You know things are escalating when they send in Darth Levada, who has B16's old job.
I've read the full text of the letter from this Prince. It is at various times amusing, bitter, misleading, spun, scapegoatish, childish and ultimately very sad.
Keep in mind that this is a letter from a prince. The Roman Catholic Church has about 175 princes. They bear the title ''Cardinal". They have coats of arms with more tassles than do the coats of arms of Catholic bishops. Seriously. They wear many yards of scarlet watered silk. Just wanted to be sure you know who wrote that letter.
When this prince starts a letter by saying
In our melting pot of peoples, languages and backgrounds, Americans are not noted as examples of “high” culture.
the condescension is palpable and makes it very difficult to hear anything that follows eventhough he himself is an American. (God, where in this twisted tortured church is there a leader with good instincts and a good heart and a good mind? Surely there are one or two out of 175 who speak as would Jesus have spoken in this circumstance.)
He goes on to repeatedly state that criminal authorities had been notified about the abuse cases, implying that we shouldn't be angry at just the bishops. Thin skirts behind which to hide, I think.
His disdain for Archbishop Weakland is obvious. In at least two instances in the letter he refers to him simply as "Weakland" not supplying his title, something that is never done in this sort of writing. This might be a stretch, but it seems to me that the Prince is tossing him under the bus and there are many who will understand this to be another example of the insidious hierarchical effort to fuse homosexuals with sexual predators.
His lengthy efforts to paint B16 as a man who should not be criticized in these matters is feeble. He's right when he also says about Americans
But we can take pride as a rule in our passion for fairness.
It is exactly that American passion for fairness that brought down another prince, Cardinal Bernard Law. Why does Cardinal Levada think that Americans will not apply that same passion for justice to the pope?
And the way he spins the Vatican non-response of leniency (silence signifying consent?) to the pedophile Father Murphy is a daring and intricate set of steps that should earn him a spot on Dancing With The Stars.
His conclusion returns to the condescension of his opening statement.
As a full-time member of the Roman Curia, the governing structure that carries out the Holy See’s tasks, I do not have time to deal with the Times’s subsequent almost daily articles by Rachel Donadio and others, much less with Maureen Dowd’s silly parroting of Goodstein’s “disturbing report.” But about a man with and for whom I have the privilege of working, as his “successor” Prefect, a pope whose encyclicals on love and hope and economic virtue have both surprised us and made us think, whose weekly catecheses and Holy Week homilies inspire us, and yes, whose pro-active work to help the Church deal effectively with the sexual abuse of minors continues to enable us today, I ask the Times to reconsider its attack mode about Pope Benedict XVI and give the world a more balanced view of a leader it can and should count on.
No time for this, Your Eminence? Oh honey you better clear your calendar.