Thursday, January 26, 2012

AP feeds Yahoo! News readers' bigotry

Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò (© EWTN News)
Yesterday, AP reporter Nicole Winfield posted a story which in effect insinuates that Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò, the new Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, was kicked out of his position as Secretary-General of the Governatorate of Vatican City State for being a whistleblower.  So here we go:

VATICAN CITY – An Italian news program has obtained letters from a top Vatican official to the pope in which he begs not to be transferred after exposing corruption in the awarding of Vatican contracts that cost the Holy See millions of euros (dollars).
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano was removed in October as the No. 2 administrator of the Vatican city-state and was named the pope's ambassador to Washington. While the job is highly prestigious, the posting took Vigano far from headquarters and out of the running for the Vatican's top administrative job, which carries with it the rank of cardinal.
The investigative news program "The Untouchables" on the private La7 network broadcast a series of letters Vigano sent Pope Benedict XVI and the secretary of state last year in which he claimed to have exposed corruption and abuse of office in the running of the Vatican's administration.
Vigano said he corrected them during his two years as secretary-general of the Vatican city-state, the Vatican department that is responsible for everything from maintaining the pope's gardens to running the Vatican Museums.
But in the process of cutting costs, Vigano made enemies who he blamed for launching a smear campaign in the Italian media in 2011 calling for his removal that, he claimed, sealed his fate. ...

And so on.  A later story, filed today at about 8:40 am CST without a byline, reported shortly that the Vatican defended +Viganò's appointment as proof of the pope's "undoubted esteem and faith" and threatened legal action against the investigative news program "The Untouchables", but didn't do much to dispel the stench.

Put "Vatican" and "corruption" in the lede, and it doesn't matter what else the story may say, or even what relation the two words have to one another — the first thing readers do is start barfing hate about pedophile priests, the All-Powerful, Super-Rich, Mind-Controlling Magisterium and the ever-popular Whore of Babylon.  Usually in the most obscene, disgusting terms.

As angry and disgusted as I get with the moronic parroting of anti-Catholic memes and tropes, or with the constant attempts by the MSM to reheat the 2002 scandals back to boiling, it doesn't infuriate or sicken me nearly as much as when I contemplate the damage done to the young people, the priesthood, the episcopate and the credibility of the Church by the perverted priests and the craven bishops behind the scandals.  Who needs the lies and the exaggerations when the truth is horrible enough?

Nevertheless, Winfield's insinuations are ridiculous.  Of +Vaganò's fourteen predecessors, the last two died before Benedict XVI could raise them to the College; all the others, except the late +Jean Jadot, were eventually created cardinals.  (In fact, the second apostolic delegate to the US, +Sebastiano Martinelli, was created a cardinal by Leo XIII before he moved to his next appointment.)

The US nunciature is a high-profile, highly influential position given to the most experienced Vatican diplomats; with several sees either vacant now or their ordinaries due to retire very soon (21 bishops past, at or due to reach retirement age within the next year alone, including Cdl. Francis George of Chicago), +Vaganò will have a big part in shaping the future of the Church in America for some years.  And given the wide-ranging concerns of B16 — new evangelization, cleaning up the filth, resisting incursions on religious liberty by the federal government, ressourcement in both Scripture and the Latin tradition, etc., etc. — it's not a job he's likely to give to someone who's proven himself untrustworthy or incompetent.

What happened to the journalistic ethos that would lead someone like Jules Bergman to go through the physical tests and bone up on astronautical terms to accurately report on the space program?  Given that every other professional discipline has been specialized to ridiculous degrees, why does the MSM rely on generalists to do all their reporting?