The Guardian, a broadsheet British newspaper, can always be relied upon to support the culture of death and sneering opposition to the Catholic Church. It has excelled itself this week with an article by Tanya Gold:
Ignore the bells and the smells and the lovely Raphaels, the Pope's visit to Britain is nothing to celebrate. Gordon Brown is 'delighted', David Cameron is 'delighted'. I am 'repelled'.
Thanks for the lengthy explanatory title, Tanya. We might not have been able to work out your views on the Catholic Church without that, especially with highly nuanced statements such as "Joseph Ratzinger has colluded in the protection of paedophiles and the deaths of millions of Africans".
I saw this article earlier in the week and wasn't going to post on it. Damian Thompson wrote a good article about it (The Guardian's repulsive attack on Pope Benedict XVI) and others have covered it. However, I have had such a steady stream of emails that I felt today that it was a pastoral imperative to write something in response. The facts are generally well known but it is worth repeating a few salient points.
1. Pope Benedict did not attempt to cover up child abuse allegations while Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He ensured that the proper canonical process was instituted, not excluding the involvement of the civil authorities. The Church has unambiguously recognised the importance of handing cases over to the police. Anti-Catholics might remember this from their anti-inquisition propaganda as "handing over to the secular arm": the right and proper procedure in such cases.
2. The Pope is not responsible for millions of deaths in Africa. The evidence shows that countries showered with condoms have the greater problem with HIV/AIDS.
3. One of the first things that Pope Benedict did was to institute the removal of Marciel Maciel.
4. Under Pope Benedict, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been tasked with dismissing from the clerical state any priest guilty of any sexual offences against anyone under 18.
5. The Catholic Church is currently rather more vigilant on these matters than many other organisations. See for example the pathetic excuses that have been made for the behaviour of Roman Polanski. Had he been a priest, no doubt the Guardian would have had an article complaining about those who have excused his behaviour.
The visit of Pope Benedict to Great Britain is something I am sure we all look forward to eagerly. Nevertheless, we must be aware that, as in Australia, the secularists will use the occasion to attack the Catholic Church and attempt to relate every possible story to the scandalous behaviour of priests who have abused children.