I had begun to think there might be something serious in the recent allegations from the manufactures of public opinion, until they jumped the shark by giving an almost-been celebrity an authoritative voice not only in the WaPo — To Sinead O'Connor, Pope Benedict's apology for church sex abuse rings hollow — but also on CNN as well — Video: Sinead O'Connor on the Catholic Church abuse scandal. (Full disclosure: I was among the 1000 or so attendees at her first American concert at Buffalo State Collegein 1997 before she hit it big, and had myself a grand old time.)
Yes, she's Irish and thinks herself a member of the clergy, but come on. The Spoof says it best — Sinead O'Connor Calls Pope a Criminal . . . Again. That first publicity stunt, back in 1992, ironically as it will be seen, was done during her rendition of Bob Marley's song War. She “chang[ed] one of Marley's lines so that it referred to 'sexual abuse' instead of 'racial injustice'” and “produced a copy of a photograph of Pope John Paul II, which she ripped into pieces” — Sinead O'Connor Rips It Up. (So, the stories were already old by the time they broke a decade later, in 2002, in the U.S., and 18 years later in Ireland.) Five years after her act of defiance, “she asked the Holy Father to forgive her,” confessing “a ridiculous act, the gesture of a girl rebel,” which she did “because I was in rebellion against the faith, but I was still within the faith.”
Enough about that fool Irishwoman; the Grey Lady has jumped into the fray —NYTimes vs. Pope Benedict: Paper Seeks to Implicate Pope in Abuse Cases. This is the “Paper of Record,” so never mind that the “coverage included no new information that has not already been soundly refuted, and, in another, that the paper had unfairly targeted the pope and the Vatican for having declined to defrock a priest whose alleged crimes had occurred over two decades previous, and who was dying at the time the Vatican was informed about his misdeeds.”
The last such feeding frenzy, like this one with decades-old allegations that have suddenly, mysteriously come to light, was in 2002, just in time to lessen the sting, among Americans at least, from this inevitable story, and to make it all the easier to flush down the Orwellian memory hole — Pope condemns war in Iraq. The future pope, horrible right-wing Nazi that he was and is, was of a like mind — Cardinal Ratzinger Says U.S. Attack on Iraq Not Morally Justifiable.
Fast forward to a little more than two years ago, and it was reported that “Iranian officials [were] quietly laying the groundwork necessary to turn to Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican diplomats for mediation if the showdown with the United States should escalate toward a military intervention” —Iran's Secret Weapon: The Pope. Iraq saw and Iran sees in the Vatican a voice crying out in the wilderness of interventionism and aggressive warfare; that voice was and will be effectively silenced by the manufacturers of public opinion.
No, this post has proven nothing. But you'll remember it when the bombs start falling on Persia. The crucial question: Qui bono?Tweet