Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Catholic Weekly Muck Raking
I had someone phone me this morning rather distressed and concerned that a so called "Catholic" weekly, that has a reputation for criticising the Pope and his works, was doing a muck raking exercise trying to dig up dirt on Catholic clergy's private lives. They are apparently focussing on the Ordinariate; presumably as yet another way of attacking the Pope, by contacting former Anglican colleagues, many of whom have a reputation for detraction and gossip, who for obvious reasons wish to spread rumours about those who have swum the Tiber.
I don't know if this has been commissioned by the editor, or is just a freelance journalist who wishes to sell a story but recently we have had a Prince of the Church having been forced to write a letter denying gossip reported by the same weekly, that would seriously have damaged his reputation for confidentiality. Though they published his letter of denial, they refused to retract what they had placed in the public domain.
A few years ago in Scotland someone published on the internet a calumnious list of clergy suggesting they were not faithful to their promise of celibacy, it damaged many innocent priest's reputations. I hope that this weekly is not going to show itself the News of the World of Catholic publishing, if they do then I hope that any clergy whose reputation is damaged will pursue them through the courts.
The problem is when these things are started they tend to grow. There are always rumours and gossip in any Church -more so in the CofE than the Catholic Church- but if one wishes to pollute one's heart and listen to such things, there are even rumours about members of the episcopal bench, but how dreadful if we took such things seriously; calumny is a very serious sin.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake