You won’t read about it in your daily newspaper or hear Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw talking about it on television, but Civilta Cattolica-an influential Jesuit journal sanctioned by the Vatican-has fired a volley at the American media for its obsessive coverage of the Catholic Church sex scandals.
What is most significant is that in tracing the media’s interest in the church’s troubles, the Vatican has hinted at the behind-the-scenes power of the inter-connected handful of powerful pro-Israel families and financial interests who dominate the media monopoly in shaping the media’s news coverage.
Published on June 1 the Vatican-approved article flatly asserts that-at least in part because the Catholic Church refused to support the much-ballyhooed and media-promoted Persian Gulf War against Saddam Hussein in 1991-the controllers of the American media monopoly have nursed a grudge against the church.
And while, in this context, the Vatican doesn’t say it directly, it is absolutely beyond question that it was the pro-Israel lobby that was the prime mover behind the war against Saddam who has long been perceived as one of Israel’s greatest enemies.
In addition, in recent months-since the Sept. 11 attacks-Israel’s American lobby (actively abetted by the media monopoly) continued to push for war against Iraq, despite the fervent opposition of career American military leaders, including the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Given that-as the record indicates-the media’s sudden and intense interest in the church’s problems did, in fact, evolve after Sept. 11, it is interesting to note that Civilta Cattolica also cited the aftermath of 9-11 in its dissection of the media’s attacks on the church. The journal suggested that the Catholic Church’s appeals against “vendettas” against the Arab and Muslim world in the wake of 9-11 also offended the media, which has been heavily promoting an anti-Arab and anti-Muslim agenda, often quoting so-called “experts” on terrorism and on the Middle East who are-more often than not-advocates of Israeli policy and often directly affiliated with Israeli intelligence.
While no one excuses either the Vatican or other church officials for misfeasance, malfeasance or non-feasance in handling the travesty of sexual abuse by priests, the truth is that the problem has been one of long-standing and has really been no secret whatsoever.
It was only after Sept. 11-as any content analysis of daily news coverage will affirm-that the American media began devoting so much space to the problem to the point that the term “Catholic” is now become almost synonymous in many people’s minds with “pedophilia”-a scourge which is, by no means, limited to any one religious affiliation. Some critics allege, for example, that pedophilia is actually advocated in portions of the Talmud.
Although there are elements who promote the bizarre and totally outlandish theory that all of the great tragedies of history can be attributed to the Vatican-including the Bolshevik Revolution, both World War I and World War II, and even the assassination of America’s first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy-the record suggests otherwise.
The Vatican’s criticism of the media giants is not a new development.
Several years ago, speaking before Corallo, the consortium of independent local radio and television channels in Italy, Pope John Paul II cited the rise of global media monopolies and emphasized the need for “local information”-that is, media voices outside the hands of the powerful media barons. The pope said that “communication has become the soul which shapes the culture of our time” and stressed what he called the “dignity” of independent media.
Observers say the fact that the Vatican has fired back at its enemies-citing their hidden motivations-indicates this “warning shot across the bow” could very well point toward a new, bold approach to world affairs by the Catholic Church which, for the last 50 years, has approached its dealings with Israel and its worldwide supporters in a most gingerly fashion.