Below is a scan of an ad that ran in today’s issue of The New York Times. The ad was paid for by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, and it ran on the Times’ op-ed page.
Apparently, the Catholic League is unhappy with the Times’ recent coverage of yet another sex scandal in the Catholic Church, this was reaching as high, possibly, as Pope Benedict, with some charging that the pope — back when he was Cardinal Ratzinger — participated in a cover-up of at least one instance of a priest being accused of molesting a child. So the Catholic League ran this ad that, in essence, blames the gays.
The articled referenced in the ad is “Vatican declined to defrock U.S. priest who abused boys,” by Laurie Goodstein. Goodstein and David Callendar wrote the article “For years, deaf boys tried to tell of priests’ abuse.” And today, The Washington Post published “Vatican defends Pope amidst Catholic Church sex abuse scandal,” by Anthony Faiola, in which some Vatican church officials seem to be trying to lay all the blame at the feet on the late Pope John Paul II.
What it sounds like to me is an argument between my sons — ages 13 and almost-11 — over who is responsible for the mess in the living room: “He did it, not me!” “Nu-uh! It’s his fault!” That can go on forever, and the end result is, the mess in the living room doesn’t get cleaned up.
I think it’s time for the leaders of the Catholic Church — starting with the pope — to stand up and say, “We either messed up, or we were in charge of the people who messed up. And either way, it’s our responsibility. And we are going to clean up the mess.”