I am a father. I have been a new father six times. I have said often -- and I am not the least bit proud of my capacity to house this feeling -- that if anyone were to seriously harm one of my children, I could drive hundreds of miles days later, with all the time in the world to have cooled down, and kill the bastard with my own hands. Were this situation to occur, (heaven forfend!), would I actually behave as I have described? I pray I will never know, but if you value your life, you don't want to test me.
I am the same man, the same father, who has been asked if I think the news media is being fair to the Pope in the sexual abuse scandal that currently rocks his church. No need to repeat the offenses; we all know them well, and they are horrific. My response to the question: I do think that the press, generally, is exercising great care to be fair. In return, I ask this question:
Must I be a part of a "vile anti-Vatican campaign aimed at weakening the papacy..." when I answer that way? Until the Pope opens up to us -- what did the church know, when did the church first learn of it, and how was that information processed? -- I think the world press, on behalf of the world's families, owes it to us to stay circumspectly but diligently on the case. How would I advise the pope? Open up to us, Father.