One of the most intelligent, least bombastic people writing on the internet these days is the Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, who writes for First Things. Read her excerpts and comments on the Holy Father and the latest round of unsubstantiated claims against him.
Laurie Goodman of the NYT either deliberately or through incompetence bungled her story about how Cardinal Ratzinger supposedly exonerated Fr. Murphy of Wisconsin while he stood before an ecclesiastical criminal tribunal for sexually abusing hundreds of children.
If she had so libeled anybody else, right now, she and the NYT would be getting sued for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. Read the WSJ piece here.
If you are Catholic, and trying to do it (i.e., be Catholic) well, and are paying attention, you probably feeling a little down about all the stuff going on right now. I know I am. I don't have anything really articulate to write. The thing feels to me like a very dense storm cloud, fiercer than normal anti-Church nonsense. It's very incongruous with the weather being so fine outside my window. The cross is not ours to bear alone, though. Please do not give up looking to Jesus, looking to heaven for help.
We should also take comfort in this prophecy of St. Peter, the first pope, who himself came against fierce opposition:
For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Pt 4:17)If you find yourself fazed or perturbed, please remember these words of Teresa of Avila:
Let nothing perturb you,It's going to be OK. Hold fast, pray, enter into the Triduum with your whole heart. Remember Jesus.
nothing frighten you.
All things pass.
God does not change.
Patience achieves everything.
Whoever has God
God alone suffices.
I might be the last to have heard about these events, but it has lately come to my attention that the Holy Father is himself being accused of aiding and abetting child molestation, specifically by ordering the abandonment of the church criminal trial of a vicious child molesting priest in Wisconsin. The New York Times' Laurie Goodstein "broke" the story, which in reality turns out to be little more than a well-orchestrated hoax, as Fr. Raymond J. DeSouza shows. In fact, not only do the documents cited by Ms. Goodstein as evidence flatly contradict her assertions, but neither she nor any of the other papers or blogs to carry the story have ever contacted Fr. Thomas Brundage, ecclesiastical judge in the original case that was supposedly thrown out by then-Cardinal Ratzinger. As the Anchoress points out, this sham is just the next in a string of annual hoaxes, fabrications, and exaggerations that by pure happenstance all come at Eastertide.
We must pray for our Holy Father. He has recently asked for prayers that he will not flee from ravening wolves who want only to shipwreck the Church. This opportunity is one we must not miss to band together with each other and Christ, and to walk with this cross on our shoulder, together, to Calvary.
CNSNews.com has two pieces that struck me.
researchers at notoriously flim-flam, conservative institutions like Harvard, Knox reasserts his claim that the Pope and the Church are hurting poor people in the name of Jesus. Knox, unlike the Church, cares very much for (heterosexual and juvenile) HIV patients in Africa and Asia. He does all sorts of things to help them, like run orphanages for HIV-infected children, has cooperated with all sorts of federal programs to prevent the spread of AIDS at home and abroad, has been conducting vigorous propaganda campaigns in Africa against risky behavior, and provide about 25% of the world's AIDS patients with their primary care.
Oh, wait. My mistake. It's the Catholic Church that does those things for AIDS patients.
second piece reports on a Dutch legislator being prosecuted for "discrimination and incitement to hatred" for claiming that the Koran has been linked to extremist violence. I know what you're thinking: what an outlandish claim. I know. Aside from the backwardness of prohibiting free speech, the Dutch prosecutor doesn't seem to think that the actual truth of the statements made should be relevant to their prosecution. The whole bit makes me think of the final book in C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, in which some treacherous Narnians sell their people out to a foreign, despotic people from southern deserts, in the hope of personal gain. The Dutch legislator being prosecuted has asked to call for his defense Mohammed Bouyeri, a "Dutchman" of Moroccan extraction convicted of shooting and stabbing to death Theo Van Gogh for making a documentary that claimed unpleasant things about Islam. Bouyeri stuck a note to van Gogh's chest using the knife with which he murdered the filmmaker. In the note, he also threatened to murder Dutch legislator Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a nationalized Somali woman who uses her new Dutch nationality and legislative voice to campaign against the abuse of women in peaceful Islamic countries like Iran and her native Somalia. Surprisingly, the Dutch prosecutor and judges in the case is nervous about calling Bouyeri to the stand.
I am concluding that the powers that be hate Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church, and the West they built up so much that any enemy of His will suffice as an ally. It does not matter to them what lies they tell or whom they invite to come be their new caliph. This whole democracy thing is passe, anyway, right? Time to progress to something better.
"Dear friends, we have reached the end of this year and stand at the threshold of the New Year. My wish is that the friendship of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, will accompany you each day of this new year. May friendship with Christ be our light and guide, helping us to to be people of peace, of his peace. Happy New Year to all!"
A friend of mine just made me aware of the existence and life of Camillo Cibin, papal bodyguard extraordinaire. The man is pretty amazing. Here is a link to the London Telegraph's biography of the man called the "Pope's Guardian Angel," because of his role in catching one would-be assassin and in thwarting a much less well known assassination attempt that happened one year later to the day.