By John-Henry Westen
ANCHORAGE, March 30, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The mainstream media effort to tar Pope Benedict with the sexual abuse scandal has served to bring to the fore evidence that Cardinal Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict - has in fact, in the words of one of his defenders, “done more than any pope or bishop” to halt the sexual abuse scandal. In recent days, numerous commentators, including in some cases even critics of the Church who believe that there is more that can be done, have stepped forward stating that the pope’s track record on the issue, rather than implicating him in a "cover-up," actually sets him apart as the member of the curia who has most vigorously attacked the issue.
- In one startling revelation Reuters reports that Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn told ORF Austrian television on Sunday that while a cardinal under Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger pressed for a full probe of then-Vienna Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, who was removed in 1995 for alleged sexual abuse of a boy. Reuters adds that other Curia officials persuaded then Pope John Paul that the media had exaggerated the case and an inquiry would only create more bad publicity.
- On Tuesday Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins said in his homily at the annual chrism mass that, “Anyone with any knowledge of this terrible reality (clerical sex abuse) realizes that Pope Benedict has led the way in confronting this evil.”
- On Monday, the Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee during the time when the case of Fr. Lawrenece Murphy was heard, responded to the NY Times reports attempting to implicate the pope, calling them “sloppy and inaccurate,” and charged the New York Times with falsely attributing quotes to himself. Fr. Thomas Brundage, who was the presiding judge in the case against Fr. Murphy, also wrote: “Pope Benedict XVI has done more than any other pope or bishop in history to rid the Catholic Church of the scourge of child sexual abuse and provide for those who have been injured.” (See more in report
Judge of Abusive Priest Corrects 'Sloppy and Inaccurate' New York Times Smears against Pope)
- New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan remarked last Sunday: "No one has been more vigorous in cleansing the Church of the effects of this sickening sin than the man we now call Pope Benedict XVI."
- In an interview LifeSiteNews to be published tomorrow, Dr. Leon J. Podles, author of Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, noted that Pope Benedict, “has done more than any other Pope trying to end the abuse.” Podles, himself a victim of sexual abuse at a seminary, has reviewed tens of thousands of pages that document sexual abuse in every diocese in the United States and numerous cases throughout the world.
In his recent letter to Irish Catholics regarding the sexual abuse by clergy and religious in their country, the Pope expressed the frustration and pain of the Church as a whole openly addressing abusers. “You betrayed the trust that was placed in you by innocent young people and their parents, and you must answer for it before Almighty God and before properly constituted tribunals,” he said. “You have forfeited the esteem of the people of Ireland and brought shame and dishonour upon your confreres.”
After expressing sorrow to the victims the Pope called on the strongest remedies at his disposal - prayer and sacrifice. Encouraging the traditional practice of Eucharistic adoration everywhere, and confession, he invited all “to devote your Friday penances, for a period of one year, between now and Easter 2011 … to offer up your fasting, your prayer, your reading of Scripture and your works of mercy in order to obtain the grace of healing and renewal for the Church in Ireland.”