Christine Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. It is my honor call this beautiful and talented woman my friend.
Christine Flowers is an Italian American rooted in our shared Catholic Faith, appalled by the pedophile abuse by predator priests protected by PC-enthralled bishops and disgusted by the hypocrisy of the corporate media that shills for the abortion industry, radical feminists and advocacy Progressive political opportunists who seek to damage the moral authority of the Pope and diminish the place of Catholics in America.
We are not a secular nation. We are a people and nation of many Faiths. My Faith is under assault.
Christine Flowers has our backs.
Christine M. Flowers: The New Inquisition
By Christine M. Flowers
Philadelphia Daily News
touched when hostile readers express an interest in my credibility.
I take it as a backhanded compliment, an acknowledgment that they read me on such a regular basis that they've come to recognize certain themes in my work. The list would include empathy for the police, antipathy for abortion and apoplexy about the Eagles. And a profound attachment to the Catholic Church, my spiritual home.
Which is why I wasn't at all surprised when I received an e-mail from someone who has written before about my "hypocritical" failure to criticize the pope and the faithful: "I'm waiting with bated breath for you to write about the current pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church, Christine. Unless you do so, you've lost all credibility."
Of course, whenever I've written positively about something the church deserves praise for, I never get a pat on the back from the peanut gallery to which this particular type of fan belongs.
These people don't want balance about the church and its perceived - and in some cases real - failings. They aren't concerned with a nuanced and comprehensive view of this magnificent but flawed institution.
They're out for blood, and seize on any opportunity to tear it apart, piece by highly publicized piece, reveling in and sometimes even distorting events that happened decades ago, making it appear as if the Catholic Church is merely a sinister enterprise preying on the innocent.
And they want me to fall in line like a good soldier and aim my inky arrows at Rome.
Sorry to disappoint, but I'm not about to do that just to pacify people who, after all, don't
really care about the church except when it's portrayed in a negative light.
In the past, I've railed against the insensitivity of church hierarchy for failing to adequately address the pain of victims.
I've criticized it for attempting to evade the criminal laws, choosing therapy for the victimizers over justice for the aggrieved.
I've doubted the existence of some so-called "homosexual cabal" that supposedly preyed on altar boys, even while acknowledging that the church has been negligent in dealing with troubled priests. And I've wondered out loud how Bernard Cardinal Law, the man who single-handedly orchestrated the coverup in Boston, could be living the good life in Rome.
But it's never enough.
Now, a new set of scandals has been thumped in the press, one that reaches from middle America to the hills of Ireland to Pope Benedict's Germany.
The details, while shocking, refer to horrors committed more than 20 years ago, but they're being used to condemn a church that - more than any other organized faith institution in the world - has made the most public and painful act of contrition in history.
Yes, grievous mistakes were made, under a veil of secrecy that has destroyed the confidence of so many Catholics and driven many more from the pews. This pope has recognized it, and has been courageous and unflinching in his attacks on what can only be called the most mortal of sins. That is why it's so painfully ironic that he's become the new favorite whipping boy.
Personally, I'm tired of my church being exposed to the same boilerplate attacks every time some long-ago transgression is revealed in the press, usually around the time Catholics prepare to celebrate a sacred moment like Christmas or Easter.
Like clockwork, people who have always had a bone to pick with Rome channel their anger and frustration on a wide range of topics (abortion, female priests, celibacy, same-sex marriage, meatless Fridays in Lent) into rants against the institution.
For example, the Philadelphia Gay News recently published a column titled "Shut up, Pope, part II" (thank God I missed Part I) demanding that Benedict "come clean and confess." It's about the pedophilia scandal, taking a break from the publication's usual drumbeat of criticism of the church's views on homosexuality and AIDS.
Pity it missed the pastoral letter where Benedict directly addressed those who were abused:
"You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. . . I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity violated."
I HAVE the feeling that no amount of "confession" and self-flagellation would make the PGN and other critics truly happy. Their goal is a user-friendly church, one that not only addresses the pedophilia scandal in terms to their liking, but also changes its fundamental nature.
I know the wish list: Celibacy gone? Sure! Female priests? Come on down! Seal of approval for abortion? We hear ya! Same-sex marriage? Can we register at Macy's?
And they think my credibility is on the line.
Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer. Listen to her Thursdays on WPHT/1210 AM, 10-midnight.
Good Friday is God's Friday in Anglo/Saxon.