NYT defends against Vatican criticism

Follow up on Catholic Church and its newest enemy, journalists, especially at the New York Times

Cardinal William J. Levada, a top Vatican official, leveled harsh criticism at The New York Times today, calling the paper’s news and editorial coverage of a sexual abuse case “deficient by any reasonable standards of fairness.”

The Times has been reporting on how Pope Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, handled pleas from Wisconsin church officials to “defrock a priest who had abused as many as 200 deaf boys from 1950 to 1974.”

Times spokeswoman Diane McNulty told POLITICO that the “stories were based on meticulous reporting and documents, many of them posted on our website.”

“We stand by that reporting,” she said.

Indeed, the Times has included a number of primary documents online. And as a timeline of events clearly shows, the Vatican’s doctrinal office — which Ratzinger ran — suspended a secret trial that could have punished the priest, who was given such leniency because of his declining health.

“The allegations of abuse within the Catholic Church are a serious subject, as the Vatican has acknowledged on many occasions,” McNulty said. “Any role the current pope may have played in responding to those allegations over the years is a significant aspect of this story.”

[Click to continue reading NYT defends against Vatican criticism – Michael Calderone – POLITICO.com]

Reading Around on April 26th

Some additional reading April 26th from 07:43 to 20:01:

  • Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (or, the Privatization of the English Language) | Zen Habits – "Her lawyers asked me to insert the (R) symbol after the phrase, in my post, and add this sentence: “This is the registered trademark of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. and is used with her permission.”
    Yeah. I’m not gonna do that.
    I find it unbelievable that a common phrase (that was used way before it was the title of any book) can be trademarked. We’re not talking about the names of products … we’re talking about the English language. You know, the words many of us use for such things as … talking, and writing, and general communication? Perhaps I’m a little behind the times, but is it really possible to claim whole chunks of the language, and force people to get permission to use the language, just in everyday speech?"
  • Democracy Now! | Flashback: A Look Back at the Church Committee's Investigation into CIA, FBI Misuse of Power – "We take a look at one of the most famous special Senate investigations of government misconduct. In the mid-1970s, a US Senate committee chaired by Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho conducted a massive investigation of the CIA and FBI’s misuse of power at home and abroad. The multi-year investigation examined domestic spying, the CIA’s attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, the FBI and CIA’s efforts to infiltrate and disrupt leftist organizations, and more. We speak with Sen. Frank Church’s widow, Bethine Church, and Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr., who served as chief counsel to the Church Committee"
  • A Guide to Beating the Fears That Are Holding You Back | Zen Habits – "Just got a copyright infring. notice from lawyers of author Susan Jeffers, bec I used the phrase "feel the fear & do it anyway" in a post."
    Some moronic author, Susan Jeffers is asserting copyright claim to this phrase, and sending threatening letters to my cousin Leo, who used these words in a blog post. Come on, get real. Hasn't she (or her lawyers) heard of the phrase, "everything that has been said has been said before". There are only 26 letters in the alphabet – phrases can't be copyrightable.
  • Que reste-il de Kurt Cobain ? | Rue89 – my photo of Kurt Cobain graffiti used (with poor link/credit, but I'm working on that)