Skip to comments.Weigel discards Time Magazine's spread against Catholic Church as 'nonsense'
Posted on 06/08/2010 7:52:57 AM PDT by NYer
.- Noted Catholic scholar and commentator George Weigel has reacted to strongly to Time Magazine's recent 10-page spread criticizing the Catholic Church as nonsense, and has offered counter points to several accusations the magazine raised.
In a National Review Online article last week, Weigel addressed Time's June 7 cover story titled, Why Being Pope Means Never Having to Say Youre Sorry, and responded to what he believes to be multiple erroneous claims that the feature story presented.
According to the scholar, Time printed significant misunderstandings about the Catholic Church, including the false assertions that the Pope is an absolute monarch, that the Church is a nation-state, and that the late John Paul II was an inept administrator.
Weigel also wrote that the magazine incorrectly charged that the sex abuse crises has emptied Churches in Western Europe and that Pope Benedict, as Cardinal Ratzinger, was complicit in covering up clerical sex abuse.
The lengthy essay inside breaks no news, Weigel asserted, it recycles several lame charges against Benedict XVI that have been flatly denied or effectively rebutted, and it indulges an adolescent literary style.
However, he noted, the Time story may serve a useful purpose, in that it encapsulates, within ten pages, many of the things the world media continue to get wrong about the Catholic Church, the Vatican, and the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
On the misunderstanding that the Pope is considered an absolute monarch within a nation-state Church, Weigel countered that while it is true that the Pope enjoys the fullness of executive, legislative, and judicial authority in the Church, his exercise of that authority is not only bound by the truths of Catholic faith; it is also circumscribed by the authority and prerogatives of local bishops.
For, according to the teaching of Vatican II, bishops are not simply branch managers of Catholic Church, Inc. Rather, they are the heads of local churches with both the authority and the responsibility to govern them, he noted. Far more damage has been done to the Catholic Church in recent decades by irresponsible local bishops than by allegedly autocratic popes.
Speaking on the false belief that because of the Holy See's claim to sovereignty, the Church is a nation-state, Wegiel argued that this stems from a deep rooted misunderstanding of papal authority.
The moral authority of the papacy in world affairs, he explained, hardly derives from the Popes position as sovereign of the 108 acres of Vatican City State. Rather, that moral authority is a function of the truths popes articulate, truths that are based on the natural moral law that everyone can know by reason.
Weigel then addressed the accusation that the late Pope John Paul II left behind what the Times called an abysmal record as administrator of the Church, as compared to his predecessor, Paul VI.
Is any serious commentator or scholar prepared to make the argument that the pontificate of Paul VI witnessed greater accomplishments, for the Church or the world, than the pontificate of John Paul II? the biographer of John Paul II asked in rebuttal.
John Paul II ought to be judged a successful administrator, if by successful administrator one means a man who sets large goals and achieves them. The drift and malaise in which the Catholic Church found itself in the latter years of Paul VI were not replicated in the 26 years of John Paul II.
On the claim that the recently surfaced clerical abuse scandals have been responsible for emptying Churches in Western Europe, Weigel remarked that Irish, German, and Austrian churches were empty long before Scandal Time II exploded several months ago; indeed, those churches had been emptying for decades.
To blame the dramatic decline of Catholic practice in Ireland and the German-speaking parts of Europe on clerical sexual abuse is to confess that one simply hasnt been paying attention for the past 40 years, he charged.
Lastly, Wegiel discussed Time Magazine's assertion that Pope Benedict as Cardinal Ratzinger was complicit in covering up clerical sex abuse as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
By every available piece of evidence, Ratzinger, in his last half-decade as prefect of CDF and as Pope, has been determined to root out corruption within the priesthood, he noted, while at the same time acknowledging that the overwhelming majority of Catholic priests are not sexual predators a point it would be refreshing to see recognized, in print, by Time and others.
So the lamestream media continues its pattern of ineptitude as it chokes in its death throes...ok, nothing more to see here!
I would venture to say that the percentage of pedophile priests is no larger than their representation in the rest of society. Molesters are another cancer in humankind and likely to pop up anywhere. Too bad they aren’t eligible for the death penalty.
a) The Pope goes to confession WEEKLY and begs forgiveness for his sins
b) By the time information of abuse gets to the Prefect for the CDF, is there anyone who doesn’t know of it?
The culprit for the cover-up are those who failed to investigate and prosecute when information came to light. In many of those case that is the liberal democrat inner city political machine: legislators (funded by the defense bar) who oppose tough sentences on pedaphiles, Democrat prosecutors who looked the other way and liberal Judges who let them walk out with a slap on the wrist. Political Correctness protects those homosexuals.
Please present a case where Cardinal Ratzinger knew before the local authorities.
The root of the matter is that the priests are celibates, against who a world convinced by the quack science of Freud is violently prejudiced. Add to the the traditional Protestant prejudice against monasticism, and the anti-clericalism of many Catholics and one has a prefect storm.
Weigel is an awesome writer, and speaks Truth to the “power”.
Celibate is the key word in your argument. I believe that a molester is a celibate, even for a moment. It has nothing to do with ones beliefs or prejudices.
Maybe Time magazine is trying to lay the groundwork for an attempt to declare the Pope legally responsible for what happens in individual Dioceses. This would increase the possibility of folks filing suit against the Pope for monetary damages the priest abuse cases.
Oh, and does anyone know how to pronounce George’s last name? Does it sound like WYgul, or WEEgul?
And he ROCKS!
I certainly agree with THAT statement! FWIW....
Indeed. Thanks for the ping, dearest sister in Christ!
It has often appeared so from the distance of Proddyland.