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LOUD AND CLEAR

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 06, 2003

The ordinarily responsible journalist John Allen submits an oddly off-balance article about a private symposium on priestly sexual abuse held at the Vatican this past week. The piece is focused not on what was communicated about the crisis itself but almost exclusively on the fear that, in response to the crisis, the Holy See might impede the ordination of homosexuals. The experts said that homosexuality was a risk factor but "not a cause of the sexual abuse of minors." Writes Allen

One Vatican official who attended parts of the four-day symposium on pedophilia told NCR that this message came through "loud and clear" and predicted that it might help delay, or even derail, a much-anticipated document on the admission of homosexuals to Catholic seminaries.

Most journalists cultivate indiscreet sources, of course, and it not surprising that a Rome-based reporter like Allen should get to know a "Vatican official" or two willing to pass on closed-door information. Those perplexed by the Holy See's astonishingly nonchalant approach to the crisis will find it instructive that Allen's mole has personal enthusiasms that manage to come through, loud and clear, even at second-hand.

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