’s a global problem. The Catholic Church is just a convenient thing to attack because of the natural animosity some hold for it.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V7N-45Y0WD7-8K&_user=10&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F1985&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=ff45553fd757bf2359788747a6150e65

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V7N-3VWPXYT-6&_user=10&_coverDate=09%2F30%2F1996&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=5591d31034978dfdea137836b73572a8

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The solution to this is simple. Just take it on the chin and 'fess up. Hang all those people responsible out to dry and take responsibility.

Like Japan with history in WW2, as long as the Catholic Church denies and tries to bury the past, there are people (the media) who will happily dig it up. Indeed, to paraphrase a former Australian politician, the role of the media is to "keep the bastards honest" and the Catholic Church should respect this. If they cannot, they should seek some form of recompense via legal avenues. Then again, stepping into a courtroom will open a whole new can of worms.

Anyway, as I said the other day, the Church, who teaches about the importance of telling the truth, needs to stop speaking out its collective .... Moreover, throwing around conspiracy theories only makes the Catholic Church look like a paranoid religious cult instead of one of the major religious forces on earth.

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The church is pro-Life and pro-Family. I wonder if this moral position is "infallible" like statements of Faith. Does anyone know?

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Boy this is a PR disaster for the Catholic Church. Lies, abuse and the ongoing condescension of its faithful. The Church seems bound for irrelevance in the Developed world - and it only has itself to blame.

Here's another fun statistic from the UK, probably the least Catholic place in Europe

There are about 7-8 million Catholics in the UK. Your statement doesnt lend creditability to the rest of your statistics.

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I think there is some truth to what the Vatican is saying. Abortion, same-sex marriage, Euthanasia, etc... are all controversal issues and the church sits there telling the proponents of these ideologies that they are wrong. Sure, if I did not sit on the churches side in these controversal things, then I would try to identify the church with the bad behavior of a few. I wouldn't let up until all credibility was destroyed. Then I could pursue my agenda unopposed. Makes sense to me. Will it work? I hope not for the sake of the society that we now know.

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From a distance the Catholic Church has done nothing to resolve this problem, except to try to hide it in plain sight. Everybody sees through their veil of stupidity and things just don't go away, like they think should happen. < :-)

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herefornow said: The statement on Good Friday by the Pope's official speaker likening this to anti-sematism is just silly beyond words.

Actually the statement originally came from a jew. The reverend was just repeating what his Jewish friend wrote in a letter. And I agree. I don't like catholic church at all, but this is not reason to be against catholics, their church, the Pope, or the Vatican. As TheQuestion points out, church has a better record than schools or the general population as far as sex and minors are concerned. Hiding the problem priests was a grave mistake, but its the least of their sins.

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Hiding the problem priests was a grave mistake, but its the least of their sins.

Please enlighten us to what constitutes a greater evil than the systematic maltreatment of children?

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DentShop said: Please enlighten us to what constitutes a greater evil than the systematic maltreatment of children?

Sure. Accusing a group of people of the systematic maltreatment of children when they are not, as a group, guilty.

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HeyLars: " Hiding the problem priests was a grave mistake, but its the least of their sins."

I sometimes agree with you, but not here. And you didn't at all answer DentShop's query, you simply misdirected. What sins do the priests have that are greater than child molestation? since you say it's the least of their sins and what not.

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“It’s not a bishop’s fault if one of his priests is stained by grave wrongdoing. And certainly the pontiff is not responsible.” But it is a bishop's fault if he then moves the priest from parish to parish covering up his crimes and facilitiating him in the comission of more crimes against children. Further, in case after case, bishops did not report paedophile priests to the civil authorities. The current pope as archbishop of Munich seems to have participated in one such cover up and therefore bears historical responsibility. If the Catholic Church wants to regain credibility it has to face this issue head on, admit mistakes were made and change behaviour.

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"But it is a bishop's fault if he then moves the priest from parish to parish covering up his crimes and facilitiating him in the comission of more crimes against children."

This is why they deserve the rollicking the whole Catholic Church is getting. Surely these priests aiding and abetting fellow paedophile priests must have been part of the Church's paedophile ring....

...surely only a paedophile would help another. Most of us, other than the radical left I suppose, would be appaled to discover one in our midst, let alone cover for one or even worse, re-locate them in positions where they will continue to sexually molest children.

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smithinjapan said: I sometimes agree with you, but not here. And you didn't at all answer DentShop's query, you simply misdirected. What sins do the priests have that are greater than child molestation?

Probably what I should have said was that there was no systematic maltreatment of children within the Catholic church as a group, but saying otherwise is worse than any collective catholic guilt on this. It is individual priests who are to blame for either the sex offenses or hiding them. I cannot speak for each individual case, but surely most of them are close to the height of sins of catholic priests in this century and the last half of the last century. But certainly throwing out words like "pedo ring" is complete wrong and unfair and uttered only out of spite, a personal problem.

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as always, these people are completely out of touch - they need a better PR company...

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On behalf of the Catholic bishops of the United States, we, the members of the Executive Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, write both to express our deep concern for those harmed by the crime and sin of sexual abuse by clergy and to express our profound gratitude for the assistance that Pope Benedict XVI has given us in our efforts to respond to victims, deal with perpetrators and to create safe environments for children. The recent emergence of more reports of sexual abuse by clergy saddens and angers the Church and causes us shame. If there is anywhere that children should be safe, it should be in their homes and in the Church.

We know from our experience how Pope Benedict is deeply concerned for those who have been harmed by sexual abuse and how he has strengthened the Church’s response to victims and supported our efforts to deal with perpetrators. We continue to intensify our efforts to provide safe environments for children in our parishes and schools. Further, we work with others in our communities to address the prevalence of sexual abuse in the larger society.

One of the most touching moments of the Holy Father’s visit to the United States in 2008 was his private conversation with victims/survivors at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington. Pope Benedict heard firsthand how sexual abuse has devastated lives. The Holy Father spoke with each person and provided every one time to speak freely to him. They shared their painful experiences and he listened, often clasping their hands and responding tenderly and reassuringly.

With the support of both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, we bishops have made a vigorous commitment to do everything in our power to prevent abuse from happening to children. We live out this commitment through the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which calls us to respond with compassion to victims/survivors, to work diligently to screen those working with children and young people in the Church, to provide child abuse awareness and prevention education, to report suspected abuse to civil law enforcement, and to account for our efforts to protect children and youth through an external annual national audit.

As we accompany Christ in His passion and death during this Holy Week, we stand with our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in prayer for the victims of sexual abuse, for the entire Church and for the world.

http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-058.shtml

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"But certainly throwing out words like "pedo ring" is complete wrong and unfair and uttered only out of spite"

Lars, I can only assume you don't have kids.

Paedophile rings share material and protect each other.

The Catholic Church has met this criteria.

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Madverts said: The Catholic Church has met this criteria.

No, the overwhelming majority of the church was not involved and not even aware of what was happening.

In a sense, I have a lot of kids. I would say I average about 50 a year for all the years I have been here. I cannot say I have heard of any sex abuse anywhere I have taught, but if it did get covered up you are doing a good job explaining why. Rather than blame the people involved you call the whole group a pedo ring without hesitation. I don't think any of my schools earned or deserved such a title and I don't think the church does either. Its not even helpful. I sure hope you don't actually think you are helping any kids that way.

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It is unfortunate that the NY Times is off on a vendetta against the Catholic Church for purely ideological reasons.

I suppose you could describe "revulsion to paedophilia" as an ideology, though not really as a vendetta.

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Vatican blasts anti-Catholic hate campaign

Why is "anti-Catholic hate campaign" not in quotation marks? This is an editorializing headline of the most transparent sort.

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Then why not strike against every organization where this is widespread? According to the US Department of Education "nearly 9.6% of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career.", or the fact that 3.7% of stepparents sexually abuse their stepchild, compared to the 2% of priests that engage in these activities that result in the abuse of less than a percent of the number of children the catholic church tends to.

Fair enough for the crime. Yes, there will always be molesters in any organization. But this says nothing about the systematic cover-up.

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" you call the whole group a pedo ring without hesitation"

That's right.

Sytematic cover-up of sexual abuse of children by other members of the sect - often right up there in the food chain) who were are to suppose are not offenders themselves (other than by proxy) and then housing them discretely elsewhere knowing what they are, allowing their abhorent crimes to go un-punished and thus allowing them to re-offend as paedophiles always do...

I'd say that's got the attributes to be considered a Paedophile Ring. An International one to boot...

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Madverts - they listened to their lawyers and psychologists, I suppose. Secular society does the same. People who hurt children should be put away for good. You and I know that. Why does our society allow them out? It may be an International organization. What do you think? How is the UN? Are the Europeans in on it too? We all have heard about real rings that buy and sell children and produce ... it is enough. Let us all work together, with the church as well, to put a stop to these things...for the children all over the world. Re-read my link, please: http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-058.shtml

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There are about 7-8 million Catholics in the UK. Your statement doesnt lend creditability to the rest of your statistics.

I didn't say the UK lacked Catholics, merely that they had the least of them. Considering that Europe in general is 66% Catholic and most of Western Europe is, on average, 55% the fact that only 14% of the UK's population is Catholic makes my statement that the UK is 'probably' the least Catholic place in Europe entirely plausible.

Lars, I can only assume you don't have kids.

If one were to send those kids to public school they should be infinitely more concerned about the teachers. The incidence is higher and there are far more children in school every day than there are Catholic in church.

Fair enough for the crime. Yes, there will always be molesters in any organization. But this says nothing about the systematic cover-up.

So this is really that different from when teachers do the same thing and the union shuffles them to another district? Or even when they find out a teacher is committing these acts they try to downplay it while keeping the teacher on unpaid leave. No enormous public outcry, no poorly thought out teacher jokes, no blatant hate or generalizing all teachers as pedophiles. Double standard?

http://randysright.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/seiu-unions-keep-convicted-sex-offender-school-teachers-on-payroll-at-tax-payer-expense/

this is just a list someone compiled of teachers and the lengths some Unions will go to protect them. Funny, I've never heard of anybody characterizing the teachers union as a pedophile ring before.

All acts of this sort are atrocious but we seldom focus on them, it appears that people only get up in arms when a Catholic priest. The church may have handled some of these instances wrongly but that hardly merits the condemnation of all who are members. It would be like me saying that all democrats are child beating scumbags because Clinton pardoned Mel Reynolds for assaulting a 16 year old. All democrats are not scumbags and I maintain some level of respect of Clinton if not for all of his actions.

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good to see the holy church get motovated to defend itself, now if they could only fix the source of their problem with the same energy. Naw, that will not happen. Easier to blame others than fix your own problems. Meanwhile more kids will get molested by priests that the church knows are pedifiles.

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Here's an interesting article about the systematic rape of children by priests of Natives in Alaska and Canada and the coverup. The best part is by the former priest who was usually the lead in covering up the rapes. http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/the-pedophiles-paradise/Content?oid=1065017

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It’s been asked again and again why the Catholic Church is getting such a bashing over this while other establishments are not and would not. Perhaps the answer is that when you set your self up as the moral voice of mankind you need to be 100% sure you are more than just the voice but the action too. Telling the world to do as I say not as I do is not the way to win friends. The Vatican has put it self in a position where it cannot defend it self because it’s own history shows that serious mistakes have been made by protecting those that it knew were committing crimes against children. For my own part I couldn’t care less if the whole establishment were to disappear without trace tomorrow. That however is not going to happen so the best anybody can hope for is that it cleans up it’s act and comes clean on past mistakes and punishes those responsible, and by that I do not just mean the child molesters but also the those that did everything in their power to protect the church at the expense of future harm to children. I wouldn’t go as far as some and say that these protectors were a part of a “pedo ring”, but their actions did facilitate the future actions of people they knew were paedophiles. They were protecting the image of the church and as such they failed to protect the children.

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The Vatican is stupid. This kind of clumsy defense is a PR disaster.

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makes my statement that the UK is 'probably' the least Catholic place in Europe entirely plausible.

The UK is 14% Catholic, but Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Russia and Sweden are less than 5% Catholic.

I know, I know back on topic...

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The leaders of the catholic church are sure looking stupid these days and although I am not a religious person if there is a heaven & hell I know a bunch of these priests, bishops cardinals & even a pope may be headed south, deservidly so.

I feel sorry for the many good catholics out there this must surely be a horrible time for all concerned.

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The UK is 14% Catholic, but Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Russia and Sweden are less than 5% Catholic.

Congrats, you managed to nitpick that one part of my post to death while systamatically ignoring the rest. You want me to use you're picks instead? Makes no difference.

I feel sorry for the many good catholics out there this must surely be a horrible time for all concerned.

This is nothing compared to the 90's, couple of people in my neighborhood got it in their heads that spray painting a variety of, admittedly, creative obscenities on my church would be funny. It was really unfortunate considering my priest is one of the most 'liberal' ones I've met, really into universal reconciliation, overall good man. If I ever found the buggers that did it I’d show them exactly how un-Christian some of us can be.

The current situation is more vocal than the last and lacks the property damage factor, much easier to deal with.

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While I think the Vatican is handling this extremely poorly, I think it's important to note that we are talking about a very small fraction of Catholic Priests. I count 3 Catholic Priests as being mentors to me (and I'm Protestant) and Father Terry from Yokosuka is one of the finest men I've ever met. The Catholic Church still comforts and aids millions daily. They have some serious issues to be worked out but I've seen people calling for the church to be disbanded which would, in my opinion, be worse than turning a blind eye. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

Taka

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I am from Ireland and grew up and went to schools in the 60's and 70's there. Only in the last few years has the extent of this problem started to see light. Talking with friends and family I realize that abuse was wide spread (We are not just talking about a few bad apples here) There were also wide spread abuses in the orphanage system, physical abuse was wide spread in public and private schools. Ireland is a cesspit of pedophiles and adults who were abused as children. There are more plenty more cover ups waiting to see the light of day, there are thousands of abused victims that have kept their secret and suffering every day for what was done to them. The Vatican and the Catholic church deserves all and any "Bad publicity" it is now getting.

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If this Pope does not want to be part of the Last Pope prophecy, then he will be smart and will call a Conclave, ASAP. The way it is right now, he will be blamed for everything his predecessors didn't have the courage to do.

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While I think the Vatican is handling this extremely poorly, I think it's important to note that we are talking about a very small fraction of Catholic Priests. I count 3 Catholic Priests as being mentors to me (and I'm Protestant) and Father Terry from Yokosuka is one of the finest men I've ever met.

Other than the kids, there are two things the Vatican is handling: the crimes and the media. The Vatican is messing up both.

I agree that you shouldn't demonize the church on the basis of some members, but the coverup makes the top brass culpable in this case. I cut the church some slack in the beginning, but the more I know, the less slack I'm giving them. Plus the Vatican threat of holding foreign heads of state to blame for crimes -- That's blackmail. Is that what passes for godliness these days?

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Whats real odd about this is that all the same people that want to use a few bad priests to attack an entire worldwide congregation are the exact same people that say just because all terrorists are muslims doesnt make islam a bad religion. I guess those priests should have been beheading people for not believing to get liberals approval.

Also most liberals dont believe in sending most pedophiles to prison anyways unless they happen to be in the church.

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Hworta, your logic...to put it delicately...assailable.

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Wolfpack, Catholic priests HAVE been preying on little boys. That's the whole problem.

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SushiSake says:

Wolfpack, Catholic priests HAVE been preying on little boys. That's the whole problem.

Yes, that is the problem. My point is that the NY Times coverage is over the top compared to most other news organizations. The NY Times is Liberal and the Catholic church is considered too Conservatives on issues such as gay marriage and abortion. The NY Times very often goest after it's enemies in it's news reporting. Their reporting on the Catholic Church is no different.

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herefornow says:

The statement on Good Friday by the Pope's official speaker likening this to anti-sematism is just silly beyond words.

No, I don't believe so. I "was" a Catholic as a child because my family was. I am no longer a member of any organized religion and consider myself to be more or less agnostic at this point in my life. However, the NY Times attacks the Catholic Church because of their politics. Liberals are generally antagonistic towards religion (except for Muslim jihadi's for some reason) even those that profess to be religeous themselves.

The NY Times is the most openly partisan newspapers in the US and they attack the Catholic Church because it furthers their ideological agenda. The number of preists involved in man on boy sex crimes over the years is definitely large enough to warrant significant attention from the media. However, the NY Times is waging war on the a conservative Pope and Vatican while ignoring the details of the sex lives of those priests involved in these crimes for political reasons.

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hworta269 said: Whats real odd about this is that all the same people that want to use a few bad priests to attack an entire worldwide congregation are the exact same people that say just because all terrorists are muslims doesnt make islam a bad religion.

For once I agree with you. But its really too bad that you had to keep talking after that.

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