In his memoir, The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton wrote that mainstream American and English culture has a built-in anti-Catholic bias that closed his mind, and many others, to the good things done by the Catholic Church. The tropes of this are common enough. It is usual to take an actual scandal and then imply that some entity called ‘the Vatican’ was responsible both for any scandal, and for any ‘cover up’. Struans has provided, via PBS, and excellent example of the genre. Anti-Catholicism has been called the last acceptable prejudice, and this is so because the deep-seated bias that comes from three hundred years of State-sponsored propaganda is so deep-rooted that most do not see it in themselves.
If, as some do, you choose to believe that the Vatican is all-powerful and controls everything, then you will fail to understand how much is devolved to diocesan level, and you fail to put the blame where it lies. For those willing to go through the level of detail needed to get a proper perspective on this, you can try the links here:
No doubt ‘secrets of the Vatican’ was not thought to be a catch-penny title, but it is in the fine tradition of Maria Monk and Jack Chick. Some serious and balanced journalism would be welcome, but Strauns has not provided us with access to it.
Of course, nothing like this has ever gone on in the Anglican Church, although if one reads the blog of the Rev. Peter Ould, a concerned Anglican, you might find otherwise; I am sure it was an oversight on Struans’ part not to mention Jersey. It is wearisome to have to wade through this stuff, but if we are to have some perspective, it is necessary.
For those who like this sort of thing, here are some figures and facts: