The Slow Destruction of the American Catholic Church

To watch "the memo" click here .

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thanks for watching us tonight.

Well, last week I spent much of my time under water in the Caribbean.  My hope was that some sanity would return to the news front when I got back to the game.  Yes, sure.

The Talking Points Memo this evening concerns the slow destruction of the American Catholic Church.  The big meeting in Rome didn't accomplish very much.  The church's position on child molester priests is still muddled, and at a press conference, only two of 12 American cardinals bothered to show up.  I guess courage is not in the job description of a cardinal.

Unbelievably, Cardinal Law of Boston is still standing.  The pope failed to transfer Law, and now there's another huge embarrassment.  In court papers released last week, Law actually blamed the molestation of one child by a priest on the boy's parents.  More on that later in the broadcast.

But it should be clear by now that Bernard Law is unfit to lead the church in any capacity.  Everyone with any sense knows that.  So why is he still there?

The answer lies in the siege mentality that the Catholic Church has embraced, and not without some cause.  Here in America, many in the media dislike the church because of its stance on abortion and its absolutist philosophy of right and wrong.  The United States media is long on avoiding moral judgment, short on acceptance of views other than their own.

Thus the church has become an enemy of those media pundits who allow no room for debate on the rights of a fetus and other complex matters.  The church rightly rejects moral relativism and sees danger in the decline of humanism in America.  The pope and his advisers know they will not be treated fairly by many in the media who feel threatened by strict rules of conduct.

The pope also has fallen into the trap of being stubborn when it comes to the media.  He is protecting Cardinal Law because he does not want to give the appearance that the media can tell him what to do.  But that is a foolish strategy, because the current scandal has weakened the church's moral authority and given its enemies powerful ammunition.

That is sad, because not only does the Catholic Church promote peace and understanding, it also aids the poor and downtrodden the world over.  In the USA, the Catholic Church is second only to the federal government in providing for the poor.

The decline of the church in America is not the fault of its powerful enemies, not this time.  It is the fault of corrupt church leaders and criminal priests.

Right now in America there is not one Catholic cleric who is a respected voice of leadership, not one.  If the pope does not aggressively rebuild the American Catholic Church with new leadership, a powerful voice for good will continue to lose credibility and effectiveness.  Obviously that's a big minus for the entire world.

And that's the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."

I returned from vacation to find a mountain of mail.  We'll read it in a moment.  And signed book orders.  Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduations are driving those.  The No-Spin Zone hardcover continues to break records, and The O'Reilly Factor paperback is a bestseller as well.

Thank you all very much.  I hope those gifts are well received.

— You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: