I agree with the assessment of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Dean of the College of Cardinals on this issue:
In the United States, there is constant news on this topic, but less than 1% of priests are guilty of acts of this type. The constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information nor to the statistical objectivity of the facts. Therefore, one comes to the conclusion that it is intentional, manipulated and that there is a desire to discredit the Church. It is a logical and well-founded conclusion. Cardinal Ratzinger characterizes the media coverage as a planned campaign.
A number of factual distortions should be indicated. Egerton mentions that 85 priests have returned to the active ministry through Trinity Retreat, implying that some of these priests had difficulties with minors. These were priests on leaves of absence, not priests who had been accused of any misbehavior at all.
...I stand by what I have written in From Scandal to Hope.
Mr. Egertons article is a prime example of the hostility, distortion and planned attack on the Catholic Church in the United States by certain segments of the media.
Sink, A response from Groeschel, as you requested (shrilly demanded.)
Please Read This VERY Carefully, in its entirety.
Those who criticized Groeschel due to that smear article will answer to God for their slander.
Back to my "fast."
From Fr. Groeschel's persepctive, it appears that Mr. Egerton's article was indeed a smear job. I particularly find these parts interesting:
Egerton mentions that 85 priests have returned to the active ministry through Trinity Retreat, implying that some of these priests had difficulties with minors. These were priests on leaves of absence, not priests who had been accused of any misbehavior at all.
I have not been the director of Trinity Retreat for ten years. This retreat for priests has never has been referred to before as a mansion. In fact, I don't even live in the building, I have lived for years in the garage.
I did not decline to be interviewed. I never spoke to Mr. Egerton because I was not at home when he called. After this article I am grateful to God I did not talk to him.
It appears that Mr. Egerton intentionally misread readers into believing the worst, while he himself knew that the facts were not at all what he was implying.
Shame on him for doing so.
Given the choice of believing Fr. Groeschel and the chairman of the Texas chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists, who almost certainly has an ideological axe to grind, who am I to believe? Touch choice. :-)
Methinks I will give Fr. Groeschel the benefit of the doubt until such time as Mr. Egerton produces more than lies and innuendo.
And psychological "experts" who put men back into the active ministry who were active homosexuals or repeat pedophiles will have to do the same.
That's after they answer to the multiple lawsuits still in the wings.
You say the article is a "smear"; it is one side of the story.
As for Ratzinger's remarks, he, like Groeschel, miss the point. The issue is not how many abusers there are or were in the priesthood; the issue is the cover-up by bishops and those who enabled the bishops to carry out that cover-up!
That's the news story, and is a legitimate one.
Thanks for the article. I hope his response gets reprinted in the Dallas Morning News.
While these abominations may involve less than 1% of Priests, I think that it gets media play because of the number of victims. It's not unusual for a predator Priest to have a huge number of victims. One Priest in San Antonio had abused forty different boys, and had abused many of them multiple times. I think I remember during the Rudy Kos trial the number 1100 as being close to the number of abusive encounters that Kos had committed over the years.
Do you REALLY not understand that the REAL scandal here is NOT that a few priests were "bad apples," but that the hierarchy continued to cover for them, move them from one assignment to another without dealing with them as they should have, and attempted to cover everything up and deny everything.
Even now, they seem far more concerned about their "fraternity brothers" than they do the victims of the abuse.
So yes, you're right: Probably 1%, maybe LESS. But how many times were each of those individuals allowed to continue their outrages while the hierarchy covered for them, hoping they could figure out how to "make them change" next time?
How many times were laws broken when these people weren't turned over to the authorities as the law requires?
It is not a minor point that the focus has been on people like Cardinal Law, rather than the perps themselves.
I think one ought not to break a fast, especially a public one. It makes it in this case look like Internet addiction is at work which is all too prevalent today even under the guise of piety. Reading messages mocks such a fast. We need spiritual power today which comes through trying to keep our vows and not presuming that our opinions are so important, needed and required that we can come to God's rescue. God is in control despite all appearances. The Church will not fail.