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Katie van Schaijik

The Dreyfus affair and clerical sex abuse

Apr. 7, 2010, at 4:14pm

Dismay over the recent defensiveness of the Vatican and lay Catholic spokesmen like George Weigel and Bill Donohue regarding media reports of clerical sex abuse cases and cover-ups has got me thinking again about the Dreyfus Affair.

I hope those who know it better than I do will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think there is a clear parallel with the situation we face today.

In sum, in 1894 a Jewish captain in the French army was falsely accused and imprisoned for treason.

Two years later, in 1896, evidence came to light identifying a [Catholic] French Army major named Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy as the real culprit. However, high-ranking military officials suppressed this new evidence

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Katie van Schaijik

John Allen on Benedict’s handling of the issue

Mar. 29, 2010, at 12:02pm

Right after linking the Weigel piece below, I found this op-ed by John Allen in today’s New York Times. It’s good—as is a National Catholic Reporter article he wrote on the same theme a week or two ago.

The outside world is outraged, rightly, at the church’s decades of ignoring the problem. But those who understand the glacial pace at which change occurs in the Vatican understand that Benedict, admittedly late in the game but more than any other high-ranking official, saw the gravity of the situation and tried to steer a new course.

Be that as it may, Benedict now faces a difficult situation inside the church. From the beginning, the sexual abuse crisis has been composed of two

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Katie van Schaijik

Weigel on the sex scandals in the Church

Mar. 29, 2010, at 11:50am

This First Things article by George Weigel is worth reading. But I don’t find it entirely satisfying.

It’s not only those who are out to get the Church who are pushing this issue. It’s also those who love her most, and those who have been scandalized and appalled not only by the abuses themselves, but by the wretchedly inadequate response of the bishops so far.

And who can be mollified by statistics showing that the sexual abuse of minors happens as much elsewhere in society as it does in the Church? The outrage is that it was done by priests. It’s very depressing to hear bishops and the Vatican now complaining that the media is out to get them.


Katie van Schaijik

Where’s the wrath? (3)

Aug. 2, 2009, at 6:03pm

Below is the 2nd part of the comment thread begun under the previous column: Where's the wrath.

Katie van Schaijik

Where’s the wrath? (2)

Aug. 2, 2009, at 5:03pm

Below is the 2nd part of the comment thread begun under the previous column: Where's the wrath.

Katie van Schaijik

Where’s the wrath?

Aug. 2, 2009, at 4:03pm

A Zenit item about the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ $660 million settlement with over 500 victims of sexual abuse is titled, “Spokesman: Church Saddened by Pedophelia”.

Father Lombardi spoke of the attitude the Church takes regarding the crime of sexual abuse.
He said: “Cardinal Mahony explained—as John Paul II and Benedict XVI have said many times—that the Church is evidently and above all saddened by the suffering of the victims and their families, for the harm caused by the grave and inexcusable behavior of some of its members, and is firm in its resolve to avoid future vile acts of this kind.
“The agreement, and the sacrifice it involves, are also a sign of this resolve, of the

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