Mallon's Media Watch

Mallon's Media Watch

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Strong words for Anthony Massimini of VOTF from Carol McKinley at Magisterial Fidelity

I can see from my site meter that we've had visitors from Central Europe, Central Asia and Australia. Please, if you can, put a pin in our guest map! It is great to have you! Of course this also goes for friends in North and South America, Africa, and all the ships at sea!


Inside the Vatican News October 18 2002

Documents on the Sexual Abuse Scandal

by ITV staff

On October 18, two key letters on the US sexual abuse scandal were made public in Rome. Here are the texts:

Response of the Holy See to the "Norms" Drawn Up by the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of the United States of America, October 18, 2002



The text of the Letter sent by the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Card. Giovanni Battista Re, to the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States, Mons. Wilton Daniel Gregory, in response to the "Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests, Deacons or Other Church Personnel" ("Norms") drawn up by the American bishops.

Also, the Letter in response from the President of the US bishops' conference, Mons. Gregory:


The Most Reverend Wilton D. GREGORY
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Your Excellency,

With your letter of June 26, 2002, you forwarded to the Holy See the document entitled "Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests, Deacons or Other Church Personnel" ("Norms"), approved at the Plenary Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops which took place in Dallas (Texas) from June 13-15, and for which you requested the recognitio.

The Holy See, above all, would like to convey full solidarity with the Bishops of the United States in their firm condemnation of sexual misdeeds against minors and is deeply concerned about the distressing situation that has arisen in recent months in the Church in the United States. Likewise, the Holy See wishes to encourage the efforts of the Episcopal Conference in assisting the Bishops to address these difficult problems.

The sexual abuse of minors is particularly abhorrent. Deeply moved by the sufferings of the victims and their families, the Holy See supports the American Bishops in their endeavor to respond firmly to the sexual misdeeds of the very small number of those who minister or labor in the service of the Church. But such a very small number cannot overshadow "the immense spiritual, human and social good that the vast majority of priests and religious in the United States have done and are still doing" (Pope John Paul II, Address to the Cardinals and to the Presidency of the Episcopal Conference of the United States, April 23, 2002).

The Apostolic See likewise acknowledges the efforts which the Bishops of the United States have made through the "Norms" and the guidelines contained in the "Bishops‚ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" ("Charter") to protect minors and to avoid future recurrences of these abuses. Such efforts should also help to preserve or restore the trust of the faithful in their pastors.

Despite these efforts, the application of the policies adopted at the Plenary Assembly in Dallas can be the source of confusion and ambiguity, because the "Norms" and "Charter" contain provisions which in some aspects are difficult to reconcile with the universal law of the Church. Moreover, the experience of the last few months has shown that the terminology of these documents is at times vague or imprecise and therefore difficult to interpret. Questions also remain concerning the concrete manner in which the procedures outlined in the "Norms" and "Charter" are to be applied in conjunction with the requirements of the Code of Canon Law and the Motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela (AAS 93, 2001, p. 787).

For these reasons, it has been judged appropriate that before the recognitio can be granted, a further reflection on and revision of the "Norms" and the "Charter" are necessary. In order to facilitate this work, the Holy See proposes that a Mixed Commission be established, composed of four bishops chosen from the Episcopal Conference of the United States, and four representatives from those Dicasteries of the Holy See which have direct competence in the matter: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Clergy , and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

On behalf also of the other Dicasteries involved, I look forward to your response. With the promise of prayers for your important work in serving the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Giovanni Battista Card. Re
Prefect Congregation for Bishops

October 14, 2002


His Eminence
Giovanni Battista Re
Prefect Congregation for Bishops

Your Eminence,

Thank you very much for your letter of October 14, 2002, in which you communicate to me the response of the Apostolic See to the request for recognitio by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for the Norms approved at our Plenary Assembly in Dallas, Texas, on June 14, 2002. The Bishops of the United States are profoundly grateful to the Holy See, both for the fraternal solicitude that has been shown to the Church in the United States at this difficult time and for the gracious consideration that has been given to our request.

In view of the issues that Your Eminence raises in your letter to me regarding the best way for us to pursue effectively the recognitio of our proposed Norms, I am happy to accept, on behalf of our Episcopal Conference, the suggestion of the Apostolic See that a Mixed Commission be established in order to reflect further on and consider revision of certain aspects of the Charter accepted by the Bishops in Dallas and the Norms proposed to the Holy See for recognitio. I look forward to communicating to you in the very near future the names of the four Members of our Conference who will join four representatives from those Dicasteries of the Holy See that have direct competence in the matter before us.

Grateful to you, personally, Your Eminence, for your many kindnesses to our Conference, and with renewed sentiments of esteem and prayerful best wishes, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory
Bishop of Belleville

October 15, 2002

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Inside the Vatican News October 18 2002

Vatican to US Bishops: "Re-Work the Document"

by Delia Gallagher

On October 18, the Vatican told the US bishops to make changes in their proposed guidelines to deal with sexual abuse by priests.

VATICAN CITY, October 18, 2002 -- The Vatican announced today it has decided to re-work key passages in the guidelines of the US bishops to deal with cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests.

The document as drawn up by the US bishops contains terms which are "vague or imprecise and therefore difficult to interpret" and may also conflict with the Church's own canon law, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the Vatican official in charge of bishops, told the US bishops' head, Bishop Wilton Gregory, in a letter made public here today.

"Am I surprised?" Gregory said. "No. This does not mean we go back to the drawing board. It means we need to make whatever adjustments are necessary to get Vatican approval (recognitio)."

Journalists pressed Gregory about whether this Vatican decision might set back the process already in motion in US dioceses to ensure that past acts of abuse against minors are punished and future acts prevented.

There will be no set-back in such efforts, Gregory said. Bishops in the US will continue to implement the norms drafted at the June bishops' meeting in Dallas, Texas, he emphasized. And, the revisions requested by the Vatican will be woven into the document over the next three weeks, leading to the likely final approval of the document at the US bishops' meeting on November 11 in Washington.

"Our greatest concern is the protection of children," Gregory said.

Bishop Gregory, who has been meeting with Vatican officials all week and yesterday met with the Pope, outlined three points of Vatican concern regarding the norms:

--those elements difficult to reconcile with the universal law of the Church such as the proper role of the review boards in dioceses--vague terminology such as the exact meaning of the term "sexual abuse"--procedures not in line with canon law in dealing with a priest who is known to have abused a minor.

The Vatican's letter expressed "full solidarity" with the US bishops in their condemnation of sexual abuse of minors, a sentiment which the Pope John Paul II re-iterated to Bishop Gregory.

The mixed commission will be made up of four US bishops and one member each from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Clergy and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

Gregory said that they hope to present the results of the mixed commission in time for the American bishops' conference in Washington DC in November. When a reporter countered that such a short time frame would be a miracle for the Vatican, Gregory responded, "You're talking to a man who believes in miracles."

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Thursday, October 17, 2002
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Catholic World News

[OCT. 17, 2002]


VATICAN, Oct 16, 02 ( -- Despite the strenuous lobbying efforts of American bishops, the Vatican has reached a final decision not to approve the sex-abuse policy adopted by the US bishop at their June meeting in Dallas.

The Vatican response to the American bishops' policy-- which has been heavily anticipated and hotly debated-- will be announced on Friday morning, at a press conference hosted by Bishop Wilton Gregory, the president of the US bishops' conference.

Although the Vatican response will praise the American bishops for their commitment to end the sex-abuse scandal, that response will not include the "recognitio" that is necessary to make the "Dallas policy" authoritative.

Since the American bishops' policy involves changes in the canon law that governs Church policies, the Dallas norms cannot take effect without Vatican approval. That approval will not be forthcoming.

The Vatican has instead called for the formation of a joint commission, composed of both Vatican officials and American bishops, to address the defects of the Dallas policy.

After the US bishops adopted their proposal in June, the leaders of the US bishops' conference predicted quick approval from the Vatican. In August, however, CWN broke the news that the Vatican was planning to reject the American policy. In recent weeks several American prelates have visited Rome, with the apparent goal of convincing Vatican officials that the US norms deserved approval.

Last week, the Vatican postponed plans for an announcement on the issue, to await the arrival of Bishop Gregory and other top USCCB officials in Rome for regular meetings. Although he had previously said that he would not have any public announcement on the topic, Bishop Gregory has now scheduled a news conference for Friday noon.

Canon-law experts in Rome viewed the American bishops' policy as defective because the proposed norms did not provide "due process" safeguards for priests who are accused of sexual misconduct. Vatican experts also complained that the Dallas policy used a vague and imprecise definition of sexual abuse.

These complaints have gained force as numerous American priests have complained that they have been falsely accused, or denied an adequate opportunity to prove their innocence, after being hit with sex-abuse charges.

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Republication without permission is strictly prohibited.

Catholic World News (c) Copyright Domus Enterprises 2002.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Happy Anniversary Holy Father! May you continue to outlive all your critics!

John Paul Renews Pledge to Serve "Until the End"

Something respectable to fall back on...

I don't know how many readers know I spent the first half of my life as a rock 'n roll musician. My closest brush with fame was being offered the gig as a drummer for the band that, a year later, gained fame and fortune as the Cars. I turned them down, and while I respect the Cars' accomplishments, I don't regret it. A few years later I returned to the Church.

Now that I am unemployed, I find it very ironic that when I was a teenage rock 'n roller grown-ups always told me I should have something to fall back on, since now, after having gone to college after being a high school drop-out and earning two theology degrees I find myself thinking of music as something to "fall back on," because it is so hard for an orthodox Catholic to keep a job in the Church, to take a job with a diocese and worry about the bishop asking you to compromise your beliefs, or being hounded out of your livelihood by clergy who resent your fidelity. Odd.

God knows in this time of crisis in the Church the last thing we need is orthdox theologically trained people, there is such a glut of them ... (Eek! I'm getting cynical!)

The laugh is that I was a long-haired rock 'n roller drop-out teenager that fathers didn't want their daughters to date, and mothers didn't want their sons to hang around with. I did not turn to the Church for respectability, but salvation, but as a theologically trained orthodox Catholic I feel the same disdain from society now as I did then! I was a teen-aged rebel and now I'm a middle-aged rebel. Amazing!

Anyway, I enjoyed writing the following article. In fact, it was nice to write something that wasn't a battle. The Byrds were a band of tremendous dignity. I've been on a Byrds kick for about the last year or so since I found out about the the sad deaths of drummer Michael Clarke and "tamborine man" Gene Clark, who was one of the greatest (and underrated) songwriters of his generation and had a singing voice that could break your heart. I discovered founder and lead guitarist Roger McGuinn's website with an email address, and sent him my reflections on the deaths of his former bandmates. To my amazement he responded the next day, and we have corresponded occasionally. A few weeks ago I met bassist Chris Hillman who was performing for a small crowd with some friends in Oklahoma, and I wrote about it. I saw the Byrds in 1966 at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. They did three shows a day for two days. I saw five of them. I was 14 years-old.

Roger McGuinn is a professed Christian, and Chris Hillman spoke from the stage in Guthrie about how lucky he felt to have achieved such success with a band in the 60s that achieved a number one hit with a song with lyrics from the Bible. (The hit, Turn! Turn! Turn! was based on the Book of Ecclesiasties.) Thanks to my old friend Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO for publishing it.

John Mallon on The Byrds on National Review Online

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Congratulations Archbishop Martino!

A New Hat for a Bishop, but Perhaps Not a Red One

My Interview with him from Inside the Vatican:

"We Will Stand Alone!"
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Wow! I am deeply honored. Somebody found Mallon's Media Watch by doing a Google search for "church reformers anti birth control quotes." Count me in!


VATICAN, Oct 14, 02 ( -- Pope John Paul II will release an apostolic letter on devotion to the Virgin Mary on October 16-- the anniversary of his election to the pontificate-- according to informed Vatican sources.

Leaks from the Vatican, in anticipation of the document's release, suggest that the Pope will introduce five new mysteries to the Rosary. The five new mysteries, the "luminous mysteries," will focus on the public life of Jesus Christ, Vatican sources say. They will be: the Baptism in the Jordan, the temptation in the desert, the proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration, and the entry into Jerusalem.

The Rosary is a traditional Marian devotion, popularized at first by St. Bernard, later by the Dominican order, and still later by St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort. The Rosary is composed of five joyful mysteries (which are recited on Mondays and Thursdays), five sorrowful mysteries (recited on Tuesdays and Fridays), and five glorious mysteries (Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.) The five new mysteries would reportedly be used on Saturdays.


Catholic World News is available via email for personal use only. To subscribe or for further information, contact or visit our Web page at
For permission to reproduce CWN material, contact or visit our Web page at
Republication without permission is strictly prohibited.

Catholic World News (c) Copyright Domus Enterprises 2002.

Monday, October 14, 2002

It's easy Margaret, if you want recognition and credibility from the Church stop using the dumb cliches dissenters have been using for decades and get VOTF togethy to publicly pledge the Oath of Fidelty to the Magisterium. It would also help if you sat down and read the documents of Vatican II, the Catechism, a few encylicals, especially Humanae Vitae and Castii Canubii, John Paul II's Theology of the Body, and, oh yes, the Bible.

Voice of Faithful defends its mission

BOSTON - Responding to comments by Cardinal Bernard Law, the lay reform group Voice of the Faithful will send letters to Law and other U.S. bishops this week explaining its use of the phrase "to shape structural change in the Catholic Church" in its mission statement.

"We're amazed at the negative reaction by the hierarchy to that phrase," said Margaret Roylance of Newton, a chief organizer for VOTF's nine-person committee on the structural-change question.

"Our goal is meaningful engagement of the laity in the operations of the church," she said, "but always respecting those structures that are established by divine law."

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Sunday, October 13, 2002

Visitors! Please remember to sign up on my guest map! Especially those of you from outside the United States, I know we've had hits from Australia, the Far East, Africa and Europe. Many thanks!
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Date: 10/12/2002 8:00:33 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Cmmckinley

It is clear that the Archbishop and Bishops are examining and verifying the undeniable evidence. Faithful Voice is pleased to hear that Bernard Cardinal Law has directed our pastors and priests to prevent new chapters from forming in the Archdiocese of Boston based upon that evidence.

Through the experience of North Andover, we are witnessing that the tactics of Voice of the Faithful have escalated in divisive measures to grip control from our Priests, Pastors and Bishops. They are manipulating emotional divides that at this time we presume have required the Cardinal's spiritual discernment in what is best for St. Michael's Parish.

We are confident that the eventual outcome with be a positive one for Faithful Voice and for the Roman Catholic Church.

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