CNN Report on Benedict XVI Met With Protest

Scholars Lament Media’s Failure to Make Real Contribution

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

NEW YORK, SEPT. 29, 2010 ( The secular media’s unfounded accusations against Benedict XVI is nothing new. Yet, Catholics are quick to respond to another production about the Pope and the sexual abuse crisis.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, stated in an article, posted today on the organization’s Web site, that «the CNN documentary, ‘What the Pope Knew,’ which aired Sept. 25, deserves a response.»

«From top to bottom, what CNN did was the televised version of what the New York Times did in print form earlier in the year,» he stated.

«The goal was to tarnish the image of Pope Benedict XVI, making him out to be a co-conspirator in the scandal,» Donohue said. «Though it came up empty handed with proof of his culpability, there was enough innuendo to convict Snow White.»

Drawing on the facts of history, Donohue offered a rebuttal on CNN’s claim that the Pope was guilty of «foot-dragging and, perhaps, obstruction.»

«Nowhere in the program is there any evidence that the Pope was guilty of obstruction of justice,» Donohue said. 

He continued: «This is a serious charge — the most serious made in the course of the documentary. Yet to throw this out, without ever producing evidence to substantiate it, is malicious. 

«It won’t cut it to say that he was ‘perhaps’ guilty of obstruction. CNN intentionally planted this seed and never explicitly addressed the subject of obstruction of justice again.»


In a similar article, posted on the Our Sunday Visitor Web site, Greg Erlandson and Matthew Bunson, authors of the book «Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal,» also analyzed the CNN production from the perspective of their research.

The authors acknowledged the «truly sad interviews with victims who recounted shameful incidents of abuse,» but added that in the CNN program they were «coaxed to link them to Pope Benedict.»

«At each turn in the story, CNN avoided shedding real light on the incidents, but instead used generalizations and innuendo to suggest that Ratzinger was insensitive to the plight of the victims,» the article protested.

It affirmed that the «most compelling» parts of the television production «were the conversations with the victims.»

«To hear them describe their shame, to see their anger all these years later at what priests did to them, is to be reminded yet again that terrible crimes were done and many lives were damaged, even ruined,» the authors said. «That fact no one can deny.»

They stated, «It is unfortunate that, even in the television wasteland of weekend evening cable, CNN did not see fit to make a real contribution to a better understanding of the crisis.»

— — —

On the Net:

William Donohue article:

Greg Erlandson and Matthew Bunson article:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation