The Corner

The Same Old Story

On Saturday the Vatican issued a clear and direct statement about the future of the Legion of Christ — now on track for “profound revision” in daily life and structure — and the “very serious and objectively immoral acts” of its founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel. So, naturally, instead of leading with the news, the New York Times issues another installment of its try-to-pin-the-blame-on-Ratzinger series. The Maciel story is a source of deep shame and scandal, involving sins of manipulation so dark and deep that they have ultimately called into question a religious order’s very identity. One needn’t applaud the Vatican for doing what it needs to do here — full investigation, full accountability, and pastoral care to the innocent men and women whose vocations are tied to a house that deceit built — but the Times ought to tell the story as it is today and report the news, for instance, of this weekend. The story of Benedict, purificator, wouldn’t be as helpful to the cause of shutting those celibate clingers to doctrine up once in for all. The story today is of a Church contritely dealing with its sins, protecting the innocent from their fruits, preventing the possibility of overlooking them in the future. No tolerance for “filth” is the ongoing story of this pontificate in progress. As dark as the contemporary history of the Church gets, it’s actually a redemption story, appropriately enough. The light should not get lost in agenda-driven reporting.

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