Sunday, April 11, 2010

The California "Laicization" Case: Even MORE B.S.

Lawler makes it clear that AP is now laying back and enjoying their coupling with the.......ahhh.......trial attorneys.

The "exclusive" story released by AP yesterday, which has been dutifully passed along now by scores of major media outlets, would never have seen the light of day if normal journalistic standards had been in place. Careful editors should have asked a series of probing questions, and in every case the answer to those questions would have shown that the story had no "legs."

First to repeat the bare-bones version of the story: in November 1985, then-Cardinal Ratzinger signed a letter deferring a decision on the laicization of Father Stephen Kiesle, a California priest who had been accused of molesting boys.

Now the key questions:

Go to the link.

Some twit bugged me about that case a few days back, and we noted, again (it's becoming tiresome) that the LOCAL BISHOP is responsible for watching and disciplining his priests, not Rome.


More here from Fr. Z.

  1. The case before the CDF concerned a request by a priest for a dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state.
  2. It was not a punitive case or an appeal about a sanction.
  3. The request was submitted by the priest and not the priest’s diocese of Oakland.
  4. The CD
  5. At the time, the CDF did not have competence in the cases of clerical pedophilia.
  6. F didn’t not grant immediate dispensations to men who were not at least 40 years old.
  7. Once the CDF studied the case and the priest reached 40 years of age, the dispensation was granted.
    There was no cover up.
We could quote Pilate: "What is truth?"--but I suspect that nobody at AP really gives a damn.


Anonymous said...

Careful editors should have asked a series of probing questions, and in every case the answer to those questions would have shown that the story had no "legs."

How ironic. You have the audacity to question the standards of today's editors regarding how the the RCC scandal stories are written, yet link to a jew-hating, white power influenced "news" organization that bases its report on a unverified,
unsubstantiated claim that the French President said Obama is insane.

And spare me any "argument" that the ethics of journalists and bloggers are different. Last time I checked, ethics has jurisdiction over EVERYTHING.

GOR said...

Father Fessio at Ignatius Insight also sheds some light on the circumstances of the time. Under Paul VI in the 60s and 70s the number of priestly dispensations and marriage annulments soared. Pope John Paul II was concerned about the facility with which both were being granted and the consequent damage to the Sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders, so he tightened up the rules.

Previously, dispensations were usually granted - especially if a civil marriage or children were involved - but the process still took about two years from beginning to end. The ‘ease’ with which dispensations from celibacy were granted likely came about because the Church was faced with many de facto situations: priests had left and already contracted civil marriages. Rather than leave them in invalid unions and without access to the Sacraments it was more pastoral and merciful to acknowledge the realities and help them regularize their situations.

With JP II that changed and the minimum “40 years of age” was introduced. As Fr. Fessio noted, getting a dispensation was “almost impossible in 1980”. I believe both Popes - though taking very different approaches - had the same goal: the good of souls.