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Gerald Warner: It's the Pope's turn to retaliate in Catholic civil war

'NEVER let a good crisis go to waste" was the political maxim formulated by Hillary Clinton. It has been adopted by the fading trendies in the Catholic Church who still carry the burnt-out torch of the Second Vatican Catastrophe, in their Intifada against Pope Benedict XVI.

The sex abuse scandal in the Church – the product of the post-Conciliar nihilists' own iconoclastic destruction of traditional Catholic morals and spirituality – has audaciously been conscripted to serve their desperate agenda to overthrow the Pope, secure a "progressive" successor and eventually replace the Papacy with some kind of lay soviet (well, that is what happens to your brain if you inhaled substances other than incense, back in the 1960s).

Such an inversion of the truth is not without precedent: the Venerable Pius XII saved 860,000 Jews from the Nazis; but today, thanks to defamation by a German playwright, propagated by "liberal" Catholics, the one individual who did more than anyone on earth to help the Jews is demonised and bracketed with Heinrich Himmler. Now, the Spirit-of-Vatican II groupies are going after Benedict XVI on the child abuse ticket.

"Radical" Catholics are attacking the Vatican, like the chav mobs that sporadically besiege the houses of paediatricians. Our television screens are filled with geriatric ex-Jesuits, feminist nuns, "progressive" theologians and every variety of Lollards and Fifth Monarchy Men. Even their 1960s poster-boy Hans Kng (yes, he is still alive) has emerged from obscurity to throw his pebble at Benedict.

Who was to blame for child sex abuse but precisely the generation of Vatican II revolutionaries who are now wringing their gnarled hands in hypocritical outrage? As the official Irish government report into abuse in the archdiocese of Dublin proves, this orgy of evil was overwhelmingly perpetrated in the post-Vatican II era. During the 1970s and 1980s, when it was at its height, there was only one mortal sin in the Catholic Church: attempting to celebrate or attend the Latin Tridentine Mass.

Contrast the vicious persecution of traditionalist priests and laity with the extravagant indulgence extended to serial child abusers. Today, their chickens have come home to roost. These were the children of Paul VI, of aggiornamento, of the great Renewal: now they must be made to take ownership of their own scandal. It is they who are in denial, not the Pope.

They are being supported by the media, whose agenda is to pressurise the Catholic Church into moral relativism, to withdraw its condemnation of abortion, contraception, divorce, homosexuality, embryo experimentation, ordination of priestesses and every other precept that conflicts with the secularist New World Order.

That will not happen. The fatuity of much of the attack is blatant. Evidently priests abused altar boys because of clerical celibacy. There is no compulsory celibacy in the Church of England, yet vicars and boy scouts have been mainstays of the Sunday tabloids for a century. The Dublin report recorded a ratio of 2.3 boy victims to one girl: the last thing these men wanted was a wife.

The much-hyped Wisconsin scandal, used to traduce Benedict XVI, is another example of forcing the wrong pieces into the jigsaw to fabricate the required picture. The local police investigated Father Murphy in 1974 and refused to believe his accusers. More than 20 years later, when Murphy was dying, his case was referred to the then Cardinal Ratzinger. In 1998 he declined to unfrock the now repentant offender who died four months later.

The Milwaukee district attorney had refused to prosecute Murphy because the statute of limitations had run out; the Vatican faced the same canonical problem. Why are the Milwaukee authorities not blamed instead of the Vatican? Why was Cardinal Ratzinger expected to unravel a case that had baffled the local police 24 years earlier?

Unfrocking would not have deprived Murphy of his priesthood – that is irremovable. It would only have prevented him functioning as a priest, which he was no longer capable of doing.

It is time for the Pope to retaliate. He should adopt the liberals' strategy of not wasting a crisis. The media are howling for the heads of bishops. Very well: give them dozens, even hundreds. This is an opportunity to get rid of every mitred 1960s flower-child obstructing the return of the Tridentine Mass, liturgical reverence and doctrinal orthodoxy. The episcopal gerontocracy, along with the flared-trousered seminary rectors promoting the ordination of social worker priests and blocking genuine vocations, is ripe for a cull. The abuse scandal is only a part of the larger crisis that has engulfed the Church since the Second Vatican Catastrophe – it really is too good to waste.

 
 
 

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