Wait…Condemning A Pope’s Mass Cover-Up Of Sexual Abuse Of Children By Priests Is Partisan Now? [UPDATED*]

I saw a hint of this when I noticed this week that my 90% leftist Facebook friends scrupulously avoided commenting on my cross-posted article about the current Pope’s likely complicity in the ongoing Roman Catholic Church child sexual abuse cover-up while metaphorically foaming at the mouth because the White House flag wasn’t at half mast. Then the New York Times started spinning. An article by Jason Horowitz titled “Vatican Power Struggle Bursts Into Open as Conservatives Pounce”  argued that conservatives were “weaponizing” the scandal in order to minimize the influence of Pope Francis, who has aroused the Right’s ire by “going soft” on homosexuality and by becoming a shill for climate change. Horowitz wrote,

“Just how angry his political and doctrinal enemies are became clear this weekend, when a caustic letter published by the Vatican’s former top diplomat in the United States blamed a “homosexual current” in the Vatican hierarchy for sexual abuse. It called for Francis’ resignation, accusing him of covering up for a disgraced cardinal, Theodore E. McCarrick.”

What? Heaven forfend that someone suggest that a hypocritical homosexual factor at high levels of the Church might be partially responsible for a policy of allowing male priests to continue to rape little boys! That’s minor, however, compared to the triple “What?” earned by the writer and the Times for implying that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s  a letter accusing Pope Francis of covering up Cardinal McCarrick’s abuses while also taking his counsel on appointing bishops was merely a political ploy. This is one more example of the tactic of using alleged mixed motives to delegitimize an ethical act. So what if Viganò is a Vatican dissident? The evidence is overwhelming that the Catholic Church has facilitated child abuse for at least decades (See: “Spotlight”), that this continued on Pope Francis’s watch (See: the recent grand jury report), that the Pope is accountable, that his statement was a weaselly mess of accountability-skirting platitudes, and that Viganò’s accusations appear to have validity.

Then today the Times has another Horowitz piece on the front page, this one working hard to impugn Viganò:The Man Who Took On the Pope: The Story Behind the Viganò Letter.”

Meanwhile, Pope Francis has refused to comment. It is not a partisan or ideological point to note that the same man has repeatedly issued apocalyptic condemnations of those who do not accept the most extreme claims of climate change advocates—and the Pope is no more informed on climate change than you or I—while refusing to accept his own accountability for the ongoing child sexual abuse of the organization which he leads, a topic he knows a great deal about. Indeed, if he isn’t an expert, he should be.

The Left’s rush to defend the Pope, if that’s what we are seeing, will qualify for  immortality in the Outrageous Hypocrisy and Cognitive Dissonance categories. Progressives actively dislike religion, disrespect the First Amendment protection of it, and are quick to condemn members of religious groups for sincerely held beliefs that oppose current cultural consensus. However, if a leader of a religion embraces climate change, then he is instantly an ally (up that Cognitive Dissonance Scale!), and criticism of his conduct, even if it is such heinous conduct as assisting in the continued molestation of children, must be undermined and opposed. Is that a fair assessment of what I am reading in the Times? I think it is.

To be clear: the implication that criticism of the Pope and the Church is  “ideologically motivated opposition” and that the concern over Francis’s complicity is a ploy  to “[weaponize] the church’s sex abuse crisis to threaten not only Francis’ agenda but his entire papacy” is one more symptom of a very sick—and ethics-free–progressive establishment.

*UPDATE: When I re-read the post when it was up, I had second thoughts about the headline. Should it read “alleged” cover-up? Does the headline undermine the credibility of the post? Then I reflected on the end of “Spotlight,” where the film lists, in screen after screen, the cities worldwide where priest sexual abuse scandals had been revealed. That list didn’t include Pittsburgh, by the way. It is inconceivable that any long-time, high-ranking official in the Roman Catholic Church during the last half century at least was not aware of this rot in the institution. Every one of them was complicit, either actively, or passively, including the Pope. To think otherwise is to engage in willful self-deception.


13 thoughts on “Wait…Condemning A Pope’s Mass Cover-Up Of Sexual Abuse Of Children By Priests Is Partisan Now? [UPDATED*]

  1. What better way to destroy the political right, attack them with a holy war because of course they can spin this into the political right is not trying to destroy the church. They are attacking the right from damn near every other possible angle why not this one too.

  2. You should read the comments on the article.

    Jesus did not condemn. Jesus forgave. The ultra conservatives don’t represent the teachings of Jesus.

    – Drew, Florida

    Pope Francis may not be perfect, no one is, but he is what the Church needs if it is to have a future. Vigano is just a tool of the ultra conservatives and is angry that he was not made a cardinal or advanced in the Church. They would turn back Vatican II

    – Beverly, New York

    What angers me is the eager implications of Burke and his insidious gang of followers, the ultra conservatives Catholics longing for ‘the good old days’ of black and white no gray judgements; that to be a homosexual priest was/is to be a criminal, a cruel, power driven despoiler of youth and innocence.
    Haven’t they a mirror?

    It’s ironic, sad coming from this crowd who would use the angst and the sorrow of their fellows without offering hope and instead push this flawed, failing American populist movement that goes against most of the teachings of the Church they should espouse!

    Instead of seeking justice, peace for victims, they’re capitalizing, and encouraging the present illwill in society to stop a movement of openness, acceptance; what happened to appealing to our better angels?
    Or to lie to us that for centuries the priesthood was not a common place for men of faith to gather who had doubts about their sexuality, but now to call these men by their nature criminals?

    Power hungry male egos also abound wherever men gather, that the Church has not been unscathed is also a proven fact- for centuries.

    Listen to what Francis is telling us: let him/her who is without sin cast the first stone.

    How does someone come to feel so much mightier, holier than the man considered to be chosen by the Holy Spirit?

    There seems to be a lot of jumping on the self glory wagon these days, and while I know it seats many, I predict a few fateful falls…</blockquote_ Maura Haggarty-Bannon, Charleston, SC

    There is ignorance at the root of this claim by these “conservative Catholics” but I wonder if it’s really not disingenuous. Is their hatred of homosexuality such that instead of focusing on the suffering of untold thousands of people, they are using it as a tool to promote their medieval prejudice? And why not try to bring down a decent human being at the same time (Pope Francis).

    Regardless, it’s simply nonsense to suggest that homosexuality is at the root of this abuse. People who commit sexual abuse on children were more often than not victims themselves. Many may have thought that vowing celibacy would rid them of the shame of such abuse, but instead they acted out in the most heinous ways. Of course this doesn’t explain all the behavior, but it offers a lot more insight than blaming homosexuality.

    – Andrew N, Vermont

    • Yet Jesus did condemn wayward religious leaders calling them a brood of vipers. Seems to apply well to those in the Catholic Church who were complicit in the cover up.

    • I thought this was one of the few coherent comments to that NYT article:

      Houston, TXAug. 28

      Wow. What an astoundingly biased and terrible article.

      It would take way too long to point out all of the biased language, so i’ll just point out a few things.

      One, a small portion of the abusers were pedophiles, under 20%. Probably under 10% when it’s all counted. The article is correct to state that pedophilia and homosexuality are not related. So those 10-20% have nothing to do with homosexuality. However, the vast majority of abuse victims are post-pubescent male teens, who are of no interest to pedophiles. Straight men are also not sexually interested in teenage boys. So who does that leave? Hmmm. Also, on a related note, it is not just abuse of minors that is the problem. There is also widespread sexual harassment and abuse in seminaries where men in power positions (bishops, seminary directors, etc) sexually abuse seminarians. 100% of those perpetrators are gay men. Additionally, the vast majority of the hush money paid to various victims of sexual misbehavior is paid on behalf of gay men. And the list goes on.

      Secondly, regardless of whether Vigano’s testimony is “ideologically motivated” , if Francis knew about McCarrick’s sexually abusive behavior and covered for him until forced to deal with it by the media, he is complicit in the cover-up. It’s that simple. Some of the assertions are still unsubstantiated, but it’s the job of reporters to research things and substantiate them (or discredit them). Maybe the NY Times should focus on actual reporting for once

      • That and “Ideologically motivated” in no way precludes “100% right all along.” Apparently being proven right and then pointing it out is the REAL shady behavior.

  3. “The Left’s rush to defend the Pope, if that’s what we are seeing, will qualify for immortality in the Outrageous Hypocrisy and Cognitive Dissonance categories.”

    When the Left gets into bed with the Catholic Church we indeed must conclude that “Politics makes strange bedfellows”.

  4. ***illegal immigrant terrorists blow up Mileaukee***

    “The insidious Right wing pounced on the tragedy, using it to further their anti-immigrant agenda in public forums.”

    ***New flesh-eating STD kills half the population***

    “The extreme Right wasted no time politicizing the tragedy, claiming that a supposed decline in religious values was responsible. Here’s Harvard sex expert Butch Strapon to explain why they’re wrong.”

    ***President Ocasio-Cortez annuls the 1st Amendment, sends everyone using the words “vagina” or “guys” to re-education camps***

    “Meanwhile, anonymous alt-right speech-terrorists continue their campaign to return us to the era of unconstrained hate-speech, attempting to politicize and exploit the gentle re-educations recently mandated by President’s Ministry of Love.”

  5. “This is one more example of the tactic of using alleged mixed motives to legitimize an ethical act.”

    Did you mean to say “delegitimize?”

  6. I wouldn’t be able to resist taking the pot shot at the guy. Instead of:

    “…and by becoming a shill for climate change.”

    I’d do a variation

    Who demonstrates the height of hopicracy by chartering a Boeing 777 as a personal jet to travel the world and shill about climate change.

    But I’m a petty person at times.

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