Wednesday 31 March 2010

We must defend Pope Benedict against his anti-life opponents

Frances Kissling, former president of "Catholics for Choice", a front organisation for the pro-abortion lobby, has just sent the following message to her anti-life colleagues:
"The outrage in various European countries over the sexual abuse of children and its proximity to Pope Benedict present European Progressive Catholics and Secularists with an unprecedented opportunity to push for roll backs in state financial support to Catholic schools, parish priests and other agencies as well as to rescind religious taxation of citizens."
It is clear that Pope Benedict is being defamed by opponents of the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the human person. In a remark which seems directed at this defamation, he said in his Palm Sunday sermon that:
"Jesus leads us ... to the courage that does not let itself be intimidated by the gossip of dominant opinions."
It is therefore incumbent upon pro-lifers of all faiths and none to help defend the good name of Pope Benedict, one of the world's great pro-life leaders and the head of the world's largest pro-life organisation. Below are quotes and sources from some prelates, clergy and other commentators setting the record straight about Pope Benedict and cases of the sexual abuse of children: 
  • "[There is] a well-oiled campaign against Pope Benedict ... peddling falsehoods to destroy the Holy Father’s good name. It needs to be called what it is – scandalous." 
  • "There is no evidence at all that Cardinal Ratzinger ever blocked any decision about [Fr Lawrence] Murphy [a priest accused of abusing children]"
  • "[T]he false allegations of last week have obscured the good work that the Cardinal Ratzinger did at the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and as Pope."
  • "Cardinal Ratzinger brought about a profound change in how sexual abuse cases were handled ... Since his election, Pope Benedict has repeatedly demonstrated that even high-ranking priests are to be held accountable, and has not minced words about the failures of his brother bishops – both here in the United States and just last week, in his letter to the Catholics of Ireland."
"[W]e all need in a particular way to give thanks to God for the leadership of Joseph Ratzinger, as Cardinal and Pope, who has acted decisively, fairly, consistently, and courageously to purify the priesthood and to make the Church a safe place for everyone. Anyone with any knowledge of this terrible reality realizes that Pope Benedict has led the way in confronting this evil."
"I believe, and history will confirm that his actions in responding to this crisis, swiftly and decisively and his compassionate response to victims/survivors, speak for themselves. The Holy Father has been firm in his commitment to combat clergy sexual abuse; root it out of the Church; reach out to those who have been harmed; and hold perpetrators accountable. He has been a leader, meeting with victims/survivors and chastising bishops for their lack of judgment and leadership."
Fr Timothy Finigan of the Association of Priests for the Gospel of Life:
  • "[T]he Pastoral Letter of the Holy Father Pope Benedict to the Catholics of Ireland ... is a noble and powerful response."
  • "Pope Benedict has long been known as tough on the "filth" of clergy sexual abuse and, as Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, introduced procedures to ensure that offenders were dismissed from the clerical state."
  • "[The BBC is] essentially using the plight of abused children and scandalised Catholics to further their secularist, anti-Catholic agenda while distracting everyone from benefiting from the wise pastoral advice of the Pope."
  • "The mainstream media are clearly gearing up for an all-out attack on the Holy Father when he visits Britain in September."
Sean Murphy, published on the website of the Catholic Education Research Center
Bill Donohue, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, "Going for the Vatican Jugular

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