Bishops and Others Rally to Defend Their Pope
While these global revelations have shocked, angered, and disillusioned many Romanists around the world, influential Roman Catholics, including countless bishops from across the world, have rallied to Benedict’s defence. Robert Moynihan, editor of Inside the Vatican magazine, even brought in a text of Scripture – a verse, be it noted, that is a prophecy about Christ – in an attempt to explain that the calls for Benedict to resign are an attempt to “strike the shepherd”. He quoted Zechariah 13:7, which in the King James Version reads: “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered”. That this is about the Lord Jesus Christ is shown from Matthew 26:31. But Moynihan, quoting the verse from some other version, only quoted what he wanted to quote, as follows: “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd. Strike the Shepherd, that the sheep may be scattered.” Of course, given that Roman Catholics believe their pope to be Christ on earth, applying this verse to him would make sense to them. But it is blasphemous and heretical.
Timothy Dolan, the influential Romish archbishop of New York, rallied to Benedict’s defence during a mass, declaring that the “recent tidal wave of headlines about abuse of minors by some few priests, this time in Ireland, Germany, and a re-run of an old story from Wisconsin, has knocked us to our knees once again.” Thus he dismissed it all as nothing but the sins of “a few priests” and the rehashing of some old story! As New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in response: “A few priests? At this point, it feels like an international battalion.” Or, as another put it: “this is industrial-scale sex abuse, a veritable pedophile conveyer belt!”
Dolan also compared Benedict with Jesus, saying he was “now suffering some of the same unjust accusations, shouts of the mob, and scourging at the pillar”, and “being daily crowned with thorns by groundless innuendo.” As it was “Palm Sunday” in the Papacy’s liturgy when Dolan made these remarks at the mass, they were designed for maximum effect. Again, for Papists it is easy to compare their pope with the Lord Jesus Christ, because they believe him to be the very “Vicar of Christ”, even “Christ on earth”.
In Vienna, Romish cardinal Christoph Schönborn publicly defended Benedict, saying that when Benedict was a cardinal and had tried in 1995 to investigate the former archbishop of Vienna for allegedly molesting youths, he was prevented from doing so by advisors close to John Paul II, the pope of Rome at the time.
The Romish archbishop of Lima, Peru, Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, said at a mass, “The visible head of the Mystical Body of Christ has been mistreated by enemies of the Church, with unheard of lack of respect for the truth and with a display of incredible cynicism. Behind it all we can see an attack on the Church to harm her. We, his children, cannot remain silent.”
The episcopal conference in Paraguay sent a letter to Benedict, affirming “support, communion and solidarity.” The bishops expressed their “communion with the Pope, at this moment of pain because of the attacks he receives in his character of pastor of the universal Church”, which seek “to weaken his voice and moral authority.”
In Santiago, Chile, Romish cardinal Francisco Errázuriz said that “some media try to strike the Pope’s good name accusing him of things for which the Holy Father never had responsibility.” And in Mexico, Romish bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel said during a mass that Benedict had always acted with responsibility in regard to the problem of sexual abuse. “We are suffering from the internal sins that are undeniable, as is also the betrayal of Judas, Peter’s denial and the moving away of the apostles themselves, who left Jesus alone,” he said; and, “They have even wished to splash Pope Benedict XVI with mud,” even though “he always dealt with these cases with extreme care and the highest level of responsibility.” Again we see the comparison with the betrayal of Jesus, and again the certainty expressed that Benedict is innocent – something these men could never be certain of, and indeed contrary to the rapidly accumulating evidence.
In the Dominican Republic, the archbishop of Santo Domingo, Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, said that Benedict had always treated the sex abuse cases with firmness, transparency and severity – which was patently untrue. He spoke of “a confabulation of sectors of European governments and groups of the United States, which do not forgive the Pope or the Church for the firm position in defense of life and rejection of the crime of abortion.” There certainly is truth in this. Secular humanists in positions of power in Europe, the US, and elsewhere would like nothing more than to see the Roman Catholic institution collapse under the weight of this scandal. But this is a typical strategy of deflecting attention away from the cold, hard facts – that the Vatican is guilty of a massive, global cover-up pertaining to priestly sex abuse of children.
In Spain, the archbishop of Oviedo, Jesús Sanz Monte, together with many priests and others, sent a letter to Benedict expressing their respect and filial affection. It said: “The testimony of love for the truth that Your Holiness is transmitting to us with depth and beauty, does not conceal the profound pain that the events that occurred among some priests and consecrated persons have caused to your fatherly heart.” The letter expressed grief for “the unjust and fallacious treatment that some of the media and tendentious groups are giving your person and your long and faultless ministry as archbishop of Munich, as cardinal prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now as Successor to Peter.” Other Spanish ecclesiastical leaders wrote along similar lines.