Excom Hoax

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Look, I don’t want to get into the excom hoax thing too much, and Cort might have a doctrinal point (don’t want to go there in this blog), but what is relevant here is that every one of Balestrieri’s laughable claims (or reported claims) have been disputed by everyone involved in the case. The Vatican says it has never had any contact with the guy. Fr. Cole says Balestrieri’s claims are “completely without merit.” The Congregation denies it ever asked Fr. Cole to answer on behalf of the congregation. Fr. Cole had no idea what Balestrieri was up to; he thought Balestrieri was just a student. And so on. Every blog that touted this fraud is backtracking at this point, and Balestrieri is busy explaining himself, and the claims and counterclaims are growing ever more tangled (just as Rove might like it to be). Of course individual Catholics are free to privately regard anyone as excommunicated if they so desire. Hey, it’s a free country, in this respect anyway. But there’s a sin called calumny that consists of publicly spreading things both unflattering and untrue. Last I checked, it was considered mortal. How much worse when the calumny employs faith solely for achieving political ends?

5:27 pm on October 20, 2004