Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Week Later, "Grand Inquisitor" Meets "Grey Lady"

As revealed earlier, today's "rare interview" of the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, by the New York Times has dropped in the paper's Holy Thursday edition...

(For the record, the piece merits at least one key correction: the Times' claim that Levada is "a former chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops" is, at best, a sloppy mischaracterization.

(For one, the USCCB is led by a president, not a "chairman." That said, Levada was indeed chairman of the US bishops' Committee on Doctrine from 2003 until his 2005 appointment to head the dicastery originally known as the "Holy Office of the Inquisition," but the now-cardinal never held an executive-level post in the conference during his 22 years among its membership.

(For purposes of context, it bears noting that, at the time of Levada's chairing of Doctrine, the USCCB had no less than 36 chairmen of standing committees. That figure was slashed to 16 at the conference's 2007 reorganization.)

...meanwhile, tomorrow's pages likewise feature a fresh examination of the documents in the Murphy Case by the paper's national religion writer, Laurie Goodstein, whose front-page article of a week ago ignited the subsequent heated volleys of reaction on both sides of the aisle.

Included in Goodstein's piece is Fr Thomas Brundage's acknowledgement that, contrary to his claim against the Times in a widely-circulated defense published late Monday, the former Milwaukee judicial vicar had "never been quoted" by the paper in its prior stories. The re-look also relays that, during a 1998 meeting at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Milwaukee auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba subsequently wrote in a log that "it became clear that the Congregation was not encouraging us to proceed with any formal dismissal" of Fr Lawrence Murphy.

For all the rest, click away.

PHOTO: Yana Paskova/The New York Times