how bad (i.e. inaccurate) is the attack?
So bad that the liberal National Catholic Reporter says they don't know what they are talking about.
The Times ignores that the bishops' hands were not tied (indeed, the subsidarity of Vatican II gave them more power in local things. True, laification was Vatican, but that didn't mean transferring a priest from parish to parish and ignoring the abuse).Father Fessio
put it thus:
Great theme: the bishops wanted to do more but were handcuffed by the Vatican's--and Ratzinger's--in action. That's a wonderful storyline which is a masterpiece of topsyturvydom.
One question can cut through it all: You are a bishop, say in 1980, and you find one of your priests has been abusing little boys. What do you do? Nothing whatever prevents you from removing that priest from ministry, disciplining him, and reporting him to civil authorities. All talk about "arcane canonical processes", "complicated and overlapping jurisdictions", is simply beside the point.
a fuller look into their bias and their biased sources is in Lawler's essay
Catholics know a lot of the bishops involved were "bureaucrats" who took legal advice and the advice of the psychological experts.
In those days, lawyers recommended holding tough, but psychologists recommended no jail time and only counseling for those who sexually exploited children. I know, because I treated women abused by fathers, stepfathers and mom's boyfriend, and remember reading in a major news magazine that "putting the father in jail would destroy the family" so he should only go to counseling, which would cure him.
I also lived in a remote Mountain states town at the time, but near an interstate, and we had to tell our boys to watch out for sexual predators coming up the interstate...because California was now treating them as "outpatients".
Finally, the dirty little secret is that many of these cases involving priests were homosexual relationships, not pedophilia. The boys were pubescent. And back in the 1970's, the idea was that sex was okay for 13 year olds. Some even advocated adult child sex as a benign way to introduce children to discover their sexuality.
Even today, only 2 percent of "rape" cases (i.e. date rape, statuatory rape) are prosecuted, and the court case often means a second emotionally traumatic situation for the girl or boy.
Few of the cases I examined were prosecuted, although I know of two cases of incest where we accepted a "plea bargain" of a lesser charge to spare the child the trauma of going to court.
Finally, a lot of what is ignored is that although most bishops were merely callus, some of them were gay and promoting the sexual revolution. I suspect that what is going on in Belgium will point right back to "popular" (i.e. very liberal) Cardinal Danieels, whose promotion of sex education that went against catholic teachings was a brewing scandal ignored by the media and alas the church.
Ah, but why was a lot of this ignored? The connection between sexual depravity, sexual license, and heresy was know, but when John Paul II took over, he recognized that he was being opposed by the Curia and many of these heretical bishops (question: Was JPI murdered over heresy or money scandal sin the curia?)
I once read that the real scandal about the Protestant revolution was that if the Pope had just been a bit less confrontational, maybe the split would not have occured.
I suspect if John Paul II had been confrontational, we would have had a schism in the church. He recognized this, and instead went about growing the grass roots revival.
Ratzinger is being opposed not because he refused to persecute sexual crimes (his office was to persecute doctrinal deviance, and it wasn't until he intervened and started to pressure the bishops in the 1990's that they started confronting their own sins).
Ratzinger, as John Allen of the NCReporter wrote was the solution not the problem.
But he is persecuted because he will not bow
to the elite agenda of sexual licence, the destruction of marriage, abortion on demand, and euthanasia.