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A vast anti-Catholic conspiracy?

No doubt some anti-Catholics are reveling in reports that the future Pope Benedict XVI was aware that a pedophile priest in Germany had been returned to ministry and that then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger succumbed to a plea by an American abuser that he be allowed "to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood." But it's wrongheaded for defenders of the church to portray media interest in these questions as the result of prejudice.

Yet here is Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, a close advisor to the pope, telling reporters that there is "a conspiracy" against the Church. Meanwhile, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reacted to the New York Times report about the American priest, the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, by warning about "an ignoble attempt to strike at Pope Benedict and his closest aides at any cost."

And Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, the scourge of anti-Catholicism real and imagined, has decried "selective indignation" directed at the Catholic Church. Noting that the New York Times ignored an abuse case involving a rabbi, Donohue said: "Catholics aren't fooled."

The pope may have plausible deniability in the cases reported by the New York Times. But the best defense for the Vatican and its supporters is to contest the accuracy of these and other reports, not to accuse journalists (or activists) of selective criticism, let alone an ignoble conspiracy. Playing the anti-Catholic card just won't work. The sex-abuse scandal in the United States should have demonstrated that.

-- Michael McGough

 

Comments () | Archives (50)

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goliah

The waves of accumulating scandal hitting the roman catholic church will look a mere trifle compared to the 'perfect storm' that is shortly coming. For these growing, worldwide sexual scandals and endemic institutional corruption, having destroyed virtually any remaining 'moral' authority or presumption to understand human nature, are just setting the stage for the 'churches' worst nightmare: the questioning of it's very origins! And that has already begun on the web. Not by any atheist ravings, but with first wholly new interpretation for 2000 years of the Gospel/moral teachings of Christ. Redefining all primary elements including Faith, the Word, Law, Baptism, the Trinity and the Resurrection. This is not reformation but revolution. We may very well come to 'remember' the church as two thousands years of hubris, intellectual, theological self deception, retailing a counterfeit copy of revealed truth. Check it at: http://www.energon.org.uk  

Arts

It amazes me that apologists for the Roman Catholic Church would point to a conspiracy by the media. It takes one to know one as they say. Because it is the conspiracy of inaction and silence, by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, that is being highlighted here!

By choosing to subject his own bishops and priests to a severe dressing down, the pope has left himself extremely vulnerable if he has unclean hands over this whole seemingly-global crisis.

All we need to do is watch this space. The pope gambles if he has contributed to the crisis in any way.

Bill Loughlin

I'd like to believe that there's been no anti-Catholic bias in the press, as the headline on Michael McGough's article implies. Perhaps someone can explain why, on Oct. 10, 1999, March 4, 2001, and Nov. 3, 2002, the Times published favorable reviews of books critical of Pope Pius XII, while the paper ignored books by his defenders, including "The Defamation of Pius XII," by Prof. Ralph McInerny of Notre Dame, "The Pius War," co-edited by Joseph Bottum and Rabbi David G. Dalin, "Consensus & Controversy," or one of the more than half dozen other books defending Pius by Sister Margherita Marchione, professor emerita at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
In its July 5, 2006 editorial, "The Vatican archives," the Times accused the Vatican of trying cover up the faults of a "deeply flawed pope" by not opening the archives during Pius' reign. One has to wonder at the failure of the Times to do its job. The 12-volume "Acts and Documents of the Holy See Relative to the Second World War" were published between 1965 and 1981 by Libreria Editrice Vaticana and --- as of this week --- are now online.

Anne Rice

Thank you for this excellent article. It is embarrassing for Catholics to read the defensive statements made by so many on this sexual abuse crisis. The defensive posture of the Vatican is also humiliating. The Vatican's insistence that the pope is a victim here comes across to me as whining. As a loyal Catholic, I want to see the church thoroughly investigated on the matter of child abuse and the cover up of abuse by bishops, and by the Vatican. I appreciate your reporting. I hope you continue to give us your very best on this story and all stories connected to it. Anne Rice, Rancho Mirage, California 92270

Hector Gomez

There is too much hypocrisy on all sides. Pointing fingers at the Catholic Church is the real deal for most media reporters, while all the while the sexual abusers in the public schools, the adulterers in the secular world, the supporters of the murders of the unborn babies, the fornicators who treat women as mere sexual pleasures, are even more rampant and widespread compare to the abuses in the Church which is only a fraction of the clergy. Yes there are no excuses, nor exemption of evil, but hypocrisy is overblown, plus the media, and the attorneys are making a big deal because the Church has a deep pocket to dig in.

Jose

I am Catholic, but I no longer have faith in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church acts against children was wrong, and they covered it up for years. These children did not mean anything to them. It was all about protecting the church at all cost. Now, they want their members to pay their fines. You are supposed to be a good little Catholic, and do it for the church.

j t

duh. this is lame.

Roman Vanasse

The media are showing more signs of hypocrisy than those they accuse. If they were really interested in investigating child abuse in an objective way, they would also be writing and speaking about occurences in families, public schools (much more prevalent than in the Catholic Church) and other institutions. The exclusive focus on the Catholic Church can only be attributed to prejudice. Roman

ari

Legitimate statistics of sexual abuse in the Protestant and Jewish Church exceed that in the Roman Catholic Church by an order of magnitude yet we hear absolutely nothing of this.

tedson

As a boy, I went to a Catholic school for eight years as did my two brothers and one sister. My brothers and I became alter boys for about four years and at no time were any of us sexually molested. Although I since stopped going to mass regularly I still have warm feelings for the church and feel it superior to any other christian religion. It feel it is correct in many of its rulings.

John Tomas

Contra Bill Donohue, it seems that Catholics are VERY easily fooled. After all they have been filled by the church for almost a thousand years.

DPierre

The deep and pervasive anti-Catholic bias at the Los Angeles Times has already been well documented: http://www.themediareport.com

Adrian_Dallas

Clearly the Holy Roman Catholic Church is, in reality, a vast criminal enterprise set up to allow and then shield from legal responsibility those who sexually prey on children. There can be very little other explanation, considering how howlingly they have responded to what amounts thusfar to gentle questioning about it.

If that is not the case, let all GOOD Catholics rise up and toss out the perverts who rape their kids within the folds of gold-embroidered robes, including the current former-Nazi Pope who gleefully (apparently!) allowed it to happen under his watch.

Or do your children matter less to you than your superstitions?

donrus

This is clearly an organized campaign by the liberal media against the Catholic Church. The priests were only doing what priests have been doing for centuries. Roman is right...we should leave the priests to their little boys until we have eliminated child abuse in every other institution and home in the land.

Oh, and we need to investigate the war against Christmas too. Clearly the embattled Christian majority is in danger here.

James

The Vatican feels that the guilt lays with all those wicked little boys who at the age of six were seducing priests.

Bruce Wilson

Media bias does not erase the facts, nor does it lessen the impact of truly horrendous behaviour.

It is fact that a minimum of 4% of clergy in the Catholic Church have engaged in inappropriate sexual activity, the bulk of which seems to be abuse of authority in seducing and raping children.

It is fact that an unknown number of times the Catholic Church has hidden these acts, obstructed justice, and carelessly disregarded the safety of our children.

It is fact that the Catholic Church has blamed a permissive American society, blamed the victims, and blamed the media.

So, just who is wagging which tail of which dog?

Carl_W_Goss

It's unfortunate, but it appears that the RC clergy is made up of mostly gay men, who want a professional life where they won't have to explain their marital status (or lack thereof) and where they can spend their lives in close proximity to other gay men and sadly, underage boys.

This I think, is the result of the rule of celibacy, which has been part of Roman Catholicism since at least the 5th Century of the Common Era.

It's partly economics too. A married clergyman would need a living wage (no vow of poverty) and a clear path of advancement. Clearly the RC church could not afford to maintain many parish priests under this arrangement.

There's nothing in scripture requiring celibacy, this is just an invention of Church Fathers interested in maintaining a clergy on the cheap.

August

Little boys being raped over and over and over WITH THE POPE'S BLESSING is not a conspiracy!

mansterEZ

The 'Church' will survive this scandal just as it survived the 'Protestant Reformation' some 500 years ago. It will because it has an unlimited number of purposefully ignorant to choose from and deep pockets of cash, investments and property well-hidden in the secret Swiss banking system. What is the reasonable puppose for a Swiss Guard at the Vatican? DUH!! I was raised Catholic and molested for two years as an altar boy from age 9-11. I am not bitter although enlightened. Excoriating belief systems is my contribution to public service because beliefs do not require facts than need be supported by provable scientific evidence. Until 'the Church' reforms it's outdated idea of fidelity and lets go maintaining the celibacy of priests and nuns as uncompromising can it regain the trust of its flock and move forward, but it will never completly disappear as an ideal.

PAUL OLIVAS

why do you only post things that you want the reader to read? all people are entitled to there opinions . i am talking to the proofreaders for the L.A. TIMES

Emile Zola

Is the Pope catholic? The reason that the catholic church is the punching bag of the hypocrites of the world is not morality or being Christian, it's money, plain and simple. Pedophile, contrary to popular belief that it only affects the catholic church is snake oil peddling. Pedophile affects every religion, every society, every government. It was reported by the same media, how a Scout Master with BSA abused thousands of children over decades and only now, the case came to light, but the only difference between them and the catholic church is: Money, moolah. Not morality or to stand for the children, no siree. It's money. It's sad that in these times, the worst of times, the catholic church is still viewed by many as another Mormon church. All other Christian denominations don't have to explain why they belong to those two churches, ergo, even if pedophile wasn't a problem, people would still distrust the catholic or Mormon church and to add salt to injury, this frail democracy of ours is supposed to have a constituttional separation of church and state. This holy than thou and hypocritical attitude. What a tangle web we weave, when we try to deceive. The media should stop fanning the flames and look for some other ways to sell papers or get readers. Those that are so hypocritical aren't worth having.

Jon Healey

@Paul -- Check the terms of service for an explanation as to why some things get taken down or blocked. http://www.latimes.com/services/site/lat-terms,0,6713384.htmlstory

Kenarmy

The "claim" that Jewish Rabbis have a molestation rate 10X greater than priests is a figment of someone's imagination. A major problem with the Roman Catholic Church is that it is a hierarchical organization, that can use its' resources to "hide" its' errors. There is no hierarchical Jewish organization. Rabbis are hired (or fired) by their employers - the synagogue. No one transfers them away from problems! Rabbis are essentially independent contractors. No "archbishops" can intervene if a rabbi gets into trouble. There is no Jewish official to browbeat a 10 year old child into signing a vow to the synagogue that he will not divulge what happened to him! The RICO statute has no applicability to a Rabbi who abuses children, as opposed to a priest whose criminal acts are "hidden" by the Catholic Church. hierarchy

PAUL OLIVAS

Thanks, I understand that i guess I'm trying to get at the offending people part.

Brian

Anti-Catholicism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Anti-Catholicism is a generic term for discrimination, hostility or prejudice directed against Catholicism, and especially against the Roman Catholic Church, its clergy or its adherents. The term also applies to the religious persecution of Catholics or to a "religious orientation opposed to Catholicism."[1] In the Early Modern period, the Catholic Church struggled to maintain its traditional religious and political role in the face of rising secular powers in Europe. As a result of these struggles, there arose a hostile attitude towards the considerable political, social, spiritual and religious power of the Pope of the day and the clergy in the form of "anti-clericalism". To this was added the epochal crisis over the church's spiritual authority brought about by the Protestant Reformation, giving rise to sectarian conflict and a new wave of anti-Catholicism.

In more recent times, anti-Catholicism has assumed various forms, including the persecution of Catholics as members of a religious minority in some localities, assaults by governments upon them, discrimination, desecration of churches and shrines, and virulent attacks on clergy and laity.

Wayne Bergeron

In response to Emile Zola, what exactly did you mean by the Catholic Church being viewed as "Mormon?" Theologically, Latter-day Saints do not follow the same false teachings promulgated by the Catholic Church such as the trinity (which was never taught in the Bible, but came about after the Council of Nicea - almost 300 years after Christ died), the praying to of saints (pray to the Father through Jesus Christ only. Praying to saints is akin to worshipping false idols), life-long celibacy (the Apostles were married and even held jobs. Also, there is nothing definitive that states Jesus was never married), infant baptism, etc. So please don't get it twisted, Latter-day Saints and professed Catholics could never be more different.

Clare

Well if that ain't the pot calling the kettle black. Sheesh.

Ken

Is this a serious question?

Do you think that there is a single practicing Catholic at either the New York Times or LA Times?

No thing is more hated by liberals than the Catholic church because it stands for eternal truth and does not blindly follow the shifting moral trends of the day.

Paul Thornton

@Ken: For clues, go back and read any number of blog posts by Michael McGough.

G Holleran

It is characteristic of the arrogant that they believe that the world consists of two groups- Us and Them. This leads directly to atrocities. Paraphrasing Voltaire- If you can make people believe the absurd you can get them to commit atrocities. The Catholics are not the only Christians and far from catholic or universal in any sense. They are not above the law and the use of position to commit crimes is not acceptable on any moral or legal grounds. Harbouring criminals in most legal systems is a crime itself. The media by reporting the abuses of any group in society does not take sides. It is necessary to promote the eradication of abuses or crime. For the pope this is not an issue of persecution, it is an opportunity to show some leadership. He is head of State and leader of a large an influential organisation which has been less than successful in curbing criminals in its midst. Letters and apologies are one thing but action and the revelation that the Roman Catholic Church is part of a broader society is quite another.

Ken

That there is anti-Catholic bias and even visceral hatred of the Roman Catholic Church among some writers for the LA times and among its readers is very clear: simply scroll down and read the comments below. In any event, The Church has moved forward: new safeguards are in place, virtually all identified sick clergy have been removed (or have died), and in some cases, imprisoned. Remember, most of the sexual abuse cases were in the 1940's-1970's, and most of the cases involved pubescent young men ages 13-18, not little children. I think this is called homosexuality, not pedophilia.

bob

Being anti catholic is the last politically correct prejudice, the anti semitism of the liberal left. What the clergy did was inexcusable. Each and everyone involved in abuse should have been tossed out of the church as quickly as possible. The sad fact is that as the high priests of PC such as anderson cooper are having a field day attacking Catholics. Catholics themselves have done nothing to warrant this. They are the victims of their own clergy and the victims of the only fashionable persecution left.

Teach

Father Daly never got my booty, but he did get other boys in our parish. Sadly, no one ever reported it to the authorities as far as I know. I bet there are far more pederastical priests who have never been reported because of the deep shame of the victims. Death to the child rapists and those who protect them.

hosemonkey

The Holy Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ Himself, will be here long after the L.A. Times and it's lefty readers have become dust. The Church will clean house and go on, stronger than before. Long live our Holy Father, Pope Benedict the 16th!

tucanofulano

Surely the LAT jests - the Roman Catholic organization for centuries has had, and still has, child rapists in its employ - to suggest that this situation is "new" or "overblown" is not only terrible "journalism" it is stupid and insulting. LAT seems to have assisted in covering up similar crimes perpetrated under Cardinal "phoney-baloney' Mahony's tenure, which tenure unaccountably still goes on. Wow, talk about something rotten in D-mark! get anywhere downwind of the places these child-rapists work and reside and the stink is overpowering.

Mary Smith

There is a conspiracy. It is a conspiracy of silence. There has not been a single condemnation of the Vatican by the Mormons, Baptists, Jews etc. Catholics refuse to accept that the people of the planet are appalled not just by the for the rape of children by priests, but by the official church policy that facilitated further rapes and abuse. If, for example, policemen were raping children on this scale and police departments were covering up the rapes, both the perpetrators and their bosses who covered up for them would go to prison.

PAUL OLIVAS

let's cut the bull here sadly this is going on allover not just the catholic church all races all religions .done

mmmmikkimac

The Catholic Church as been corrupt since day one, when they took over the matriarchal society, burning women as witches, who were only herbalists, healers & midwives. They condemned Copernicus, Galileo, and for 13 centuries called Marry Magdalene a prostitute, finally admitting they were wrong on all counts! What makes them think they can make this go away now?
They have hid behind the "Church" & the Bible, while knowingly allowing homosexual acts and pedophile acts continue, shuffling the known priests from church to church, parish to parish, continuing to hide abusers and make excuses for them or outright lie about it and cover it up. The older church members may still buy into the churches teachings and believe what they are told from Rome, but the younger members and those who were abused may just be pulling out the first brick of the pyramid, so secretively built within the church. Could this very well be the start of the downfall of the RC church?

Elldogg

Over the last 25 years I have read of the outing of the pedophiles of many churches, but by far the new media reports of the emissaries of God (Catholic Priests)have been the most prevalent. The thing that bothers me the most is that these monsters have been allowed to commit these dastardly deeds without real condemnation for hundreds of years by their church (read about Henry the V111 in the 16th century), while calling those condemning the practice as ANTI-Catholic. After researching the Catholic Church over the last few centuries I cannot fathom how anyone logically can desire to call themselves Roman Catholic. How many children have to be tortured, abused, and mentally corrupted by these Men Of God before people hold them accountable.

Clotee Allochuku

Can we really blame the Catholic Church for trying to cover up their skeletons in the closet? I'm sure they must be totally ashamed of all the negative press and wondering if this will affect their followers and economic status. I use to be a Catholic because my Mom insisted when we were kids and nothing bad ever happened to me. I enjoyed going to mass and singing in the choir on Sundays. Of course I knew nothing about the politics and problems in the church nor did I care. The negative press is somewhat bias because we don't hear nearly as much about Protestants and their little nasty secrets. I'm sure if we dug deeply enough we would uncover all sorts of evil doing and malicious intentions. So why dig if not for shock value, accusations, and embarrassment.

Clotee Allochuku

Though the Catholic church is taking the blame for sexual deviance, we all must know that no one is exempt from this disgusting habit of human societies. Many churches have found to be guilty of the same misdeeds on underage children. Why focus on Catholicism? Maybe because so many adults have come forth to speak out about their unfortunate childhood because of the bad habits of some Catholic priests. You can't argue with the number of people claiming abuse over the last 30 years. All of them can't be wrong or just want to destroy the Catholic Church.

Jim H

The reason why this story will not die is because of the years of automatic deference that was paid to the Catholic church by public institutions. In other words, a lot of the posters here say, with some justification, that pederasty has also been found in other religions, and in public schools, etc.

But the fundamental sin of the Church was the cover-up. In every case study I've seen of deliberate and long-lasting abuse of children, there were parents to silence, police to intimidate, and so on. That cannot stand.

During the long story of American abuse, Rome could pretend that this was "an American vice," but of course, there's nothing to that claim. In fact, in a country like Ireland, a "good Catholic country," the abuse was worse, longer-lasting and more shielded from exposure.

I lived in Quebec during the '60s, the period they refer to as The Quiet Revolution. Quebec had been a place like Ireland, a priest-ridden society shaped by British conquest and the clergy's desire for power. The '60s saw the introduction of the elements of a secular society. In 1960, Quebec had the highest church attendance in the world. In 1970, it had the lowest. The censor board and all that entailed were gone, and then we started to find out what had happened in those gray buildings.

THOMAS MHURIRO

One would be tempted to think that the Roman Catholic Church is an organisation with a few members that could be called to order just like that. If this Church boasts of millions of adherents, one could expect the presence of some uncouth characters who still must come to terms with their faith and discipline. Let us be reminded that this Church does not teach that it is right for anyone to be abused within its institutions. Meanwhile we have come to know those who claim to have been victimised, it would be interesting to know how many actually got the moral, spiritual and academic benefits from Roman Catholic institutions.Speaking for myself, I went through a Roman Catholic institution run by Nuns and Priests and I feel that I owe them a great deal for their work. I am not saying that abuses do not happen but that this is not the rule. Above all is the Church not there to fight evil? Now evil is not always out there. It could be from within as proved by the presence of Judas Iscariot among the twelve apostles. Meanwhile the Roman Catholic Church must be challenged to apologize and to review some of its policies and structures let us not be blinded by some emotionally-charged comments that lack the objectivity and sobriety needed in this context. We humans must come to terms with our weaknesses so that a sympathetic approach could be possible.We know that it is because of our imperfections that that the Church was established. Let us not pretent to be angels as we lambast the Pope and all those under him. Otherwise we run the risk of loosing sight of the good the Churches stand for. After all perfection is only the ideal but not always realised.We strive for it and never boast about it!

Sabrina

When the L.A. Times gives someone like Sinead O'Connor a forum to spout her anti-Catholic views, what does that tell one about the values of this newspaper? It's amazing to me how people want to act as if the only place where child sex abuse happens is only in the Catholic Church. They conveniently ignore that abuse occurs in schools, hospitals, and even in one's own home! In fact, a child is more likely to be abused by a parent or caregiver than a priest! Yet, to hear the media talk every single Catholic priest and by extension all 3 billion or so of Catholics worlwide are doing it, too! Well as a cradle Catholic who is a child sex abuse survivor (at the hands of a Jehovah Witness!), I find the bias the Times and other papers show as incredibly offensive. If the paper made the same remarks about Jews, they'd be labeled anti-Semites. If someone dared to accuse a Muslim of it, they'd probably have a fatwa issued against them. Yet, some think it's ok to declare open season on ALL Catholics because of the actions of a few bad people? Not fair, I say.

John

As a Catholic I no longer have respect for the church. Protecting the church was more important than protecting the children. The church is teaching one thing, but it is not living up to what it is teaching. The Pope needs to get his house in order or the church will no longer be important to people. The churches of today are only interest in getting money, and living off their members. If you cannot trust the church, who can you trust?

M Krishnamachary

Dear Sir, Mr. Michael Mc Gough.
Anti Catholic and Catholic discussions , conspiracy theories take one nowhere. Pedophiles exist in all denominations. Because they , the catholics object to devious sex manifestations, they are cited for hypocrisy. Nunneries, unmarried padres are all such anachronisms that Catholics should deal with summarily by abolishing them. Practices that do not conform with nature should be abrogated. For this Popes themselves as leaders must bring in the revolution in religious practices. Sex is one of many devices with which man keeps progeny coming. Taking positions on that is superfluous. Religions should help the progression of humanity and not impede it. Men and women do not become sexless because religions ordain that. Catholics erred too long. Time now to change .

Steve Rulis

I'm not part of any "conspiracy" but I am an ex-Catholic alter boy and I think the Catholic church is finally getting the criticism it deserves after many years, and even centuries, of ignorance, intolerance and just plain evil. These are my observations and opinions.

What goes around, comes around, Benny. Incalculable suffering and death occurred as a direct result of the catholic church not telling it's own believers to use condoms when everyone knew AIDS was killing millions throughout South America and the rest of the world in the 80's and 90's. A woman's right to choose what she does with her own body?, two peoples' right to make a loving legal commitment to each other? -- they pretty much explain themselves. Not advocating birth control and encouraging the poorest of the poor to have unlimited children who will then grow up uneducated and poor to have more unlimited children, flooding the planet with even more poor, uneducated people to suffer? – that's just evil. Now, sheltering old men who use their position of authority to sexually abuse little children who don't know anything and think God is God and the old man is friends with God?. Well, the hate you get is the hate you spawn and spew. You WERE wrong. You ARE STILL wrong. Grow up and face the music like a man, Benny. Admit your sins, get on your knees and BEG for forgiveness!

Jacob

Of course playing the anti-Catholic card against blatantly bigoted anti-Catholics like yourself won't work. You hate the Holy Church and the Satan inside you yearns for its destruction so that pagan secularism can complete its takeover unencumbered. (I know you won't be happy until 8 men are legally married to 4 men, three goats a dog and a man that used to be a woman.)

But seriously as you try to protect big brother (NYT) you just come off like this dorky little fanatic imitating his idol's sins--Cardinal Ratzinger let a man who was terminally ill and had less than a month to live die and face God for his sins because it was too late to make him pay for them on earth. The proceedings against him would have taken far longer than his death..would you suggest that we overthrow the U.S. government for having committed the same "crime" on countless occasions? (I know the U.S. government is far more bloodsucking and blood hungry than the Holy Catholic Church but you would still allow this hypocrisy just because you like your government buddies' style better?)

And, rightly, where is your defense of the countless victims of public school teachers? Teachers who are often left to molest up to hundreds of children before being removed from their posts.
Only the victims of priests matter? The others aren't such a big deal?

Or is it just good ol' fashioned American Anti-Catholicism that's fueling these recent attacks by the New York Times' against the Holy Church? (If we answer that question then we also know the position of the LA Times by simple deduction.)

Jacob

And by the way all of you Los Angeles residents...please keep doing drugs, having abortions, being lazy on welfare and spending all your creativity ruining our society please keep taking the moral high ground against the people who educate and pass out bread to the children you abandon en masse.

I'm sure that a drug and alcohol cultural obsession and a rampantly oversexualized educational system (which despises morals) not to mention decades of self indulgent child neglect has nothing to do with the problem of child molestation throughout the entire western world. Believe it or not child molestation is far more rampant in countries with Buddhist, Hindu and especially Islamic majorities. But don't count on the LA Times for facts that don't fit neatly into its adolescent fantasies about rescuing secular society from the Catholic Church and delivering it from abstinence.

Jon Healey

@Jacob -- You might want to reconsider your indictment of Los Angelenos. There are more Catholics here than anywhere else in the country (see, e.g., http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/06/local/la-me-la-catholics7-2010apr07). Unless, of course, you think that "doing drugs, having abortions, being lazy on welfare and spending all your creativity ruining our society" are all characteristics of Catholicism.


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