The London Times gave the pulpit on Easter Sunday to Daily Dish editor and Catholic dissenter Andrew Sullivan to recycle allegations against Pope Benedict from The New York Times. Sullivan, describing himself as “a wayward Catholic sinner, a married homosexual who stills clings to the truth of the Gospels and the sacredness of the church”, preached a sermon against the Pope, the state of whose conscience he presumes to judge and whom he declares to have “no moral authority”.

By contrast, Sullivan, sinner though he admits he is, is so sure of his moral fortitude in the case of children that he does something few of us, not even the Pope, probably, would dare to do. He predicts the future:

I wouldn’t do any of those things. Full stop. If I knew I had any role — witting or unwitting — in allowing children to be raped by someone I could have stopped, by someone over whom I had authority, I would not be able to sleep at night. I would be haunted for the rest of my life. The thought of covering up for someone who forced sex on deaf children in closets at night is incomprehensible to me. Allowing someone who had raped three children to go elsewhere and rape many more, when you were explicitly warned that this man was a walking danger to children? I don’t want to sound self-righteous, but: no. Never. Under any circumstances; in any period of time; for whatever reason. Even if my failure were mere negligence, my conscience would be racked.

Well, we pray that Sullivan’s prophecy is correct.

Meanwhile, he ought to be aware that he perpetrates a cover up — perhaps through mere negligence — concerning the Milwaukee priest Lawrence Murphy who molested all those deaf children. He is so anxious to incriminate Ratzinger/Benedict, that he fails to even mention the name of Rembert Weakland, the archbishop who had responsibility for the Fr Murphy case between 1977 and 1998, when the priest died.

As we have recorded elsewhere on this blog, the NY Times relied heavily on Weakland in putting together its case against Cardinal Ratzinger, and yet Weakland is the most discredited and disgraced (former) bishop in the United States.

It is public knowledge that he used US$450,000 of archdiocesan funds to silence a former homosexual lover who was blackmailing him. Ironically – for someone accusing the Vatican of ignoring letters – Archbishop Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests according to documents presented in 2009 by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests as part of a lawsuit.

Archbishop Weakland could have proceeded against Fr Murphy at any time from 1977 onwards; he did not need Vatican permission. Why did he wait until 1996?

Something Andrew Sullivan could find out for us?

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet