"La Repubblica" and the Politics of Scorched Earth
(Rome) Pope Francis appointed a New Faith Prefect last Saturday to get rid of the old one. Because of these "necessities", the number two of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is now number one. On Monday, the only daily newspaper that the pope regularly reads, already opened its hunt for the new CDF Prefect.
La Repubblica disapproves of the nomination of Ladarias as a Prefect of Doctrine and the Faith
In his home country of Spain, Luis Ladaria SJ enjoys the good reputation of orthodoxy. Apart from the unusual circumstances of his appointment, the latter was largely positive. The pope's decision obviously followed tactical considerations, in order for the dismissal of Cardinal Miiller not to result in a revolt. Francis did not impress La Repubblica , the flagship of Italian left-wing journalism. The only newspaper he reads every day, according to his own statements, contained a "message" to the head of the Church on Monday: a disapproval of the appointment of Ladarias.
For La Repubblica, the new Prefect is "too conservative" in any case. There is also a fundamental aversion to the institution which was the former Holy Inquisition.La repubblica, of course, does not write this. It attacks with the dirt bucket and goes to the "tried and tested" way of denunciation. "Pedophilia: a shadow on Bishop Ladaria," is the headline, and the same on the title page. To this end, the archive photo of a rally in front of St Peter's was reprinted against sexual abuse by clerics. The is a banner with an inscription "Church without abuse." The actual article can be found on page 15. The title reads: "He did not expose the pedophile priest. The Shadow on the Chief of the Holy Office."
The case of ex-priest Gianni Trotta
One of the two authors is the expose journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, who was brought to justice in connection with the Vatican's Vatileaks 2 scandal. He was accused of having published confidential documents from the Vatican in his book "Avarizia" (avarice), published in late 2015. As the court was not able to prove any criminal offense, he was released a year ago, while the Vatican employees who had supplied him and another journalist with the documents, the Spanish Prelate Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, and the busybody PR wife, Francesca Chaouqui.
The Catalan daily newspaper La Vanguardia took up the Repubblica article and titled it: "New crisis in the Vatican: Ladaria, recent appointment of the Pope, covered a case of pederasty. Shadow over the new Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith." This is about the case of an Italian priest named Gianni Trotta, who was removed in 2012 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from the clerical state. Trotta then became a soccer coach and abused minor children. In spring 2015 he was arrested and sentenced to eight years imprisonment by an Italian criminal court. The case had been reported in great detail by Repubblica and L'Espresso, the weekly magazine, last February.
The Congregation conducted the trial of the 49-year-old Trotta in 2009, which ended with the maximum sentence, the laicization. Repubblica criticizes the fact that Trotta was condemned by the Vatican but that the judgment was not publicly disclosed. In this way the people had not been warned in some small places in Puglia. In addition, Trotta, who was active as a coach of children's teams, continued to work as a priest, to gain people's confidence.
The crime of abuse relevant to criminal law were all committed after he had been laicized. This applies to the abuse of an eleven-year-old boy, for which he was sentenced to eight years in the first instance. This also applies to other cases of abuse involving the production and distribution of child pornography, for which he will soon be responsible. Repubblica criticizes the fact that they might have been prevented if the Vatican had made the case public. The daily newspaper even goes so far as to blame Ladaria for having "covered up" a case of pedophilia. The concept of cover-up is overshadowed here because Ladaria was not involved in the cover-up, but in the condemnation of Trotta.
Politics of the Scorched Earth at La Repubblica
The decree of laicization from 2012 was signed by Cardinal Levada. Then Cardinal Levada, and Ladaria, was then secretary of the Congregation. Repubblica , however, makes a cover-up of the conviction. According to Repubblica, the Congregation of the Faith would have had to publicly denounce Trotta. A doubtful demand to the Church, in which a maxim is to be hard against sin, but mild to the sinner. Repubblica's fretting, therefore, is probably more about something else.
The new Prefect, Luis Ladaria Ferrer, is virtually unknown to the general public, including most Catholics. The Repubblica article guarantees that his name is immediately placed in a negative context. "The Prefect did not bring the pedophile ex-priest to the public,"... "cover-up of a pedophile scandal" are the headlines spread over media and social networks. It's an imagery that can hardly be bettered. What is the purpose of La Repubblica with the immediate tally-ho on the newly named Prefect?
When Pope Francis was elected, Eugenio Scalfari, the founder and father of La Repubblica, was his preferred partner. The result was several interviews and editorials of doubtful content. In the meantime, it has become quieter because the confessed atheist from a family with an old Masonic tradition, whom Pope Francis "does not want to convert", is already in his 94th year.
The fact is that this is the message that La Repubblica has noted with satisfaction the dismissal of Cardinal Müller and has declared the hunt for his successor.