Here are two very unexpected defenders of the Catholic Church and Benedict XVI.
My father has said, "I don't agree with any of Ed Koch's views, but I can't help finding myself liking him." We can all like him a little more with this op ed piece:
"I believe the continuing attacks by the media on the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI have become manifestations of anti-Catholicism. The procession of articles on the same events are, in my opinion, no longer intended to inform, but simply to castigate.
The sexual molestation of children, principally boys, is horrendous. This is agreed to by everyone, Catholics, the Church itself, as well as non-Catholics and the media. On a number of occasions on the Church's behalf, the pope has admitted fault and asked for forgiveness.
For example, The New York Times reported April 18, 2008 that the pope "came face to face with a scandal that has left lasting wounds on the American church Thursday, holding a surprise meeting with several victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Boston area. ... 'No words of mine could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse,' the pope said in his homily. 'It is important that those who have suffered be given loving pastoral attention."
...Many in the media who are pounding on the Church and the pope today clearly do it with delight, and some with malice. The reason for the constant assaults, I believe, is there are many in the media and some Catholics as well as many in the public who object to and are incensed by positions the Church holds, including opposition to all abortions, opposition to homosexual sex and same-sex marriage, retention of celibacy rules for priests, exclusion of women from the clergy, opposition to birth-control measures involving condoms and prescription drugs, and opposition to civil divorce."
And here is a defense by John Stephenson, a ... Lutheran theologian:
"The secular press has had it in for Joseph Ratzinger for going on three decades. Before his election as Pope in the spring of 2005, he was routinely derided in his homeland as the Panzerkardinal (“tank cardinal”) and caricatured in North America as the “Enforcer” or even the “Rottweiler.” The roots of this negative reputation stretch back at least as far as the book-length interview he granted to the Italian journalist Vittorio Messori that catapulted him to global fame when published as The Ratzinger Report in 1985.
But shrewd observers must wonder about the startling disproportion between the enormous hue and cry artificially whipped up by the media and the softly spoken real life figure who seems always to have avoided hyperbole like the plague.
(Blogger Note: Here comes the firework finale, maybe one of the most insightful paragraphs written on this spewing of hatred:)
...The negative reaction aroused already by the Ratzinger Report laid bare the sheer fury shared by Roman Catholic Modernists and the unbelieving world in general against anyone who dares to intimate that the historic Christian religion is, to put it bluntly, true. Neither apostates within Holy Christendom nor naked unbelievers outside her borders will ever forgive Ratzinger for the grave breach of secularist, pluralist etiquette involved in the first volume of his Jesus of Nazareth. It goes without saying (and around the Holy Week of each year the several forms of mainstream media say it loudly, often, and emphatically) that Jesus was an ordinary man, a wacko apocalyptist, or a failed political revolutionary. Stones must fly and clubs be brandished against a learned man fully familiar with all the “Jesus of history” literature from Reimarus to the present, who winsomely draws on believing scholarship of all confessions to offer a calm and cogent argument that the real, actual Jesus is the one who meets us in the Gospel record. Where the North American liberal intelligentsia can offer no refutation, they spit contempt. And a Western Europe sunk in a new heathenism and undergoing Islamic takeover can only howl at this attempt to arrest its suicidal downward slide."
htip to Fr. Z on the Stephenson piece.