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Thursday, March 25, 2010


Charles E Flynn

Christopher Hitchens is just angry that his book vilifying Mother Teresa did not sell as well as he had hoped.

Ed Peters

Fr. Rutler famously remarked to CH that he would die "a Catholic or insane". CH seems veering ever more steeply toward inanity, if not insanity.


Murphy's piece correcting Hitchens' concludes with this "he [Hitchens]
has at least been remarkably careless in his reading and incompetent in his research.

I think that this judgement is too charitable.

Compared with the numbers who read Hitchens, how many will read Murphy?

Reminds me of The Da Vinci Code. How many read the definitive fisking - The Da Vinci Hoax?

Mark Brumley

Good points. However, look for more of this from CH and others. It is now unavaoidable. Some observations.

1. The mechanisms of dioceses are difficult for unsympathetic and uninformed people to follow and uninformed unsympathetic people don't usually take the time to get facts straight, even when the matter in question is a serious one. They just opine. And nowadays they opine in the mass media.

2. Years ago I made the argument (somewhere) that if the standard practices of the media were brought to bear on the history of any bishop in the Catholic Church, that bishop would inevitably be made to look as if he were at fault. So much of the media is simply either incompetent or wicked or both. There are simply too many things that happen in the inner workings of the Church that lend themselves to distortion and misunderstanding. What's more, even apart from ill will or incompetence, bishops and others make mistakes. Those mistakes will not be treated as honest errors by a hostile media but as part of a pattern of abuse or deception or a culture of oppression or whatever.

3. There are enough real cases of abuse and coverup to undercut the credibility of other bishops, even when those other bishops made only honest mistakes or no mistakes at all. This is the unfortunate pattern of the evil bishops victimizing the good bishops by poisoning the well (as if it needed poisoning).

4. The more bishops fulfill their vocations and speak out, the more hostility they will bring on themselves. They cannot avoid this. There are opportunities, though, for bishops to reach many people in spite of the media. And of course even if no one listens bishops are still obliged to proclaim the truth.

There is nothing we can do to avoid the problems. Perhaps we can minimize them by being honest and prudent and willing to repent and willing to suffer. But we cannot avoid the attacks and distortions. Judgment begins in the household of God. Woe to you when all men speak well of you.

Ed Peters

Good points, well made.


In his article Sean Murphy proposes some policies to deal with bishops that might be involved in the sex abuse cover-up. He states that in the worst cases a bishop should be removed from office an laicized.

He then states (emphasis mine): "For the sake of brevity, only bishops are identified here, but the policy should be applied to all lay Church officials, religious and clergy: deacons, priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals – and the Pope."

Would that even be possible? Could a Pope be removed form office and defrocked if proven guilty? Who would have such authority?

Just wondering...

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