The always nice and middle of the road John Allen who writes for the National Catholic Reporter--such a shame, but maybe good he's there. He is a bright light there, one of the very, very few.
The National Catholic Reporter is a left leaning "rag." However, the NCR does have a bright light who writes for it and is interesting to read and very articulate when he is interviewed on CNN and other media outlets. Good Friday's "All Things Catholic" has Mr. Allen asking some good questions. I sent a comment to the article under "so" but it hasn't appeared yet and I don't know if it will, but I attach my comment below his brief article:
Is middle ground possible on the Pope?
by John L Allen Jr on Apr. 02, 2010
* All Things Catholic
More and more, I’m wondering if Karl Rove was right. Rove, of course, famously argued that the “independent voter” is a myth. Whatever they may tell pollsters, most Americans in their heart of hearts are clearly aligned with one side or the other, so the trick to winning elections is to turn out more of your base than the other side does of theirs.
“Rove’s Law” is about politics, but I’m beginning to suspect it has some traction in Catholic affairs as well.
From the beginning of the current round of the sexual abuse crisis, I’ve tried to make two basic points:
* The two cases from Pope Benedict’s past that have recently come to light, one in Munich and one from his years at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, raise important questions, and the pope needs to answer them in order to move forward.
* Those questions, however, have to be seen in the context of his overall record on the crisis, and particularly since 2001, when John Paul II put then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in charge of reviewing the case files, there’s a lot to be said for that record.
Both, of course, are judgments rather than statements of fact, and thus eminently open to debate. What’s striking about much of the reaction I’ve received, however, is that it’s not focused on the content of what I’ve said but rather my alleged motives for saying it.
For one camp out there, my first point amounts to a “hatchet job” on the pope, making me complicit in a campaign led by The New York Times and other media outlets in trying to bring him down or to wound the church. For another crowd, point two is tantamount to a whitewash in favor of the pope. As one e-mailer put it to me succinctly, “Don’t you ever get tired of being an apologist for the Vatican?”
All of which makes me wonder: On an issue about which people feel so passionately, and one which so easily feeds all sorts of broader agenda about the church, the papacy, the media, and so on, is there actually a constituency for balance? Is there room for middle ground?
That’s something to ponder as this crisis unfolds.
John your writings are clear and concise and I believe very balanced and middle of the road. All you write is excellent and fair. But yes there are extremes in the Church today, primary among them your own newspaper the NCR which is the "rag" of the left and yes extreme, much of what it publishes would make an Episcopalian blush--it is schismatic at worse or at "best" advocating for rupture in the Church and her people, clearly divisive. Sometimes it is hard to separate you from the "rag" that you write for. The NCR is to the left what the Wanderer is to the right. Get my drift?
But there is also "abuse" fatigue out there. Lawyers are exploiting victims and the Church for financial gain. Victims are coming forward not for therapy and healing but now for financial revenge and ruin of dioceses. But no one calls it for what it is all out of a fear of offending or victimizing once again those who have been so terribly harmed. But when victims make unsubstantiated allegations against the Holy Father, spew forth hatred and venom on the Church and anyone who would question their motives, they get a "pass" from "bleeding heart" liberals who can't believe that victims could also victimize--it really is a vicious cycle isn't it and no one seems willing to break that cycle, except maybe William Donohue of the Catholic League.
But more importantly the agenda that now is becoming clear from the secular media and the left leaning NCR is to change and neutralize the Church and exploit this scandal to do it. But in the meantime it also erodes faith in God since Jesus Christ could be accused of the very same things that our Holy Father is being accused of, complicity in forgiving sinners who victimized others without seeking punitive justice. Once again I ask, didn't God create the Archangel Lucifer, knowing full well what would happen and what Lucifer would do? Didn't God create Adam and Eve and give them free will to commit original sin which then God allowed every human being except the Blessed Virgin Mary to inherit, knowing full well that this would lead to all kinds of victimization, murder, sodomy, child sex abuse, rape, violence, terror, war, genocide, the Holocaust and the list goes on.
On this Good Friday, just what are the NCR (not you John) and the New York Times and the liberal media trying to do to the Catholic Church in general and the priesthood in particular, especially the Church's bishops and pope? What are lawyers trying to do? Like the priests who wrecked havoc on countless innocent teenage boys and some small children and like many bishops who followed the advice of psychiatry rather than canon law and like many others in the hierarchy who fear scandal over bringing light to a scourge in the Church, somehow I think Satan might well be involved in all of this and still I ask the question, shouldn't it all be left at the Foot of God, He created the whole damn mess. Thank God for Easter Sunday! Or blame God for it. Is there middle ground in that?
The Holy Father has said enough and His Holiness should now act like Christ at His trial on Good Friday, saying very little and letting salvation history take its awful course.