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In Defense of the Pope [Dershowitz]
Front Page Magazine ^ | 4/13/10 | Alan M. Dershowitz

Posted on 04/13/2010 11:35:38 AM PDT by marshmallow

Having criticized particular Catholic cardinals for blaming everything–including the Church’s sex scandal–on “the Jews”, let me now come to the defense of the Pope and of the Church itself on this issue. To begin with, this is an extraordinarily complex problem, because the Church has at least five important traditions that make it difficult to move quickly and aggressively in response to complaints of abuse.

The first tradition involves confidentiality, particularly not exclusively the confidentiality of the priest with regard to the penitent. But there is also a wider spread tradition of confidentiality within the Church hierarchy itself.

Second, there is the tradition of forgiveness. Those of us outside the Church often think, perhaps, that the Church goes too far in forgiving. I was shocked when the previous Pope immediately forgave the man who tried to assassinate him. But this episode and other demonstrate that the tradition of forgiveness is all too real.

Third, there is the tradition of the Church regarding itself as a state. The Vatican is, after all, a nation state. The Catholic Church is not big on the separation of church and state, as are various Protestant denominations. The Catholic Church, like Orthodox Judaism, believes that matters affecting the faithful should generally be dealt within the church, without recourse to secular authorities.

Fourth, the Vatican prides itself on moving slowly and in seeing the time frame of life quite differently than the quick pace at which secular societies respond to the crisis of the day.

Fifth, the Catholic Church has long had a tradition of internal due process. Cannon Law provides for scrupulous methods of proof. The concept of the “devil’s advocate” derives from the Church’s effort to be certain that every “t” is crossed and every “I” is dotted, even when it comes to selecting......

(Excerpt) Read more at frontpagemag.com ...


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: b16; benedict; benedictxvi; bxvi; catholic; pedophilepriests; pedophiles; pope; priests; ratzinger; scandal; scandalvatican; vatican
Every now and then, Al says something sensible.
1 posted on 04/13/2010 11:35:38 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow
"Every now and then, Al says something sensible."

This is the second time in his life by my count.

2 posted on 04/13/2010 11:39:40 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

I thank God for these Jewish men who are coming to the aid of my church!!!


3 posted on 04/13/2010 11:47:57 AM PDT by hstacey
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To: marshmallow

later read


4 posted on 04/13/2010 11:55:30 AM PDT by Citizen Soldier ("You care far too much what is written and said about you." Axelrod to Obama 2006)
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To: marshmallow

Just what I need to make my day, an article by Dipshitz about the Pope.


5 posted on 04/13/2010 12:10:11 PM PDT by Cyman
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To: Cyman

It might be more valuable than a post by Cyman.

I’m just saying...


6 posted on 04/13/2010 12:24:09 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: nobody

The smartest thing I’ve ever heard alan say.


7 posted on 04/13/2010 12:29:01 PM PDT by Sporaticus
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To: vladimir998

Is that you Alan???


8 posted on 04/13/2010 12:40:16 PM PDT by Cyman
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To: marshmallow

This Catholic appreciates this article by a Jew who defends the Pope to Protestants [especially].


9 posted on 04/13/2010 1:12:09 PM PDT by HighlyOpinionated (SPEAK UP REPUBLICANS, WE CAN'T HEAR YOU YET! IMPEACH OBAMA!)
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To: HighlyOpinionated

A cynic might say that the Prof recognizes that the Catholic Church is the greatest non-Jewish defender of Jews and Judiasm in the World. Tearing down the Pope tears down the Church and weakens the defender of the Jews. This is not a good thing for the Jews and Judiasm.


10 posted on 04/13/2010 6:57:05 PM PDT by dominic flandry
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To: Cyman; marshmallow
I have been appalled by Dershowitz in the past; I am pleasantly surprised by this apparent attempt at fairminded perspective from him.

I wish he'd try an actual (lawyerly) defense instead of this rather soft general perspective thing, though. In every case where the press has tried to implicate the Pope, they've been specifically and seriously wrong with regard to the facts.

And secular police-courts-justice systems have shown glaring weaknesses which contributed to the damage to victims and to society.

For instance, in the case the press is currently trumpeting (Fr. Kiesle in Oakland, CA) by the time Rome knew about this, the priest had already by tried by the secular court system, pleaded nolo contendere - and had been given a suspended sentence of three years. It's the secular justice system fell down on this one, although nobody ever mentions that.

All of the cases of actual pedophilia that the press is digging up went through the regular criminal justice system; the perpetrators were not protected by the Church in any way. Because many of these crimes occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, the perpetrators received trivial sentences, usually involving “therapy” and “readjustment” to society. This was a problem with all criminal sentencing at that time, up to and including murder. I'd like to see Dershowitz address this.

And would he touch the issue of ordaining homosexuals? They are NOT to be ordained, and that has been "the rule" from Rome for a long, long time. But homosexuals were permitted by weak or homosexual bishops to practically take over certain seminaries and thus to achieve positions of authority in the clergy, where they sponsored/enabled/protected still other gay clergy coming up the ranks.

This puts the pro-homosexual press and "progressives" in a bind: They want to make the Church look bad, but if they tell the truth--- which is that certain dissident or weak-in-doctrine-and-discipline bishops wrongly tolerated homosexuality--- they’ll alienate the gay lobby.

Wonder where Dershowitz stands on that?

These spineless and/or openly anti-papal, anti-traditional bishops (e.g Cummins in Oakland, Weakland in Milwaukee) tend to be the media's (and the "progressives'") favorites. "Modern! Up-to-date!" "A courageous rebel!" "Welcoming to gays!"

Measured by the usual "progressive" yardstick:

"The only good Catholic is a bad Catholic."

11 posted on 04/14/2010 7:45:38 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (In theory. there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is. -Yogi Berra)
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To: marshmallow
What chutzpah!

Alan Dershowitz will use this article as "proof" that he isn't an anti-Catholic bigot. For every supportive comment he makes about the Catholic church, Al will spew a thousand malicious slanderous remarks against her.

I'm not buying any of his support. Drop dead Al, you creepy toad.

12 posted on 04/15/2010 6:35:30 PM PDT by grand wazoo
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