Speaking Truth to Power: Former Vatican Spokesperson: The Catholic Church Is the Only Institution ‘That Is Effectively Acting to Eradicate Pedophilia’

Joaquín Navarro-Valls

The courage to tell the truth: Dr. Joaquín Navarro-Valls

Some say the most distinguishing feature of our modern media landscape is its inherent herd mentality. A narrative or story line is developed by one or a few media sources, and then suddenly, like bison, every journalist in the land is penning an endless series of similar stories with little regard for truth or accuracy.

And so it is that even Church spokespersons are intimidated by the herd mentality from telling the simple truth: that while the Church, like every other institution at the time, made many mistakes in the past in how it handled sex abuse claims, it has been a model now for the last number of years in how to handle sex abuse claims.

So kudos to Dr. Joaquín Navarro-Valls, former head of the Vatican Press Office, for bravely declaring recently that the Catholic Church has been the world's leader in the fight against child sex abuse and the Church is the "only communitarian and institutional body that is effectively acting to eradicate pedophilia."

Navarro-Valls' comments were made in a recent interview in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica and republished by Catholic News Agency.

The media blackout of the truth

As would be expected, not a single major media outlet reported Navarro-Valls' remarks. Thus the media blackout of the truth continues unabated.

But there can be no doubt as to the truth of Navarro-Valls' remarks. Indeed, because of the unprecedented measures the Church has implemented in the past two decades, contemporaneous accusations of abuse against a Catholic priest are extremely rare, recently averaging only 8 allegations deemed "credible" by review boards each year.

And as we have reported numerous times before, the story of sex abuse in the Catholic Church is more of a history lesson than a current news story. The facts are simple:

  • 78% of all identified priests who were accused last year were either already deceased, already removed from ministry, already laicized, or simply missing;
  • 90% of all abuse accusations last year allege incidents from at least 25 years ago; and
  • 80% of cases last year in which an investigation had been completed fell into the categories of either "unable to be proven" or "unsubstantiated." Only a mere 14.6% of all 2013 cases were even deemed "substantiated" by the very liberal standards of review boards.

And while the cranks and haters claim otherwise, no other organization has stepped up to produce the results that the Catholic Church has in protecting children. In recent years, the Church in the United States:

  • has trained over 5 million children in giving them skills to protect them from abuse;
  • has trained over 2 million adults, including 99 percent of all priests, in recognizing signs of abuse; and
  • has spent well over $70 million just on therapy for victims over the past decade.

Meanwhile, the media continues to turn its collective back on the massive abuse and cover-ups happening today in our local public schools and in Hollywood, instead focusing its ire only on one target: old claims of abuse in the Catholic Church.

Bias? What bias?


  1. Publion says:

    In regard to the 30th at 1209PM:


    Evolution is not a “fact”; it is a theory. And in light of the several substantive scientific problems with it as a workable theory, I note that JR has not bothered to put up any material which would demonstrate either that the problems I noted have been answered sufficiently by the scientific community or that the problems I noted are clearly irrelevant to the integrity and coherence and accuracy of the theory of evolution. (And we have been over all of this before, even on this thread.)


    And to repeat: I deal with the material that Abuseniks put up (they have not been proven to be ‘victims’ and they have certainly demonstrated themselves to be pro the Abuse Stampede) and not with the commenters; if commenters put up personal material that also fails as to credibility or coherence, then I will point those problems out as well.


    Whether I am “on the side of the angels” (a singularly vague and not entirely relevant phrase to deploy here) is irrelevant to the purposes of the site, which are to examine the Stampede and such material as is proffered here.


    It is cartoonish to assert that I am proven to be “right wing” because I display – in JR’s opinion – “an overall lack of courtesy” (perhaps he has neglected to read his own material in the record here in regard to the epithetical and the scatological).


    We also see here the cartoonish implication that to be “progressive” is to be pure and to be “right wing” is to be “corrupt”.


    I have seen no material here that would move me toward “belief” in the assertions and claims of the various Abuseniks. And I have explained my questions as to the problems with their material at great length. In response to which I have gotten nothing but Playbook distractions.


    I have not used the word “liars” to describe the Abuseniks; JR has – and here he is now claiming that his own characterizations are libelous and that’s his (rather knotty and convoluted) problem.


    If JR would care to quote accurately any unsupported “generalizations” I have put up, then I can address them. Otherwise this bit is itself merely an unsupported generalization.


    I have “attacked” nobody (unless doubting material and explaining one’s doubts at length constitute ‘attacking’) and the term “criminals” was JR’s characterization of my position – so once again he has created a non-existent bit that he claims is from me and then takes issue with his own characterization.


    Since this is not a social-media site, then we needn’t “know anything about” other commenters; it is their material relevant to the Stampede that is the only relevant material here.


    Additionally, the allegants did indeed ‘demand’ belief by filing (or signing their names under oath to) the Complaints filed by their torties. Whether any allegant demanded belief of me “personally” is thus irrelevant here. Once they went public with it then they demanded belief from everybody and I have assessed their material for ‘believability’ with the results that are now in the record here. That they never expected to have their material assessed and questioned or that they do not like it … is not my problem. They put up their material on this site and it has been discussed as it has been discussed.


    I clearly recall that ‘Dennis Ecker’ and the variously-monnikered ‘LDB’ made specific references to their claimed abuse, although not to the extent that JR has. And I have never said I was “sure” that any of them were “lying”; only that – after extensive explication – it appeared that the credibility of their material was highly improbable. Nor were my doubts and questions ever sufficiently answered or – if one wishes – rebutted.


    Asserting simply that he knows he has told the truth does not qualify as evidence of anything.


    Then we get a blunderbuss and scattershot bit: By “attacking us as criminals” (which I have not done since the term is JR’s and not mine) / “when you know nothing about us” (I know the material they have put up in regard to their own alleged abuse and in regard to the Stampede, which is what this site is designed to examine) / “other than the telling of our abuses” (which is all readers on this site need to know, as regards the purpose of this site) / I am demonstrating that I am not “normal” (a sweeping diagnostic generalization that requires some major explication and support) nor “christian” (hardly JR’s area of expertise) nor “sane” (a clearly psychiatric diagnosis for which JR has utterly no professional or perhaps even personal expertise).


    It would be necessary to know for just what specific “claims” TMR has “no proof”.


    But then – in yet another vivid display of the dynamics of projection – JR accuses TMR of precisely the tactics deployed by the Stampede and the Abuseniks and their torties: ‘inflating innuendo’.


    The further phrasing (“and then is outraged by the innuendo it’s magicly transaubstantiated into ‘fact’”- sic) makes no sense as written, although it is clearly trying to score an anti-Catholic point with the use of ‘magic’ coupled with “transubstantiation” (correction supplied).


    But then but then but then: JR tries to draw a logical (and legal) conclusion about TMR from material that is not TMR’s but rather are characterizations that JR himself has made; putting him yet again here  in the very odd position of wanting to take legal action against his own material.


    I have claimed nothing to be true (and isn’t that what’s irking the Abuseniks?). The Abuseniks, however, have indeed claimed their own stories, claims and allegations to be true yet – waitttttt for itttttttttt! – have provided no proof nor even given any indication that they are generally reliable sources of information of any sort.


    And then a concluding assertion (“Innuendo isn’t truth. It’s speculation” that is itself not accurate but in any case is irrelevant and inapplicable here. The examination of material in a rational and coherent manner, leading to a demonstrated explication that produces a reasonably reached quantum of probability, is neither “innuendo” nor “speculation”. It may accurately qualify as induction (if one proceeds from the specific material) or deduction (if one proceeds from the general situation), but in either case: if the assessment is done in the manner I just described then any tentative conclusions and judgments as to probability are neither “innuendo” nor “speculation”.

  2. Jim Robertson says:

    O.K. I'm done.