Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would be resigning at the end of this month on Monday, prompting a great deal of speculation as to the reasons why. And according to John Nolte of Breitbart.com, even raising the question of whether the ongoing sex scandal with the pope at the center has something to do with it is “trashing” the pope and engaging in wild “conspiracy theories.”
Today came the shocking news that 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI has made the decision to resign at the end of the month, citing advanced age, fatigue, and exhaustion. While MSNBC kept its coverage respectful, CNN showed no such restraint, and immediately used the news as an excuse to launch into a frenzy of Catholic-bashing.
While Piers Morgan, with no evidence whatsoever, used Twitter to spread conspiracy theories…
Leaving aside for the moment the amusing notion that a wingnut would complain about conspiracy theories, this is what constitutes such a thing for Nolte. This is the Morgan tweet he is referring to:
As a Catholic, I’m not buying this. Popes don’t just quit because they’re tired. What’s going on here??
Yes, merely asking if there might be an unstated reason for the pope’s resignation is, in the fevered mind of Nolte, a crazy conspiracy theory — when it’s done by someone he considers on the left, of course. I doubt he thinks that Dinesh D’Souza or Orly Taitz are engaged in such conspiracy theories.
…Soledad O’Brien did the same on the CNN network, immediately using the Pope’s resignation as an excuse to delve into the Church’s child abuse scandal.
You see, according to CNN, the Pope is retiring because dealing with the child abuse scandal exhausted him:
Much of the questioning about “the why” — about why the Pope would be stepping down — would be questions about the impact that the sex scandal, that has enveloped the Catholic church, would be having on the Pope.
O’Brien then spoke to her first outside “expert,” left-wing filmmaker Alex Gibney, who directed the HBO film “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”– a documentary about the child abuse scandal. O’Brien set Gibney’s narrative immediately with this opening question:
“There also has to be some pressure and impact from what you really talked about; the sex scandal that has been a huge problem and enveloped much of the Catholic Church over the last decade.”
Wow, what a crazy conspiracy theory! Except it’s all true. This pope is at the center of the scandal because, when he was cardinal and the head of the former office of the inquisition, he was the one who issued strict orders to all bishops around the world to never turn a priest in to the police for their crimes and to cover it up, on pain of excommunication. It would hardly be a surprise if that has something to do with the pope’s decision to step down and it’s an entirely reasonable question to ask. Only on Planet Wingnuttia would this be considered a conspiracy theory, especially when we know from internal church documents that there was, in fact, a conspiracy to cover up child abuse.