Colleen Baker on Opus Dei’s Spin-Doctoring of John Paul II’s Record, Father Tom Doyle on What John Paul Knew When


William D. Lindsey

At her Enlightened Catholicism site, Colleen Baker points out that the Vatican spin doctors who are now trying to spin Pope John Paul II’s abysmal record vis-a-vis the abuse crisis prior to his canonization (I wrote about this yesterday) are Opus Dei folks: they belong to the powerful, exceptionally wealthy, secretive right-wing Catholic organization that has had increasing influence on the governance of the Catholic church from the papacy of John Paul II forward. Here’s Colleen on this:

This morning Joshua McElwee posted an article for the NCR in which two very prominent JPII apologists attempt to convince us JPII acted with expediency on clergy sexual abuse. The two men are, American neocon George Weigel and JPII’s papal spokesman Dr Jaoquin Navarro-Valls. Both are closely connected with Opus Dei. This is important because JPII decreed Opus Dei a Personal Prelature of the Papacy. This act essentially took OD beyond the control of any local bishop, gave OD a great deal of freedom to operate, and paid back some debts. (For some reason, ‘Lannister’s always pay their debts’ comes to mind.)

John Paul II derived great deal of benefit from his association with Opus Dei….all the way to and through out his papacy. Now that their ‘pope’ has taken hit after hit in the major news outlets over his handling (mishandling) of the clerical abuse scandal, Opus Dei has brought out their best spinners to defend the soon to be Saint John Paul II.

At National Catholic Reporter, Father Tom Doyle vigorously rebuts Weigel’s and Navarro-Valls’s spin, because, as it happens, he was there: he was in the middle of the process by which important information was being transmitted to the Vatican about the abuse situation in the period in which Weigel and Navarro-Valls say the Vatican did not have information and did not understand the situation. Doyle:

George Weigel claimed there was an information gap between the United States and the Holy See in 2002. This is nonsense. There was no gap then, and there was no gap in 1984, when the abuse issue boiled to the surface of public awareness. I was working at the Vatican embassy in 1984 and have firsthand experience of the transmission of information to the Vatican.

The papal nuncio, Laghi, then an archbishop, received a letter in the summer of 1984 from the vicar general of Lafayette, La., telling him that a couple whose little boy had been violated by Gilbert Gauthe was suing Gauthe, the bishop, the diocese, the archbishop of New Orleans, the papal nuncio and the pope. Soon after, the nuncio received the official complaint. From then on, there was a constant flow of information from Lafayette to the nuncio and from another diocese that popped onto center stage for the same reason — Providence, R.I.

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