Behind the Campaign to Smear the Pope

One might have expected a swell of pride from Argentine officialdom when the news broke that the nation has produced a man so highly esteemed around the world. Instead the Kirchner government’s pit bulls in journalism—men such as Horacio Verbitsky, a former member of the guerrilla group known as the Montoneros and now an editor at the pro-government newspaper Pagina 12—immediately began a campaign to smear the new pontiff’s character and reputation at home and in the international news media.

The calumny is not new. Former members of terrorist groups like Mr. Verbitsky, and their modern-day fellow travelers in the Argentine government, have used the same tactics for years to try to destroy their enemies—anyone who doesn’t endorse their brand of authoritarianism. In this case they allege that as the Jesuits’ provincial superior in Argentina in the late 1970s, then-Father Bergoglio had links to the military government.

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Seen on the web regarding Bishop Zurek, Father Pavone, and the PFL dispute

Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2011 6:39 AM By Larry

Ohhh, boy. If you thought the Corapi case was ugly, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, my friends. In that case, the accuser was a third party. Here the accuser is Father Pavone’s superior, a diocesan bishop who has as much as charged Pavone with being a crook as well as a rogue priest, going so far as to urge a donation boycott against Priests for Life.

I don’t see any wiggle room here, folks–no way around the conclusion that one of these two men is lying and when the dust finally settles, will have been unmasked and disgraced in front of faithful Catholics everywhere.

At least as fervently as with Corapi, I hope that Pavone can prove his innocense–but if he can, then that would mean that Bishop Zurek is not only a scoundrel, but a spectacular fool to have hurled charges and taken action as serious as this without sufficient evidence to back it up.

The Bishop faces high stakes as well. If it were to turn out that he is guilty of calumny and the attempted sabotage of the pro-life movement, the backlash will be overwhelming–far worse than with President Obama and Notre Dame.

The Holy See would either have to ask for his resignation or risk driving large numbers of the faithful into the arms of SSPX. Unless he is certifiably insane, Zurek must know this, and the Holy See must know it also and must be quietly watching and listening. Either way, I’m not looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

Link

Editor’s note: I suspect the ill will towards Father Pavone, Priests for Life, and the pro-life movement (if it truly exists) will eventually be discovered, cleverly concealed in the Chancellery of the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas. Most bishops are much too savvy to fall for such things, without assistance.

However this turns out, what about the score of bishops who already sit on the board of Priests for Life? How will they respond to these allegations?

Traditional Catholic Priests vs. Liberal Catholics, in Platteville, Wisconsin Parish

The financial crisis coincides with Madison Bishop Robert Morlino’s decision in June to bring in three priests from the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest to lead the parish. The group is based in Spain and known for traditionalist liturgy and devotion to orthodox Catholic teaching.

Changes the priests have made, including barring girls from being altar servers, led to a petition last month signed by 469 of the church’s approximately 1,200 members asking Morlino to immediately remove the priests. In a response letter to the parish last week, Morlino said the priests have his full support and will stay. He chastised parishioners for conduct he called “gravely sinful.”

“It grieves me to acknowledge that the reputation of three happy, holy and hardworking priests has been seriously tarnished by rumor, gossip and calumny — lying with the intent to damage another’s good name — by some within the parish community,” Morlino wrote in the letter, a copy of which the diocese provided the State Journal.

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George Weigel takes renegade theologian Hans Kung to task for lying about role of then Cardinal Ratzinger

… I must, in all candor, tell you that you crossed a line that should not have been crossed in your recent article, when you wrote the following:

There is no denying the fact that the worldwide system of covering up sexual crimes committed by clerics was engineered by the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger (1981-2005).

That, sir, is not true. I refuse to believe that you knew this to be false and wrote it anyway, for that would mean you had willfully condemned yourself as a liar. But on the assumption that you did not know this sentence to be a tissue of falsehoods, then you are so manifestly ignorant of how competencies over abuse cases were assigned in the Roman Curia prior to Ratzinger’s seizing control of the process and bringing it under CDF’s competence in 2001, then you have forfeited any claim to be taken seriously on this, or indeed any other matter involving the Roman Curia and the central governance of the Catholic Church.

As you perhaps do not know, I have been a vigorous, and I hope responsible, critic of the way abuse cases were (mis)handled by individual bishops and by the authorities in the Curia prior to the late 1990s, when then-Cardinal Ratzinger began to fight for a major change in the handling of these cases. (If you are interested, I refer you to my 2002 book, The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church.)

I therefore speak with some assurance of the ground on which I stand when I say that your description of Ratzinger’s role as quoted above is not only ludicrous to anyone familiar with the relevant history, but is belied by the experience of American bishops who consistently found Ratzinger thoughtful, helpful, deeply concerned about the corruption of the priesthood by a small minority of abusers, and distressed by the incompetence or malfeasance of bishops who took the promises of psychotherapy far more seriously than they ought, or lacked the moral courage to confront what had to be confronted.

I recognize that authors do not write the sometimes awful subheads that are put on op-ed pieces. Nonetheless, you authored a piece of vitriol—itself utterly unbecoming a priest, an intellectual, or a gentleman—that permitted the editors of the Irish Times to slug your article: “Pope Benedict has made worse just about everything that is wrong with the Catholic Church and is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests, according to this open letter to all Catholic bishops.” That grotesque falsification of the truth perhaps demonstrates where odium theologicum can lead a man. But it is nonetheless shameful.

Permit me to suggest that you owe Pope Benedict XVI a public apology, for what, objectively speaking, is a calumny that I pray was informed in part by ignorance (if culpable ignorance). I assure you that I am committed to a thoroughgoing reform of the Roman Curia and the episcopate, projects I described at some length in God’s Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church, a copy of which, in German, I shall be happy to send you. But there is no path to true reform in the Church that does not run through the steep and narrow valley of the truth. The truth was butchered in your article in the Irish Times. And that means that you have set back the cause of reform.

Read the whole article

Freedom from Religion Foundation spreading lies about Blessed Mother Teresa

The anti-religion crusaders are at it again.

This time they want the Post Office to cancel a planned new stamp honoring Mother Teresa.

I am continually shocked by the persistence of these activist groups. They seem to never give up! Any mention or reference of God must be wiped out. The Pledge of Allegiance, In God We Trust, you name it… they want it boarded up, whitewashed, and banished from our public life.

But not this time. Not Mother Teresa.

Sign on to our group letter to the Postmaster General here – www.StampOutBigotry.com

A group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation is now spreading lies about Blessed Mother Teresa accusing this holy nun of having a ‘darker side,’ and calling her a ‘polarizing Roman Catholic figurehead.’

That’s why we decided to act swiftly and make sure this anti-Mother Teresa campaign doesn’t gain any more momentum.

The groups now protesting the new stamp never protested other stamps honoring Gandhi, or even Martin Luther King, Jr. who proudly understood his fight for civil rights to be rooted in his Christian faith.

What is plain is that these groups not only dislike Mother Teresa, they despise the Catholic Church. They simply cannot stomach the thought of the United States Postal Service honoring a Catholic nun who spoke out against abortion, contraception, and against the atheistic materialism of the west.

In her famous 1994 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, Mother Teresa closed with these words:

“From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak – the unborn child – must go out to the world. If you become a burning light of justice and peace in the world, then really you will be true to what the founders of this country stood for. God bless you!”

Please sign our letter to Postmaster General Jack Potter at www.StampOutBigotry.com

Please send this to your friends and family too. We need to push back against this ugly campaign, and stand up for this holy nun and all that she lived for.

Mother Teresa stood up for the best of America’s ideals. Now it’s time we stand up for her.

Sincerely,

Brian Burch

President

CatholicVoteAction.org

P.S. The Post Office announced that the new Mother Teresa stamp will be released August 26th. I plan to buy hundreds of them for all our business mail at CatholicVote! Tell the Postmaster General you support the new stamp by signing our petition at www.StampOutBigotry.com

Submitted by Doria2