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Cardinal Levada decries media bias, defends Pope in PBS interview

April 28, 2010

In an interview that appeared on the PBS television show NewsHour, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, criticized media coverage of the clerical abuse scandal while defending Pope Benedict and upholding the US bishops’ 2002 Dallas charter as a model for dealing with the issue.

“I don't want to scapegoat anybody or have a conspiracy theory, but I do think that the American media in particular … the question has been driven by information given by the plaintiffs' attorneys who are looking for ways to involve the Pope somehow in a court process or something like that, which are I think bound to be futile but nevertheless I think that has driven a fair amount of the media coverage, if I may say so,” said Cardinal Levada.

“I think the causes, we will see, go back to changes in society that the Church and priests were not prepared for, particularly changes involving how to be a celibate person in a time of the sexual revolution, that's one of the causes I'd say,” he added.

“With regard to the work of the Pope here at the Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith], those criticisms I think were basically unfair criticisms,” he continued. “I think that they were biased in the sense in trying to find an accusation of the Pope's mishandling a case back then. I don't think that that's true. I think that many people have spoken, given a reasonable account of what happened, and it's not a question of the Pope's mishandling. He was following the practice of the congregation at that time. These were cases that went back 20 and 30 years before, they were not dealing with children in harm's way at the time, and I don't think that the pope can be rightly criticized in those cases.”


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  • Posted by: Steve214 - Apr. 28, 2010 8:50 PM ET USA

    Yes, it was particularly difficult to be a celibate person in a time of the sexual revolution AT A TIME THE CHURCH WAS GUSHING ABOUT BEING OPEN TO THE WORLD AND ALL THE GOOD THERE WAS IN THE NON-CATHOLIC WORLD. Oh, yes, stopping talking about Divine judgment and hell didn't help much either I suppose.