Vatican: Pope Deserves Praise, Not Scorn Cardinal criticizes New York Times, defends pontiff By John Johnson, Newser Staff Suggested by easterner Posted Mar 31, 2010 4:36 PM CDT 32 comments Comments Pope Benedict XVI waves as he is driven through the crowd during his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito) (Newser) – The Vatican defended Pope Benedict's handling of long-ago abuse cases, lashed out at the New York Times for coverage “deficient by any reasonable standards of fairness,” and said the pontiff actually deserved praise instead of condemnation. “We owe Pope Benedict a great debt of gratitude for introducing the procedures that have helped the Church to take action in the face of the scandal of priestly sexual abuse of minors,” wrote a cardinal in a statement on the Vatican website. In Think Progress, meanwhile, Igor Volsky takes the Catholic League to task for calling the problem a "homosexual crisis" instead of a "pedophilia crisis" in a full-page ad. "What the Catholic League is trying to do is imply that there is a connection between homosexuality and molestation, just like segregationists once accused African Americans of raping white women, and Jews were accused of murdering Christian babies."