Vanished: NCReg Pulls Controversial Interview

The National Catholic Register has pulled its controversial interview with Fr Benedict Groeschel from its web page. This story seems to be slower in gaining blogotraction than a western bishop’s DUI arrest. But if the NCReg has been shamed (or scared) by the fallout, consider that their editorial process gave the piece a clean bill before it was posted. That can mean one of two things:

  • The editor didn’t see anything wrong with the viewpoints expressed by Fr Groeschel.
  • The editor didn’t care about the viewpoints expressed.

That last one might include the possibility that the editor was asleep at the wheel. If I had an interview subject who embarrassed herself or himself I would talk it over with my editor, if I were a writer. Or with my writer, if I were the editor. I’m surprised that an outlet with such an ideological leaning would allow someone so favorably viewed by its readers to appear in such a bad light.

Someone at dotCommonweal described Fr Groeschel’s thoughts as “unspeakably evil.” That strains perspective I think. What sex predators have done to the innocent is “unspeakably evil.” Ignorant opinions about these acts are gravely misinformed, but I think they fall short of being “unspeakably evil.” Unless a person were totally hard-hearted to victims, and resolutely unwilling to entertain the notion that brother priests and bishops have committed grave sins in abusing and covering up. I don’t see that here.

What do you make of NCReg’s behavior, especially any of you who enjoy and support that publication?

Note: The NCReg has updated the link to the interview.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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6 Responses to Vanished: NCReg Pulls Controversial Interview

  1. John McGrath says:

    The effects of their acts were unspeakably evil – lives ruined for pleasure, trust and spirituality. Did they sin? Not an important issue.But if they didn’t then the only excuse they can have is serious moral immaturity, a devotion to church over god as well.

    The real issues are: … 1. how they felt free to violate the dignity of so many human persons … 2. how they were unable to recognize narcissism, showing a grossly inadequate spiritual development system … 3. How free they felt to violate US law and sovereignty. … leading us to ask, “What kind of church were they running, and why are those bishops still in office?

    Interestingly, if you apply Fr. Groeschel’s point to those who have abortions they too are not sinning because they do not intend to commit evil. Perhaps this is the real reason the article was pulled.

  2. Liam says:

    Now, as to substance. What I believes this illustrates is a cognitive-spiritual blindspot: we are in our fallen nature inclined to minimize, excuse or justify the actions of those with whom we are more inclined to identify, and, conversely, that we are inclined to be more rigorous regarding the actions of those with whom we are disinclined to identify.

    This is why our Lord spent so much time trying to undermine our habits of identification: those habits work ill in both directions.

    It’s also why people in positions of authority need to be surrounded by structures and people that force them to undermine their fallen habits of identification. This is an area where the Church has much work to do.

    To put this in affirmative terms: think of this as singers might – rather than sorting all the sopranos together with sopranos, altos with altos, tenors with tenors, and basses with basses, a stronger ensemble can be achieved by mixing up the parts. (For practical reasons, this doesn’t work as well for instruments in a large orchestra, because often there are separate parts written for each section that have to be coordinated, and sometimes people within a section have to suddenly cover for others in the section, et cet.)

  3. FrMichael says:

    Well, another conservative celebrity priest bites the dust. Any left now that I’ve missed?

    • Even if said with tongue firmly in cheek, the calumny in that quip isn’t well cloaked. “Fr.Michael,” Pantocrator- if “any left now” includes “any” clergy who can be instantly reduced to a pillar of salt for the pride of looking at others’ faults, avoid mirrors would be my advice to you.

  4. Jimmy Mac says:

    I’m surprised that there aren’t more priests well beyond the normal age of retirement who don’t embarrass themselves.

    They have usually given long years of good service to this organization and have earned the right to “hang it up.”

    Unfortunately, what with the alleged ** shortage of priests and all, they are encouraged or required to keep on truckin’ well beyond their physical and psychological capabilities.

    But, hey, this preserves the myth of the celibate priesthood, so if a few souls crumble under the pressure and dribble all over themselves in public, it’s a small price to pay.

    Let’s hope that the Orneryariate attracts TONS of married albeit retrograde priests and the rest of the imprest priests get to go to their rewards. Then there will be no excuse for the self-deluded hopeful to stick around thinking that things will get better.

    Read my lips: It ain’t going to get better!

    ** There is no shortage of probable vocations to the priesthood, just a shortage of creativity and boldness on the part of Organization Men (bishops) to step out and deal with their problems in their dioceses. They are, after, successors of the apostles … aren’t they?

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