Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Don’t stone the Vatican

Another document that reveals a Vatican official urging a bishop to be, ah, less than forthcoming with the civil authorities about a priest sex offender has inspired reflections from the NCR’s veteran Vatican hand, John Allen. Like a lot of reporters who have been on the beat a little too long, Allen has gone a bit native. He knows where all the bodies are buried, or most of them anyway, but his preference is to step back and clue everyone in to The Right Way to Make It Better.

Let’s stop focusing on particular documents or even particular bad actors (i.e. Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos), he urges:


Here’s the reality: In the main, it’s not that local bishops wanted
to cooperate but were barred by a secret Vatican edict, and neither is
it that Rome, aside from a few troglodytes such as Castrillón Hoyos,
always believed in full transparency. Until quite recently, the culture
in institutional Catholicism, at all levels, put a greater premium on
the church’s independence and its right to privacy than on seeking
justice for the victims of sexual abuse. Everyone helped create that
culture, and everyone must share in reforming it.

Enormous progress has been made, but it’s still a work in progress, and a hunt for smoking guns and scapegoats won’t help.


Won’t help whom? The papacy, one presumes. In Allen’s view, the object of the exercise is for all of us to enable Rome to get its house in order in as smooth a way as possible. We should understand that there was enough blame to go around–even to relative good guys like then-Cardinal Ratzinger–but certainly not expect the Vatican to issue a collective mea culpa. This is journalism?

Comments read comments(3)
post a comment

posted February 9, 2011 at 12:48 am

Ah yes, the old corporatist no-fault apology. “Mistakes were made.”

report abuse


posted February 9, 2011 at 6:35 am

Apparently it’s journalism under Catholicism.

report abuse

Robet Landbeck

posted February 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm

The accumulating sexual and coverup scandals that continue shaking the roman catholic church, will look a mere trifle compared to the perfect storm that appears to be on the way. For these growing, worldwide sexual scandals, exposing the endemic institutional corruption of this tradition, while compromising thousands of children and the faithful, only reflect a greater betrayal and crime against humanity itself and is setting the stage for the ‘churches’ worst nightmare: the scrutiny and questioning of it’s very origins! And that has already started on the web. But not by any atheist ravings or theological discourse. We may very well come to remember the church as two thousands years of accumulated hubris and self deception, retailing a counterfeit, theological copy of revealed truth.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Religion and Public Life. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Latest News Story on Beliefnet Happy Reading!   ...

posted 3:10:11pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

The Ayn Rand Republicans
I confess to feeling a little bit queasy about the American Values Network's new video hoisting Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, and other GOP luminaries on the petard of Ayn Rand and her atheistic philosophy of objectivism. Take a ...

posted 7:13:30pm May. 24, 2011 | read full post »

Whither evangelicals?
I'm fully prepared to believe that Mitch Daniels' family proved to be the unleapable hurdle in his abortive run-up to the GOP presidential race. Imagine yourself as wife Cheri, having split for the coast to marry on old flame, your husband and ...

posted 9:19:56am May. 23, 2011 | read full post »

No more "social conservatives"
With the presidential election cycle getting up to speed, it's time for reporters and yakkers like me to stop writing about "social conservatives" as if they were an identifiable segment of the voting population. I say this as someone who has ...

posted 8:25:11am May. 20, 2011 | read full post »

So clerical celibacy was not the problem?
Those on the Catholic left are not very happy that the Jay Report declines in no uncertain terms to blame clerical celibacy for the sexual abuse crisis. As the report puts it: Factors that remained consistent over this time period, such as ...

posted 9:50:34am May. 19, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.