Okay, so this past Sunday the New York Times Public Editor, Clark Hoyt, penned this lede under the headline, “Questioning the Pope:”
A TOP Vatican official said The Times “lacks fairness in its coverage of Pope Benedict.” The archbishop of Brooklyn urged parishioners to “besiege” the paper and send a message that the Catholic Church will no longer be its “personal punching bag.” Writers in The Wall Street Journal and other publications have assailed the paper.
The issue was 1) Pope Benedict XVI’s track record on pedophile priests, and 2) the Times’s coverage of his actions.
Which was, well, critical.
Flash-forward to Tuesday’s Times headline, “Future Pope’s Complex Role In Abuse Case In Austria.”
As Pope Benedict XVI has come under scrutiny for his handling of sexual abuse cases, both his supporters and his critics have paid fresh attention to the way he responded to a sexual abuse scandal in Austria in the 1990s, one of the most damaging to confront the church in Europe.
Defenders of Benedict cite his role in dealing with Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër of Vienna as evidence that he moved assertively, if quietly, against abusers. They point to the fact that Cardinal Groër left office six months after accusations against him of molesting boys first appeared in the Austrian news media in 1995. The future pope, they say, favored a full canonical investigation, only to be blocked by other ranking officials in the Vatican.
A detailed look at the rise and fall of the clergyman, who died in 2003, and the involvement of Benedict, a Bavarian theologian with many connections to German-speaking Austria, paints a more complex picture.
You be the judge.