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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

The broadsheet newspaper The Guardian recently published an article, by Tanya Gold, with the headline:

“Ignore the bells and the smells and the lovely Raphaels, the Pope's visit to Britain is nothing to celebrate. Gordon Brown is 'delighted', David Cameron is 'delighted'. I am 'repelled'.”

Among other things she states of the Pope, "Joseph Ratzinger has colluded in the protection of paedophiles and the deaths of millions of Africans".

The editor of the Daily Telegraph’s internet blog, Damian Thompson, wrote an article upon this piece on his blog headlined “The Guardian's repulsive attack on Pope Benedict XVI”. Fr Tim Finigan on his internet blog makes the following points which respond to the specific accusations the Guardian makes. He writes:

1. Pope Benedict did not attempt to cover up child abuse allegations while Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He ensured that the proper canonical process was instituted, not excluding the involvement of the civil authorities. The Church has unambiguously recognised the importance of handing cases over to the police. Anti-Catholics might remember this from their anti-inquisition propaganda as "handing over to the secular arm": the right and proper procedure in such cases.

2. The Pope is not responsible for millions of deaths in Africa. The evidence shows that countries showered with condoms have the greater problem with HIV/AIDS.

3. One of the first things that Pope Benedict did was to institute the removal of Marciel Maciel.

4. Under Pope Benedict, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been tasked with dismissing from the clerical state any priest guilty of any sexual offences against anyone U-18

5. The Catholic Church is currently rather more vigilant on these matters than many other organisations. See for example the pathetic excuses that have been made for the behaviour of Roman Polanski. Had he been a priest, no doubt the Guardian would have had an article complaining about those who have excused his behaviour.

When the Pope went to Australia in the summer of 2008 secularists used the occasion to attack the Catholic Church and attempt to relate every possible story to the scandalous behaviour of priests who have abused children. It seems the process has started here. Watch this space.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:24 pm