Saturday, April 17, 2010

Another Attempt To Explain Away The Evil Anti Catholic Media --- By Playing The Evil Nazi Card

Now the Italian Bishops are fielding the notion the abuse crisis is a rerun of the Joseph Goebbel's strategy to attack the moral credibility of the Church.

Sociologist compares today's crisis to Nazi smear campaign
by John L Allen Jr on Apr. 17, 2010

Perhaps the most remarkable defense of Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church vis-à-vis the sexual abuse crisis to appear in recent weeks ironically never mentions the current pope, and it comes not from a senior Vatican official but a lay Italian sociologist of religion. In a nutshell, the suggestion – never made explicit, but clear nonetheless – is that today’s drumbeat of criticism of the church over “pedophile priests” amounts to a replay of a Nazi smear campaign.

Massimo Introvigne, who directs the international Center for Studies on New Religions, published an essay in the April 16 edition of L’Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops, about a Nazi campaign in 1937 led by Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels to discredit the Catholic Church following Pope Pius XI’s anti-Nazi encyclical Mit brennender Sorge. Introvigne argues that Goebbels created what sociologists would later call a “moral panic,” based on real facts, but facts which are distorted and amplified.

In the end, Introvigne says, the plan backfired – Goebbels’ attempt to smear the church generated more outrage than actual cases of sexual abuse in 1930s-era German Catholicism, which were reported in the German media and tried in German courts.

The entire article, including a translation of the Avenwire article can be read here.


I thought John Allen was supposed to be covering the Pope's trip to Malta, not pushing a reverse propaganda piece for the Italian Bishop's conference.

What Goebel's did in Germany with ONE nation's completely state controlled media can under no circumstances be compared with countless independent media from dozens of countries reporting on the exact same phenomenon and exact same cover up. There is no comparison.

Except for one thing. Goebel's campaign was exagerrated from fact which shows that clerical pedophelia is not now, and never was, a novel product of Vatican II, secular relativism, gay agendas, the wild and crazy 60's, or a Jewish conspiracy. This is just another red herring and I'm surprised the NCR has undercut the brilliant reporting of Jason Berry by letting John Allen publish this piece.


  1. Colleen, I just read John Allen's article referred to here by you. I suppose NCR knows a good story to sell and has caved in integrity to publish this nonsense.

    John Allen is a creep.

  2. it just gets weirder and weirder....

  3. Not sure where to put this thought, but I notice that the Vatican carefully parses the meaning of "church" now.

    When bishops were having victims sign secrecy agreements, we're told it was "for the good of the church" - which certainly was not good for the victims! So "good of the church" in that context seems to mean reputation of clerics and protection of church property.

    Now... when Benedict (what a misnomer!) wants the "church" to do penance" for "sins of the church" - it seems that "church" no longer means clerics, hierarchy or property. Now it's EVERYBODY (the whole Body of Christ!) - who somehow induced(?) clergy and religious to prey upon victims. So now the preyed-upon should also repent? As the Whole Body of Christ is cast as responsible? As guilty? In need of repentance?

    Give me a break!

    Word Games! That's what we have here, folks! Watch carefully as they play their shell games with the words.

  4. IF the whole Body of Christ is somehow to be indicted (by the poope), then at the very least the laity should revolt. For if there is any failure here, it is a failure of a whole downtrodden group to rise up and assume the Priesthood of the Baptized, no longer kowtowing to a form of leadership which Jesus himself condemned, but instead insisting on true Communion - shared leadership, shared governance.

    When nonsense like this comes out, point it out, as Colleen has. But don't be distracted by it. Instead, put forth more arguments, like the ones I've just laid out. Force them onto our battlefield! Because we, the laity (and those good priests who dare to join us) occupy the battlefield of the Sermon on the Mount. And they occupy the seats of the Pharisees or those of the moneychangers in the Temple.

  5. Typo above... was pure unconscious....

    Or could be the Holy Spirit...

  6. "What Goebel's did in Germany with ONE nation's completely state controlled media can under no circumstances be compared with countless independent media from dozens of countries reporting on the exact same phenomenon and exact same cover up. There is no comparison."

    ## For an obvious reason - whatever lies have been told against the Church in the past (and they were pretty toxic),that does not mean *these* accusations are not true.

    NCR has been very good about covering the scandals; it would be so untypical of John Allen to "cave in" that I can only conclude that I'm missing something somewhere; I have immense respect for him. And it is very pleasant to be able to say that.

  7. "John Allen is a creep."

    John Allen also happens to be a member of Opus Dei. But y'all didn't want to believe me cause "he writes for the NCR".

    I am not 'crowing'; I do wish to open sleepy eyelids to reality. Gently, if possible.

    "IF the whole Body of Christ is somehow to be indicted ..."

    Previously the concept of God allowing the Crucifixion of the visible Mystical Body of Christ. Perhaps the idea is starting to be comprehended.

    If you vehemently support Ratzinger, the 'priest culture', the Bishops, Cardinals & Vatican infrastructure - then "your house is built upon sand". As your faith is in men, not God.

    On the other hand, if your believe in the Gospel & the core of the Catholic Faith (Pre-Constantine), which IS true & coherent with the Gospel, then 'your house is build upon a rock". As your faith is in God, not men.

    Most Atheists & non-believers have no issue with the latter, nor with the teachings of Christ (which form the basis for social justice & true morality & ethics). Even though they do not believe in Him.

    Which are you willing to be persecuted for: the Vatican or Christ?

    Why then does it say in Rev. 18:4 "..Go out from her my people; that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues"?

    And the minions of Mr. Ratzginer who (one way or the other) gave the marching orders to write this should have known better.

    The use of the "N word" (Nazi) can & will completely backfire on them. Especially considering the growing body of evidence regarding a certain Bavarian family from Trauenstein which was rather pro-Nazi. Whose head of household was employed ultimately by the SS.

    The 'official story' is an elaborate fabrication.....

    Anon Y. Mouse

  8. Rat-biter:

    What if John Allen's tack also holds a subtle attack of his own? Just as he notes the Italian sociologist's is a subtle attack.

    Where I'm going with this is: Who is really inducing moral panic here? And what is the moral panic being induced?

    Seems to me that the Vatican is trying to stir up moral outrage against gays. (as the perpetrators of pedophilia) And their efforts are obviously back-firing!

    So is Allen making a subtle point? Are we to take the concept of "moral panic" and apply it to the current crisis? To me, if you turn this around - placing the Vatican in the role of the Nazis - it fits what we see happening much better. Perhaps the Vatican, always viewing itself as the victim, would have us brand anyone who critiques it as "just like the Nazis" - but that is a huge stretch! While the reverse is not.

  9. When in wonder,
    When in doubt,
    Run in circles,
    Scream and shout.

    Jim McCrea

  10. Crimes were committed. Sins were committed. Laws were broken. People were hurt.

    1. People in authority, responsibility and leadership have a duty to protect the weak, the innocent, the naive and those who are in their care. Indeed they are expected to carry out their duty to a higher standard than the ordinary person. This is true in civil law, criminal law, ecclesiastical law and generally true in issues of morality.

    2. Commission of the sins and crimes was done by individuals. Organizations, particularly the leaders, managers, and officers also share responsibility for the acts of their employees and others associated. In law this is known as vicarious liability. The principle applies to other circumstances where the relationships are voluntary and less defined than that of employer/employee. In other words under the law organizations may be as liable for the actions as the individuals.

    3. The Roman Catholic Church is now trying to limit its liability for the crimes and other activities of its employees that have harmed people, especially acts of assault. It is trying to limit its liability so it will not have to pay damages to the victims.

    4. The Church is trying to say that the managers who had obligation to supervise their employees and members were not responsible. That they were, at the most, negligent. They will attempt to convince the court of opinion of some things that turn the stomachs of those who believe in Christ:

    * We had no duty to care for those who were harmed.

    * It was a few bad apples. They acted alone. We disavow any relationship. Even if we had some duty it was minimal. We're not responsible. How could we know?
    * Who could have foreseen what would happen? We acted on the advice of professionals when we put them in therapy. How were we to know that they could not be cured?
    * What damages? These people weren't harmed. Look, other people are hurt by others all the time. Teachers abuse students. They get over it. Carry on. Maybe it was a character forming experience.
    * The "victim" was responsible for their own experience. They could have said no. They were of the age of consent (as young as 12 in some jurisdictions, 14 in others) They weren't victims but willing, consenting participants in a somewhat unsavory act or relationship. In fact some of the "victims" probably initiated these activities and how could a priest resist?

    That's the way it is folks. Sad but true. And each one of these defenses might be on the recommendations of their lawyers.

    I my opinion a religious person has a higher obligation.


  11. Anon, you wrote yesterday I believe that this is all about choice. It sure is. My little contribution seems to be to try to keep the playing field honest, the choice as clear as possible, the purposeful mud out of the water.

    As to John Allen, I believe the introduction of this piece by him is a typical Opus Dei use of plausible deniability. As in John doesn't mean he believes any of this, he just found it interesting enough to plaster the NCR with it.

    TheraP you might be right that this will backfire and people will accuse the Church of attempting the same thing with the gay/pedophilia link, but I do not believe for one second that was John Allen's intent. It does seem to be what the Church is trying to pull off with the gay witch hunt.

    In the meantime I have read at least three articles which try to absolve JPII by citing this campaign of Goebbel's. JPII supposedly didn't want to give any credence to a left wing or communist disinformation campaign.

    I could almost buy the idea that this was a Church wide problem, since laity did help enable it, if Benedict would seriously consider a Church wide solution--one that empowered the laity since all the victims were children of the laity. Since he isn't he can take his generalizing and his novenas and stick it where ever.

  12. Der Spiegel has evidence that pressure was brought to bear on a former aide to Ratzinger - to get him to sign a Vatican-written statement saying the "aide" took "full responsibility" for the German pedophile who was moved around under Ratizinger's stint at bishop:

    And some would have us believe this thing is dying down....

  13. That's quite an article. I sure hope Der Spiegel has their act together on this. In the back of my mind I kind of wondered if the scenario described wasn't in fact, the fact.

    And then the same article has Cardinal Hoyos maintaining JPII authorized him to send his letter to the French bishop and even put it on the internet. If that's true, Benedict 'the reformer' had zero meaningful impact and was basically a figure head.

    Or Hoyos is lieing through his teeth. Good God what a pack of dogs. No wonder they all wear collars.

  14. If true, it opens the door to so many lawsuits! As it makes clear that EVERYTHING flows from the top down. That nothing is done without consultation or edicts from above.

    I have to guess that Der Spiegel got lots of "tips" before and after their long article on the failed papacy of Benedict.

    Your comment about collars, Colleen, wow!

  15. "What if John Allen's tack also holds a subtle attack of his own? Just as he notes the Italian sociologist's is a subtle attack.

    Where I'm going with this is: Who is really inducing moral panic here? And what is the moral panic being induced?"

    ## That's too subtle for me :)

    Interesting idea though - something to think about.

  16. File this one away too:

  17. TheraP for Pope - she has all the answers, and even more humility!

  18. ## Filed away :)

    This stands out:

    "So Lena agreed to go solo — albeit with some help. An initial collaboration with law professor Ugo Mattei broke off. Lena now works with two main allies in a two-room, nondescript office near the University of California, Berkeley, campus with law books, an unused coffee pot and Nilla wafers on the shelves.

    Their latest project: defend Pope Benedict XVI against allegations that he personally, and the Vatican generally, turned a blind eye to decades of rapes and molestation of children by priests."

    ## This is meant to be credible ?

    "The Vatican has vehemently denied such reports, saying the pope has done more than anyone to root out abusers.

    "What is most important for people to know is that he does understand, that his heart is moved," Lena said. "He has seen the files, he gets it, and indeed he got it long before most others did."

    ## That does not change facts - this is still going on, & quite a few churchmen have show signs of not realising that this is about more than the reputation of one pope.

    Part of the trouble is the constant excuse-making - it proves as nothing else does that the rulers in the Church do not realise just how grave this scandal is.

    If the Pope is without blame, well and good - but even so, that does not begin to address the harm done to the weakest, nor the excuses for the cover-ups, nor the flood of attempts to blame anything and anyone apart from those with authority in the Church to mend matters. If they can't do anything - they are irrelevant, and should resign.

    People are indignant not because they hate the Church or the Pope, but because they hate seeing it abused by those who should it be its shepherds; Hans Kung is far more Catholic than the conservatives who refcuse to admit anything is wrong; Maureen Turlish & Thomas Doyle are doing far more to try to mend matters than those prelates who accuse the critics of the Vatican of being Nazi-like, or Zionist, or whatever it may be.

  19. TheraP, but think of the wardrobe you could have!!!

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Touche TheraP

  22. Let's just all "put on Christ" - and wash each others' feet.

  23. Colleen -

    As to 'plausible deniability" (in re John Allen,

    Opus Dei has long mastered the art of playing both side of the fence. I will not clog your blog with lengthy evidence, but it is out there. A prime example would be the Gladio in post-war Europe & the 'Strategy of Tension'....strategy. that little problem in Europe creating an (artificial) bipolarity between Communism & Capitalism. A lovely Strategy of Tension indeed, to keep "the simple' occupied.....

    In the present Damage Control Mode, the Vatican & its lay toadies are verging on the near hysterical. We have Cardinal Hoyos writing a letter praising a jailed Latin American Bishop for refusing to turn in an abuser priest. We have the Knight of Columbus running ads with a prayer that "the pope not be handed over to his enemies".

    And we have the Vatican trying to defend itself by a macabre combo of wishing the crisis 'away into the cornfield' (Twilight Zone reference....), and the use of the Big Lie. The latter being 'it's not's never happened.....because we say so'.

    Now, as to '...the pope being handed over to his enemies', that is of God.

    When God wants your attention, first he provides subtle clues. A word said by a stranger. A page falls open in a book. Signs.

    If you fail to heed, the intensity of the 'notice' is ramped up. It goes from the friendly tap on the shoulder, to the frying pan applied to the skull.

    Of course, God only speaks to those who will hear Him. He chastises those whom He loves, that they might hear Him & return to Him.

    Then what of the Vatican? Well, he created those men in love. He does not destine men for hell; they damn themselves. And they have been repeatedly put on notice that the 'invoice' is due. For many centuries.But they remain deaf.

    Divine Justice demands that souls- even the most vile & sinful- be called. Put on notice. Even those who will not heed. Mercy demands that they be notified. And the souls damaged by such evil men also demand such justice. So does prophecy.

    The 'last chance saloon' used by God to contact the Deaf is Pain. Often Justice is allowed by the Passive Will of Him lifting His protective Hand, and allowing one's enemies to have their way.

    Thus if Ratzinger & the Vatican is 'handed over to their enemies', this is the Will of God, and His Justice & Mercy in action.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  24. "IF the whole Body of Christ is somehow to be indicted (by the poope), then at the very least the laity should revolt. "

    Agreed. While the Rosary is for all to say (and all SHOULD say it), the obvious message of Ratz here is blaming the victims & general laity by default.

    It is the Vatican Administrators who should be offering prayers of repentence for the abuse crisis, not the bewildered & spiritually misled sheep!

    Colleen -

    "I could almost buy the idea that this was a Church wide problem, since laity did help enable it..."

    In the sense in which you express this, yes - I agree. All those who have BLINDLY supported & enabled the abusers & their episcopal enablers (usually by default) ARE culpable before God. WHY?

    Not because of ill intent or purpose. But as they were spiritually dysfunctional - and/or allowed themselves to be easily led into it.

    Most ppl espouse some form of 'Churchianity", rather then Christianity.

    The former usually consists of some sort of nominal assent to a laundry
    list of barely comprehended doctrines, & occasional pew sitting. That is NOT faith in God. It is not Living the Gospel.

    ...and it is not Christianity.

    If I blindly support an organization - and am oblivious to the evil it does, or still worse am an apologist for it & the evil - then I am responsible for the evil. Even if indirectly. Those who wake up, see the evil & reject it...and the organization....are innocent of its evil.

    "DUH" is not an appropriate response. Neither in a court of law, nor in the Court of Heaven.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  25. "If I blindly support an organization - and am oblivious to the evil it does, or still worse am an apologist for it & the evil - then I am responsible for the evil. Even if indirectly. Those who wake up, see the evil & reject it...and the organization....are innocent of its evil."

    Touche' Anon. That's the way this works. Jesus was pretty specific about what would happen to those who condone, engage in, or enable the abuse of children. It's not just sexual abuse He was talking about either.

  26. Here is a simple response I sent to one contributor the Allen blog.

    Dear Joan,

    "is there a pattern in the repetitive allusion to Nazism when referencing negative criticism of bishops who refuse to admit cover-up and other offensive moves in the global scandal?"

    Yes, this type of defense is what a psychologist would call Institutional projection. Projection of what is happening with a Vatican controlled by Opus Dei and The Legionnaires of Christ. It is well documented that Opus Dei and its child the Legionnaires were founded by minds that respected Francisco Franco. So if you have any training in psychological defense mechanisms, it is not hard to put 2 plus 2 together on this one. When I was in the sand box, we used understand projections simply by saying, "Takes one to find one." The one the Leadership is finding is the demon in themselves that they are attempting to project into others against truth.

    May we gain grace and peace through seeking truth!

  27. As psychologist, I agree: Institutional Projection! A form of re-victimization!