Reaction of conservative Catholics to abuse summit reveals a lot

National Catholic Reporter

February 27, 2019

By Michael Sean Winters

Checking out how conservative U.S. Catholics reacted to the Vatican sex abuse summit would be funny if it were not so pitiful. After so many years when they criticized NCR for covering the story (amongst other signs of indifference to the Gospel), now they have decided to get busy. They sense a vulnerability in Pope Francis on this issue, saddled as he is with a curia that has been perfecting the art of sabotaging reform for centuries. They intend to ride this train if they can. But, their commentary betrays their biases more than anything else.

There is Tim Busch, founder of the Napa Institute, board member of EWTN, funder of the business school at Catholic University that bears his name, taking to the pages of The Wall Street Journal to suggest the laity, the faithful laity, will stand up to the scourge of clergy sex abuse no matter the cost because the bishops have failed to do so. Chutzpah. This is the man who hired disgraced former Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis John Nienstedt as a kind of house chaplain for his Napa Institute and did not blink at Nienstedt’s coddling of a notorious abuser of children among other things. Busch only sacked Nienstedt last summer when the incongruity became too conspicuous to ignore any longer. Say, has Busch ever called for the public release of the document compiled by investigators into Nienstedt’s behavior? Did I miss that?

You could count on the folks at Church Militant to be disappointed with the summit. They wanted the bishops to focus on the scourge of homosexuality among the clergy, not the scourge of clergy sex abuse of minors. This despite the facts that there are no reputable studies that indicate a linkage between gays and sex abuse of minors, and most sexual abuse of minors happens within families and involves men violating girls.

This episode of “The Vortex” referred to the meeting as a “Summit of Lies,” and called the organizers “liars and are deflecting from the real story. They are all part of the homosexual current identified by Archbishop Viganò.” I note in passing that when I clicked on the link, I got an ad for President Trump’s reelection campaign. Only an auto-da-fé featuring some gay clergy would have satisfied them.

LifeSiteNews made a splash at the press conferences during the summit. You can see the embedded video of one session here. Their reporter asked, in a rambling speech pretending to be a question, about the connection between gays and sex abuse and Archbishop Charles Scicluna was succinct in his reply that the two have nothing to do with one another. LifeSite’s reports before, during and after the summit all focus on the issue of homosexuality.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.