Vatican’s blame-the-media mode

By Howard KurtzWashington Post media writer I had to chuckle when a top Vatican official accused the New York Times … Continued

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post media writer

I had to chuckle when a top Vatican official accused the New York Times of being in “attack mode” against Pope Benedict. I believe the proper term is reporting.

The Vatican has been in a bubble for so long that ordinary journalistic scrutiny feels like a smear. I believe the media in general have treated the Pope with appropriate respect, even as they raise troubling questions about his lack of past action against pedophile priests. When you carefully examine stories like those in the Times, they are carefully written and based on documents and interviews. They don’t conclude that then-Cardinal Ratzinger looked the other way while abusive priests were transferred or went unpunished; the articles simply examine the circumstantial evidence, including correspondence sent to his office.

These stories are not being driven by any animus toward the Catholic Church or Pope Benedict. But they are animated in part by a sense of revulsion that priests who abused young boys, including deaf boys, were either shipped off to other parishes or allowed to remain in their posts. Rather than express remorse for these horrifying lapses, the church has adopted a blame-the-media strategy that has backfired and perpetuated the story. These news accounts are not “petty gossip”; they are deadly serious.

I do think there’s a legitimate question as to whether the media are using 2010 standard to judge misconduct that took place decades ago. But that argument is being lost in the Vatican’s broadsides against those who are trying to uncover the painful truth.

Howard Kurtz is The Post’s media reporter, writes the Media Notes column and does a daily blog for

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  • Mary370

    I am not employed by the Vatican. I am fairly well educated holding 3 degrees, two from public universities. I am a practicing Catholic. From my perspective, the press is being unfair to the Pope on what is a very difficult issue that should be reported. Leaving the Munich story aside because we don’t have all the information to make a judgement,Laurie Goodstein’s article in the New York Times on the Murphy case was one-sided and biased. It was not fair and accurate reporting. It got picked up as the gospel truth by almost every major newspaper because the state of newspapers these days is pitiful. What ensued afterward was a trial of the Pope and the Church on news blogs everywhere including calls for resignations etc. No perspective was given or offered on the current state of affairs. As you state, we are trying 1980’s cases by 2010 laws and culture.Power is power. The press is powerful too. The least a citizen and a Catholic and for that matter the victims need is real reporting. How could the reporting look different? Perhaps word choices that are don’t paint a picture of indictment and guilt by accusation. Perhaps writing a bit about the context of the role of the CDF versus the bishops. How about full disclosure of the conflicts of interest of those interviewed within the piece? How about interviews with those who hold other documents in which more context can be had?I’m sure the victims feel that I am not sensitive to them, but having read the Boston Herald article in which the Boston victims don’t think anything has changed when much has – then I think I can say that the power of the press here is real. And, a little introspection of the difference between journalism and advocacy are should also occur given the very real high stakes of this whole sad situation.

  • ecesareel


  • jp1954

    It’s a shame that on so many levels the Roman Catholic Church has adopted the media tactics of the Republican Party. If it is criticized for its political position, it whines that its freedom to speak is being impaired. If allegations of misconduct are reported, it protests that the press is being anti-Catholic (or just like the oppressors of Jews). And, of course, all who disagree with any of its tenents or decrees are simply “confused.”Republicans spin the truth for a purpose: To obtain power. What’s in it for the RCC?

  • lostinthemiddle

    Oh ok Mary the highly educated Catholic. Not only do you buy into the lie the the Church is the victim, but you then turn on the real victims for not being is blind as you to the horror of these abuses. Well, Mary, perhaps a few hours being molested by a member of the clergy would give you the compassion to comprehend what you stand in public to defend. Until you then witness your attacker being allowed to repeat the crime for decades, destroying the lives of other innocents, you have no idea what your talking about.

  • melba1

    The Church has held itself above criticism for so long it does not know how to react. Especially when it appears it was hiding serious crimes. First, it needs a good spin doctor. I would suggest Karl Rove. He may not be Catholic, but he could convert for a few weeks, until the worst blows over. Second, the Church needs to stop comparing Papal criticism to the Holocaust, unless it is willing to fire up the gas chambers and march the offending Priests through the gates of Bergen-Belsen. Probably not a bad idea. No wonder the Jewish community was offended. Especially given the Church’s ant-Semitic past. And third, given the fact that the Church still seems to view pedophilia as a sin and not a crime (it can be forgiven by repentance and all is fine until the next time when the same thing will be repeated, the Church could become a haven for career criminals who would be safe to apply their trades. In fact, it probably already has.

  • map529

    This article sounded like an apology to the Vatican. It tip-toed around the fact that the Catholic Church is an oppressive, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-semetic, organization which persecuted its real and perceived enemies throughout history (taking a page from Paul before the Road to Damascus), and now it has the gall to say it is being attacked, and this article takes pains to say explain how respectful the reporting has been to the point of pointing out that the Times article did not conclude the Pope in fact abetted the rape and abuse of children while he was a Cardinal. The Church knew what it wanted when it appointed the head of the Department of Inquisition as its head. It became evident when he launched an inquisition against the U.S. nuns who dared to suggest that women are people, and the Church should be in the business of helping the less fortunate and not condemning people for not breeding or for their sexual orientation (the result of which is not breeding). This Church and this Pope are only reading a small bit of what they have sown. The nerve of them to even compare what is happening now to the horror they aided and abetted against the Jewish people. Can this organization get any more repulsive?

  • areyousaying


  • whocares666

    Is taking a page out of US politics a sin?

  • forestbloggod

    is there really a new “2010 standard” for allowing child abusers new crops of victims to debase and harm?where is LAW enforcement when you need it?systematic rape and molestation NOW!NO excuses!

  • army164

    Not Catholic so no “dog in this fight” so to speak. However, I have watched an array of frocked men come on various news outlets and decry the behavior of “a few” priests, but continue on to relate by way of explanation (as does Howard apparently) that we are judging the actions (and inactions) of the Catholic hierarchy with 2010 sensibilities. These actions occurred within my lifetime (55 years) and last time I checked the “closeting” of homosexuals began to end in the 1960s; spousal abuse became an open issue in the 1970s (perhaps as a result or at least highlightes by the “women’s liberation” movement); and the sexual abuse of young men and women by adults certainly was an issue that I remember vividly as a teenager and young adult. So the argument that we are judging the “distant” past with 2010 sensibilities is patently bunk. We in America have had open and frank discussions about these issues for three and four decades — not just in the past generation. I am certain that any news archivist would find the decade of the 1970s as one full with challenges to the “status quo” and standards of behavior. The exposure of how our society treated the mentally retarded, and other of our least fortunate children clearly became an open topic 40 years ago. My father was a Methodist minister for 50 years and I recall “church” discussions about these and similar issues 40 years ago. The real problem isn’t judging events of the past with current sensibilities — rather the issue is an institution which failed to become “sensitive” and reframe their “sensibilities” — and ironically, this very institution, charged with providing moral clarity and conviction to its followers (and by association the rest of our society) ceded the moral protection of the most vulnerable amongst us to civil society, lawyers and reporters.

  • areyousaying

    I’m sure the victims feel that I am not sensitive to them, but having read the Boston Herald article in which the Boston victims don’t think anything has changed when much has – then I think I can say that the power of the press here is real. And, a little introspection of the difference between journalism and advocacy are should also occur given the very real high stakes of this whole sad situation.Posted by: Mary370As a victim, I find your weak excuses for the church not only “insensitive” but offensive as well. What has changed?How many priests and their accomplices went prison since the PR scam of “zero tolerance” was invented. Why is Nicholas, Aguilar , one of your pervert priest who Cardinal Rivera passed to Mahony in LA and who later “disappeared” back to Mexico after being convicted in LA, still practicing as a priest as a fugitive from US Justice while Rivera now claims immunity from civil and criminal law as a citizen of Mexico?Portraying your church as the victim while comparing the real victims to the Nazis who murdered Jews shows the true colors of you and your religion.

  • areyousaying

    Part IIBalke wrote that according to an internal investigation, Jeyapaul took a teenage girl to his rectory in the summer of 2005, where “he proceeded to kiss her repeatedly, pulling her on top of him and at one point touching her beneath her clothing.”Balke also said in the letter that Jeyapaul had misappropriated “a substantial amount of money belonging to the parish and also attempted to give a diocesan vehicle to a third party as payment for an outstanding debt.”The bishop went on to warn the Vatican that it is “impossible to say that Father Jeyapaul does not at present pose a risk to minors.””I cannot in good conscience allow this matter to be passed over” simply because Jeyapaul has now returned to India, Balke said. “In my mind, that would be a shameful act of betrayal towards the women and girls in India to whom Fr. Jeyapaul could at present pose a serious risk.”A representative for Levada responded to Balke’s letter in May 2006, acknowledging his complaint and writing that the Vatican had requested to church officials in India that “Father Jeyapaul’s priestly life be monitored so that he does not constitute a risk to minors and does not create a scandal among the faithful.”Six months later, Balke relayed a new series of allegations about Jeyapaul to Levada. Balke wrote that he had received reports “of similar behavior having taken place between Fr. Jeyapaul and a second girl.”In both instances, Balke wrote, Jeyapaul had been counseling the girls about their religious lives.Church officials once again acknowledged Balke’s letter but took no disciplinary or other action against Jeyapaul, the documents show.Anderson accused Vatican officials Monday of being more concerned with preserving their own reputations than with protecting children.”We are sad because so many kids have been wounded and hurt because Catholic officials — top Catholic officials from the Vatican on down … don’t get it and remain in denial,” he said.”They have a problem. … They fail to do what is necessary to protect children across the globe.”

  • areyousaying

    Tell us again, Mary, all that has “changed” and how successful “zero tolerance, established in the US in 2002 has been?CNN) — Vatican officials failed to take action against a priest accused of sexually abusing two teenage girls in Minnesota despite repeated warnings from a local bishop starting in 2005, attorneys for one of the alleged victims said Monday.The Vatican’s failure occurred despite the establishment of safeguards established four years earlier to deal with the growing abuse scandal inside the Catholic Church, they said.The priest — Father Joseph Pavanivel Jeyapaul of Ootacamund, India — served in a diocese in Crookston, Minnesota, for a little more than a year in 2004 and 2005, according to church documents unearthed in a lawsuit related to the case. Complaint letters from Crookston Bishop Victor Balke to Rome were acknowledged by Vatican officials, but no disciplinary action was taken, the documents show.Jeyapaul is now the head of a church education commission in Ootacamund, giving him continued access to children, lawyers said.”This is systematic. All roads … lead to Rome and the top officials there,” said Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul, Minnesota, attorney representing the alleged victim.”As horrific as the rape of children by Jeyapaul is … the coverup of it is every bit as horrific and criminal.”Father Louis Rag, bishop secretary of the Ootacamund Diocese, confirmed Monday that Jeyapaul is still in Ootacamund. He refused to comment further, except to note that he had heard about the charges against Jeyapaul through media reports.Anderson revealed the church documents at a news conference in St. Paul. The county attorney’s office for Roseau County, Minnesota, is trying to extradite Jeyapaul from India.The Crookston Diocese first received reports of “inappropriate behavior” on the part of Jeyapaul in September 2005, according to a letter Balke sent four months later to Cardinal William Levada, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, a body established to deal with cases of alleged abuse.Pope Benedict XVI headed the congregation before being chosen to lead the Roman Catholic Church.

  • IndependentVoice1

    Yes, there have been problems within the Church, but the one sided reporting by the NYT does not help society understand the problem. An interesting read in today’s WSJ provides a good context where the NYT reporting is questionable. See: Of note the NYT does not mention that Attorney Jeff Anderson is reaping millions is suing the Catholic Church all over the US. Even with all of the Church’s failing, Pope Benedict has done more than anyone else, including John Paul II, in confronting the issue of child abuse within the Church. Unfortunately the shrill-type reporting from the NYT only misinforms the public about the situation since it is not being put in its proper perspective.

  • jhpurdy

    What is interesting is the way this story has gathered speed, with more and more incriminating Vatican documents winding up in the hands of reporters. A friend of mine (a “cradle Catholic”) has no doubt that well-positioned prelates, disgusted by the inadequacies of the Church’s response to the burgeoning scandal in Europe-and equally disgusted that someone like former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law has used the Vatican as a sanctuary for years-are now leaking documents to the press.The only way the Church can be healed is if the people at the heart of the institution’s operations are committed to cleaning up what has been, in fact, an international criminal conspiracy.

  • kinkysr

    The guilty-as-charged Pope and his defenders are saying, “Where’s a Tomás de Torquemada when we need one?”Maybe Bush and Cheney can offer the Church some torture pointers … to teach them rotten ol’ medias a lesson!

  • YEAL9

    Apparently Mr. Kurtz missed these two “bubble religions” when he was doing his research:From: “Facing calls to curb child sex abuse within its churches, in June the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest U.S. religious body after the Catholic Church — urged local hiring committees to conduct federal background checks but rejected a proposal to create a central database of staff and clergy who have been either convicted of or indicted on charges of molesting minors. The SBC decided against such a database in part because its principle of local autonomy means it cannot compel individual churches to report any information. And while the headlines regarding churches and pedophilia remain largely focused on Catholic parishes, the lack of hierarchical structure and systematized record-keeping in most Protestant churches makes it harder not only for church leaders to impose standards, but for interested parties to track allegations of abuse.“Yet another prominent Orthodox rabbi has been charged with sexual abuse. This time it is Rabbi Mordechai Elon, one of the foremost rabbinic leaders of the Israeli Orthodox movement and former rosh yeshiva at the flagship Yeshivat HaRav, where last year a Palestinian mounted an assault which left several students dead. The result was that students of the yeshiva and other far right Jews went on a rampage and tried to burn down the home of the family of the perpetrator of the attack. Elon’s brother is Benny, a former MK for a far-right pro-settler party.

  • army164

    Unfortunately the shrill-type reporting from the NYT only misinforms the public about the situation since it is not being put in its proper perspective. Just wondering what “proper perspective” you are searching for. You claim one-sided story as if there is another side to sordid behavior, cover-ups and denial? Has anyone denied these events occured? I have no doubt at all that if the press hadn’t raised the issue and pushed the reporting of the handling that these cases would continue to not see the light of day. Quit shooting the messenger!

  • impeachemall

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster is not pleased by the Vatican’s Pedophilia scandal. If they’re not careful, the clergy will have an eternity of flat beer.I call all Catholics to avoid this fate and come join the one true church, Pastafarianism. He will touch you with his noodly appendage, not his peni$.R’amen

  • amelia45

    I am not at all sure the “sensibilities” of the past would have been much different than they are now. There is shock, outrage, a search for justice, and a need to see that steps are taken to prevent future abuse. Present and past folks would have had a similar reaction.Regardless, the sensibilities of 2010 are what the Pope and the Church have to deal with. This is reality. I will listen to them but I will watch what they do. I respect the institution of the Church, the wisdom they could bring to this problem.Unfortunately, I don’t see wisdom from them right now. They are wishy-washy, still protecting priests who abused their positions to get sex, still refusing to say that priests accused of sexual abuse should be reported to civil authorities by their own bishops/cardinals. Still protecting the bishops and cardinals who hide the abusers. It is the year of our Lord 2010.

  • Matthew_DC

    This story has functioned as a poultice which has drawn out a great deal of pus from people who have no connection at all to the Catholic Church. Ultimately this is a matter for law enforcement, lawyers, victims and the perpetrators. I fail to see how it merits general interest coverage ad infinitum, except as a springboard for the expression of personal opinions on religion in general. The hierarchy would have done better to push the accused (duly processed) out early on, enabling them to keep the problem at arm’s length. They’ll pay a price for their inaction, to be sure, but the public mood has morphed into broad guilt by association and blind scapegoating with no sense that a person might be innocent until proven guilty.

  • central1942

    Why all the hand-wringing and argument about the catholic church’s feelings and what the upper guys should have known? If any American priest is suspected of crimes against underage children, arrest them, try them, and if convicted, put them in jail for a long, long time, where the other convicts can give them a curing treatment. I do not understand all the words being written about everything but the need to punish anyone who is found guilty of these crimes, including any coverup by others. If the suspects were not on the church’s payroll, it would be a very different story!

  • impeachemall

    “Why all the hand-wringing and argument about the catholic church’s feelings and what the upper guys should have known?”Huh? What? Are you serious? Is this a real question, or a joke? Boy, Catholics sure are out of it, jeesh. Holy Spaghetti Monster! Get a clue, would ya?

  • laloomis

    A quick check of the NYT archives shows that Laurie Goodstein of the NYT has been reporting sexual abuse of minors by priests within the Catholic Church for several years—from various locations within the United States.In 2007, Ms. Goodstein was reporting from Los Angeles (where my family has lived for five generations), where lawyers represented more than 500 victims; these lawyers and the Catholic Church eventually reaching a payment of $660 million for those victims. How much did Cardinal Roger M. Mahoney of Los Angeles do to protect the victims? How much true leadership on behlf of the flock? Mahoney will turn 75 in February, an age when clergy retires, as established by the Catholoc Church. Interesting, the AP story early this morning informs readers that Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio has been named to replace Mahoney. Will anything happen to Mahoney, in charge of the archdiocese in which abusing priests were transferred among parishes (Were parishoners told?), or will he quietly retire and eventually fade into the sunset? Certainly no censure from or defrocking by the Catholic Church?

  • janecolby

    I wonder how many other women are raising the question “How dare you tell me how to live, when you can’t even manage your own?”

  • lufrank1

    Posted by: janecolbyRight on! Please add, How dare you tell ANYONE how to live . . . “

  • usapdx

    The RCC has done WRONG by keeping the truth silent so not to damage the image.Most RCs do not buy the RCC song & dance but the close minded RC members do and are part of the problem of the sex abuse & rape of children by looking the other way like the RCC administrators can do no wrong.It is time for a NEW POPE and then VATICAN III to turn the RCC around to the total truth.

  • vicsoir1

    It’s not a far claim that a Catholic pope can use his “infallibility” moniker to distance himself from any culpability in the pedofile scandal that is spreading around the globe. After all, molesting children does come under the umbrella of what the church defines as “morals”, one of two (faith & morals) ingredients to qualify for the exemption the church maintains gives it the authority to declare itself’s inability to make mistakes in dealing with these two major tenets of the Catholic religion.

  • LeeH1

    When a priest confesses to the bishop that he has molested a child, he should be denied absolution, communion and the practice of his office until he turns himself in to the police.If any parent or other person makes an accusation of sexual molestation against any church official, they should be encouraged by the church officials to report it to the police. Yes, it may harm the priesthood in a time when there are not enough priests as it is. But only through police investigations can perjury be punished, crime witnesses interrogated, and the collection of forensic evidence be monitored.Anything less than enforcing the confession and absolution strictures of Catholisim on the priests will harm the faithful. And this is a good start for the beginning of the Third Millenium of the church.

  • pcshicmofrhene

    Moderator Jon Maechamhow old is the eldest of Rockefeller FAmily? 90? 100? He has met generations after generations to see what is going on, to see what God is doing, to see what we are doing generations after generations.

  • Matthew_DC

    RE: “It’s not a far claim that a Catholic pope can use his “infallibility” moniker to distance himself from any culpability in the pedofile scandal…”And not a single person has. Though it is regularly brought up, it is usually admitted that the two issues have no connection. Do you have any piece which takes a different view?

  • Bluefish2012

    JANECOLBY asks: “I wonder how many other women are raising the question “How dare you tell me how to live, when you can’t even manage your own?” And isn’t it about time?Should this apply to all physicians and psychologists because some of them, and at a higher rate, abuse their clients?I’ve received excellent counseling from several priests. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

  • linguine33

    I remember Lily Tomlin and “We don’t care, we don’t have to, we’re the telephone company”

  • areyousaying

    Wouldn’t it be nice for Matthew in DC if all the victims were good Catholics, kept their mouths shut and accepted their guilt as their Mother Superior taught them in grade school until this all blows over.Except for one thing. Not all the victims are Catholic and not all the Catholic victims will be silenced anymore.You’re living in the past, Matthew, and your Church and your pope has lost its infallibility through these atrocities and the obstruction of justice that follows them. Get used to it because anytime there’s a Catholic columnist or any news about the Church, this will be topic 1 until your Church and its complicit devotees like you cough up a thousand or more perverts worldwide for civil prosecution.

  • nbklnm4

    Howard, I had to chuckle when you mentioned that the New York Times was reporting. I do not support the actions of these rogue priests, but please do not state that the Times is “reporting”…….

  • Matthew_DC

    areyousaying: You amply proved the points I made. Presuming guilt by association or affiliation, you conclude “I” (whom you don’t even know) am complicit without having the slightest grounds for such an assumption. Sorry, it doesn’t fly, but if, as a form of therapy, it makes you feel better, I suppose hurling accusations on a public board is a small price to pay. It’s not a question of being forward or backward oriented/looking. It’s a criminal matter which has to be vigorously pursued through the courts to reach a just settlement. Vatican PR is irrelevant. The point of this article is irrelevant.

  • morphex

    I haven’t seen or heard any unfair reports about the Vatican or the Pope in any of the mainstream liberal media that I read or watch. On the other hand, I have heard and read numerous smears of the media generally, and the New York Times in particular, coming from the Vatican or its surrogates — its civilian auxiliaries — and even a few clerics. I have to wonder whether the Vatican supposes, without questioning the supposition, that all the media are like its own newspaper when it comes to smears.

  • peterroach

    These strategies remind one of Tricky Who?

  • rasterfreeart

    “The Vatican has been in a bubble for so long that ordinary journalistic scrutiny feels like a smear.”Well then, with the US media foolishly believing it has a long an glorious reputation for tough investigative journalism the Bush regime must have felt like it was in an isolation tank – content and undisturbed.

  • Logic3

    Why would you chuckle when the New York Times did not report?

  • areyousaying

    Anyone who defends the clergy’s criminal action and the accompanying obstruction of justice is complicit by defending these actions, demonizing the victims, participating in this church’s activities or by giving money to this church.If none of these apply to you, Matthew, I apologize. Now you know what it is liked to be stereotyped as the catholic church has done to its victims.

  • ConnieMel

    This is solid analysis. I’m a Catholic who is grateful for my faith and for the good my church does. Especially in the U.S., a lot has been done to try and make sure that child sexual abuse never happens at the hands of all who work for the church. But this media bashing by the hierarchy has tried to cover failure to seek healing for the victims elsewhere in the world. The media bashing has failed, thank God.

  • spidermean2

    According to the London Telegraph, Vatican Bank is the eighth most popular destination for money-laundering, ahead of Switzerland, the Bahamas, and Lichtenstein.Seems like the Apostolic Succession they are referring to is their connection with Judas, the hypocritical disciple who was more interested with money and how to launder it.”You have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not apostles. You have discovered that they are LIARS.” (Rev. 2:2)You have discovered that they are LIARS

  • tossnokia

    The Post has the right stuff. NY Times has problems and the church has monumental troubles. You can buy the Times for next to nothing. You can’t buy the church and you wouldn’t want it if you could. It’s doubtful if you would want the Times and doubtful things are uncertain. I don’t doubt you Post. Here’s to good numbers and extra gold. Cheers!

  • Itzajob

    Mr. Kurtz, you’re wrong. There’s quite a bit of Catholic-bashing going on even right here in WaPo. (It shocks even an ex-Catholic like me, who hardly left the Church on friendly terms.)Take for example the vituperative column by Christopher Hitchens a couple weeks ago. There’s a world of difference between what Mr. Hitchens wrote and, say, the harsh but reasonably fair criticisms offered by a Maureen Dowd.Mr. Hitchens’ point (unlike Ms. Dowd’s) was not to address the Church’s wretchedly inadequate response to a pedophilia problem which quite literally dates back for millennia. No, his sole purpose was to launch an ad institutionem attack against the very existence of Catholicism.It is precisely the sort of vitriol spewed by the Christopher Hitchenses of the world that has given the Vatican cover to dig in its heels and evade this problem for so very long, right up to the present day.

  • Omyobama

    That’s right. This is a PR problem, not a moral crisis staining the soul of supposedly pious people. Talk about missing the forest for the trees… Sort of sounds like Toyota’s ham-fisted response. When will those in the halls of corporate power ever learn (and, puhlease, of course the “church” is corporate incarnate)!

  • spidermean2

    If only the Vatican still have the powerful status it once had before, these writers including comment posters would have been all rounded up and locked up straight to its massive dungeons which was uncovered just recently under the St. Peter’s Basilica.The biggest catacomb used as torture chambers and prison cells was recently discovered just under the St. Peter’s Basilica. The catacomb has been in existence for hundreds of years. This church has a history of keeping it secrets very well, even it resorts to intimidation and murder.Truly the church of the devil. The people who support this church have never realized that they are at a state of trance like clueless sheeps on their way to the trap of the devil.What would be their reaction if the words of God, “Depart from me, I never knew you”, are addressed to the popes, bishops and priests whom they thought were “servants” of God?How else would they ban the Bible for centuries if they are not servants of the devil? How can they explain those secret torture chambers?

  • logcabin1836

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely…. and how appropriately applicable to the Vatican pedophile scandals.

  • rnloreilly

    “I do think there’s a legitimate question as to whether the media are using 2010 standard to judge misconduct that took place decades ago.”You’ve got to be kidding, Mr. Kurtz, do you suppose it wasn’t wrong to rape children decades ago?Really. I’m asking.

  • futuralogic

    The USA contributes USD 145 Billion every year to fund Christian Missionaries across the world. Churches across the world spend USD 1.1 Billion towards research aimed at achieving religious conversions. This is for propaganda material in 300 languages about 180 topics. Books and articles are printed in 500 languages. They total 175000. Every conversion costs USD 3300. It does not mean that this amount reaches the Convert. It is the expense incurred in activities related to administration, planning and implementation of the conversion programme. In 1500 A.D, there were 30 Lac active Christian Missionaries. Their number stands at 64.8 Crore today. 54% of these people are non-Whites. The strategy is to train non-Whites, provide them with funds and involve them in religious conversions. This is similar to the time when the British employed Indians as Soldiers to rule India!With evangelical Christianity comes Sexual abuse and corruption in India’s Churches

  • futuralogic

    Cigarette, Drug Companies and ChristianityUnable to sell their wares in the West – All head to The Third WorldSome Western drug companies spend millions of dollars developing and marketing a new drug only to have the health authorities later discover that it has dangerous side-effects and then ban it. Needing to recover their investment and unable to sell their drug in the West some of these companies try to market their dangerous products in the Third World where public awareness of health issues is low and indifferent governments can be brought off. Some might say that Christianity is a bit like this. Having lost much of their following in the West, churches are now beginning to look for opportunities elsewhere. Of course the Islamic world is out of the question. Even the most optimistic evangelist knows that the chance of spreading the Gospel amongst Muslims is nil. The obvious targets are Africa, India and the Buddhist countries of Asia . In China today Christianity is growing so fast that they can hardly build the churches quick enough to hold all the new converts. The gentle hill tribes people of Thailand and Laos are falling prey to the missionaries one by one.But does Christianity really do a better job of solving social problems? The evidence that it does is very thin. Christianity failed miserably to bring peace to northern Ireland, in fact, it was the main cause of the problem. Germany ‘s long tradition of Catholicism and Protestantism did not prevent Nazism taking root there. South Africa ‘s Dutch Reformed Church was an ardent supporter of apartheid and all its oppression and cruelty. The prevalence of evangelical Christianity in the southern United States , the so-called ‘Bible Belt,’ has not prevented it being the poorest and most raciest part of that country. And the racial segregation in the south is never more obvious than on Sunday morning when black and white people still go to separate churches; ‘Hallelujha and praise the Lord but worship him in your own church!’ With evangelical Christianity comes Sexual abuse in India’s Churches

  • COWENS99

    The catholic church is so far removed from reality, I don’t believe there is opportunity for normalcy.The big fat, dressed like Henry the eight ,catholic guy from New York over easter weekend-Barf.The catholic Church has decided to join the Republican party-blame the press for your stupid ideas.Fifty years ago I saw my best view of the catholic church-in the rear view mirror.

  • dwdave67

    The religious right wing blames the media for trouble of their own making? Say it isn’t so!

  • qqbDEyZW

    History has shown the Vatican has been molesting and raping for since it’s beginning. Why all the fuss when it’s all written in the Religious Vatican History. God never said for men nor Priest not to marry and the problem stated there. The Vatican was once more wealthy then every country in the World and even decided on Government elections and laws. David learned his lesson as God punished him for his great sins. Look to how this great sin by the Vatican is punished.

  • AJBF

    There was an attempted cover up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The Vatican is now trying to cover up the cover up. They have clearly put saving the church’s reputation above and beyond the needs of the victims and the law. Anyone who believes otherwise has not been examining the evidence objectively.

  • Aprogressiveindependent

    The Vatican, in blaming the media, for crimes of some priests, is merely following the example of politicians in this country, Democratic and Republican, who often blame the media, when confronted with negative news coverage or scandals. In any event, the cover-up of these crimes undermines the moral credibility of the church.

  • smorgano

    The media always distort and sensationalize stories. That is how they work. This time is no different. The headlines are deliberately presented to bias the reader before even reading the story. The power of the news media is being used to unfairly attack the pope. Even the term “pedophile priests” is misleading (and essentially incorrect for most situations). According to the John Jay report (freely available on the Internet), most priests (about 80 %) accused of sexual abuse of a minor abused post-pubescent boys. Pedophilia is a psychologic disorder in which an adult is sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children (they are not attracted to someone once puberty starts). Most of these priests were not pedophiles. They were homosexuals attracted to very young men. Their behavior was wrong (and their was clearly a problem), of course, but as long as the media ignore the facts and the root cause of the problem, stories will continue to be distorted and biased.

  • barferio

    SMORGANO has finally cleared it all up for us! Statutory rape of post-pubescent young men is nowhere near as bad as molestation of pre-pubsecent boys, now we get it.Oh, almost forgot the other point – since some of the priests were simply raping young men instead of molesting boys, it isn’t fair to call any of them pedophiles.Now we get. And to think we were all upset over the wrong thing.

  • steveswimmer1

    Blame the media? Please. The Church has controlled the media since the media began. I mean how else can you get the masses to have faith in the preposterous.Now, a problem for the Church is simply statistical: today we have lots of media and the Church is involved in lots of bad action. The numbers are catching up, that’s all.Church bashing media? True, some does happen; However, certainly not all of the time. For sure, no one can deny, the media let the Church completely off the hook when Pope John Paul I mysteriously died and the aftermath was covered in highly suspicious secrecy.Here is a question for the media. Did anyone figure out who (after only 33 days as Pope) killed Pope John Paul I? And, was there anything more on the rumors involving John Paul II in the murder?Long ago, The media swallowed, with no outside investigation (hook, line and sinker) the Church story and put the John Paul I murder conspiracy theory to bed. However, today, I wonder?After all, it was the same Church hierarchy who covered Pope John Paul I’s death with suspect tales of natural causes; who also, with little or no compunction, now cover up sex crimes.Since, after this many long years, we now know high ranking Church officials lie about sex criminals, it only stands to reason the same Church officials would lie about murder.In fact, the way this new Pope acts, I wonder if he was in on it.I mean this guy is clearly more than a little sneaky, comes from Hitler Youth (where it was claimed: give me a child until age 7 and I will have a Nazi for life), and covers for sex crimes.Sooo…, on behalf of Pope John Paul I, let us all ask: how did this new Pope garner so much power so fast?If only Pope John Paul I, from the beyond, could send us the truth, now that would be a true “Miracle,” avenge his death and put the Church back on the righteous path.Certainly, had Pope John Paul I, not lost his life so early, the Catholic Church would be in a far different place today. And, while who can really say, to me, a far better place.

  • JudeThom

    It is time for old prickly tricky Kurtz to hang it up. He’s done enough damage.

  • JudeThom

    It is time for tricky, prickly Kurtz to hang it up.

  • edallan

    Sorry, Mr. Kurtz. Almost all your points are thoroughly valid. BUT, while it is true that a number of the incidents did take place decades ago, it is also true that a number have taken place much more recently.

  • usapdx

    Do as I say but don’t do as I do. IT IS TIME FOR A NEW POPE AND THEN VATICAN III.

  • mbc7

    The recent reporting on the current US scandels are bigotry. These issues have already been addressed by the Church. The media is supposed to report the news, not recyle the garbage. Maybe a story on the continuing abuse in the public schools would be in order. Or an expose on the “rubber rooms” in which New York City public school teachers who abuse students are sent to at FULL PAY for year, after year. While the city might claim the UNION contract ties their hands, why not send the files to the police. In fact, why is the department of education investigating at all? It’s a police matter. Of course, the NYT worships at the church of secularism and won’t run a story against their religion, regardless of the facts.