Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Hired Guns Come Out: Andrew Sullivan Attacked by Apologists for Benedict

The hired guns are out, and they’re blazing today.  Their target?  Andrew Sullivan, one of those “celebrity ‘conservative’ homosexuals” who think that Benedict might bear just a tiny bit of responsibility for the reassignment of a pedophile priest while he was bishop of Munich, a priest who then went on to abuse more minors—when officials of the Munich diocese had been well informed about his likelihood to continue molesting children.

Because, you know, it really, really matters whether the person disclosing incontrovertibly true information about Benedict’s shameful role in the clerical sexual abuse crisis is homo- or heterosexual.

The phrase “celebrity ‘conservative’ homosexuals” is Carl Olson’s.  On Mr. Olson, his situation in the Denver diocese of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, and his . . . let’s call them “ties” . . . to some of the most well-heeled right-wing Republican Catholic powerbrokers in the U.S., see my report a year ago, after Olson attacked me on his Insight Scoop blog, re: right-wing Catholicism and right-wing politics and the thick, incestuous ties that run through this politico-religious wing of American Catholicism today.

For the sake of emphasis, I want to repeat: Olson functions out of the Denver archdiocese.  That is, he’s ensconced in the same diocese that just informed two little girls and their mothers that they are not accepted in a Catholic school.  Olson’s gratuitous slam against Andrew Sullivan for being a faux-conservative homosexual is not accidental: it is part of a text woven constantly by right-wing Catholic bloggers and journalists and those who finance them, to insinuate that the abuse crisis in the Catholic church is really, at bottom, all about evil gays trying to do in the Vatican, as it defends the purity of Christian doctrine at a time of cultural decay.

As Andrew Sullivan notes, also piling on here (predictably) are Mark Shea of Catholic and Enjoying It and Rod Dreher at Beliefnet, who want us to believe—get this—that Benedict is the good guy in the abuse story.  He’s the one who has tried to clean things up.  He’s the one who was working behind the scenes to bring Maciel to accountability, when John Paul II could not face the truth about his friend.

Homosexuals bad.  Ratzinger good.  Abuse crisis, homosexual plot to defame the Vatican.  Pope, target of a malicious homosexual-driven media campaign to undermine papal authority. 

We’re supposed to believe, in other words, that black is white and white is black.  Because those who fund these right-wing movements of doublespeak and truth-doctoring (and of gratuitous attack on gays to deflect attention from the real, palpable shortcomings of Catholic leaders at this point in history) tell us that this is the case.

Because Ratzinger is their man, and they put him into office.  And they will do everything in their power—including lying and defaming vulnerable, and innocent people who happen to be gay—to prop him up, even as the psychiatrist who treated Fr. Peter Hullerman, the repeat offender who was, Ratzinger’s apologists want us to believe, reassigned without Ratzinger’s knowledge, comes forth to tell us that he repeatedly warned the Munich diocese that Hullerman would molest more children, if he were reassigned.  And that he begged the diocese not to reassign Hullerman to any position where he would have access to children.

When Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, was archbishop of the Munich diocese.