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Pope Francis Slams Relentless Accusers – OpEd

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Media reaction to comments made by Pope Francis linking constant accusers of the Catholic Church to the devil was predictable. When the pope says something that the media see as undermining the profile of the Holy Father that they want to project—as an ally of liberal causes—they typically ignore his remarks. They did so again today.

Here is a sample of those media outlets that did not report on the pope’s statement linking non-stop accusers of the Church to the work of the devil:

ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Baltimore Sun, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Kansas City Star, Miami Herald, Dallas Morning News, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Prominent media outlets that did report on what the pope said include Fox News, MSNBC, Associated Press, Reuters, Boston Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Post.

Pope Francis is being attacked today by virtually every professional victims’ group—most are not a true organization—as well as by pundits and activists. Before defending what the pope said, which is easy to do, consider the context of his remarks and what he actually said.

The Holy Father was talking about the love that Saint Padre Pio had for the Catholic Church. He then said, “He who loves the Church knows how to forgive, because he himself is a sinner and is in need of God’s forgiveness.” Continuing with this theme, he then addressed those on the other end (the following is taken from press.vatican.va)

“One cannot live an entire life accusing, accusing, accusing the Church. Whose is the office of the accuser? The devil! And those who spend their life accusing, accusing, accusing, are—I will not say children, because the devil does not have any—but friends, cousins, relatives of the devil.”

This was followed by a comment that “flaws must be indicated so they can be corrected, but at the moment the flaws are noted, flaws are denounced, one loves the Church.”

The pope is so right. He is not saying that no one should criticize the Catholic Church—he has done so many times himself—he is talking about those who have made a career out of attacking the Church.

This surely would include professional victims’ groups such as SNAP, a morally bankrupt group that we have exposed for lying and deceiving the public. It would also include the rapacious lawyers who fund them, such as Jeffrey Anderson.

Among the media, perhaps no outlet is more guilty of relentlessly attacking the Catholic Church than the National Catholic Reporter. They love to promote the voice of the most strident dissident and ex-Catholics, affording them ample space to assault the Church’s teachings on women and sexuality. More than that, they want the bishops to censor media outlets that talk about all the good the Church does.

Two days ago, a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter, Michael Sean Winters, repeated his call to shut down EWTN. He is particularly incensed with EWTN’s flagship show, “The World Over,” hosted by Raymond Arroyo. Winters even attacked EWTN’s founder, Mother Angelica.

“I have said it before and will say it again, the bishops of this country need to lance this media boil. That was obvious at the time of the apostolic visitation of Mother Angelica’s monastery in 2000. It has only become more obvious since.”

Banning free speech, of course, is a signature of the Left.

Pope Francis speaks the truth. There is a difference between criticizing members of the clergy who are delinquent—including those who work at the Vatican—and condemning the Church, 24/7. Such agenda-ridden persons are driven by power, and there is nothing noble about such a pursuit.

The pope is to be commended for saying that those who relentlessly find fault with the Catholic Church are doing the work of the devil. It will not do to applaud the Church’s soup kitchens while obsessing on the Church’s defects, real and contrived. This gig is up.

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William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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