Yesterday I wrote about finding some Ratzi-the-Nazi disinformation in a Catholic Online article.
I posted a comment on Catholic Online about the most glaring issue. My comment was posted, and the article was corrected – but there was no acknowledgement that the article had been changed, and no response to my comment.
Last night, I submitted another comment pointing out that it’s usual to acknowledge a correction. That comment hasn’t been released from moderation.
There were still some sections of the article that bothered me. The original line, “Joseph Ratzinger joined the Hitler Youth in 1941 when, according to him and his supporters, it became compulsory for all German boys” had 338 Google hits. So just out of curiosity, I searched on some of the other text of the article – a nice, long chunk of text:

Resistance to the Nazis was dangerous and difficult, but not impossible. A few hundred yards away from his family home, a family hid Hans Braxenthaler, a local resistance fighter who shot himself rather than be captured again. The SS regularly searched local homes for resistance members, so the Ratzingers could not have been unaware about resistance efforts.

I got 41 hits. The first result on both searches was to the page on Pope Benedict XVI.
Surprise, surprise – huge chunks of the article (which is credited to Austin Cline) were copied, pasted, and rearranged into the Catholic Online article. Sometimes they were fluffed up a bit; Cline writes, “Ratzinger believes that greater fidelity to Catholic doctrine, as defined by the Vatican, is necessary to counter movements like Nazism.” This line became “The pope believes that greater fidelity to the truth as revealed in the Natural Law, confirmed and expounded upon by revelation, taught and defended by the magisterium of the Church is necessary to counter movements like Nazism.” in the Catholic Online article.
Here’s a screenshot of the Catholic Online article, pulled this morning
and of the article, also pulled this morning.
So, again,
Who wrote this article?
Why is a plagiarist working for Catholic Online?
Why is someone who plagiarizes from sources hostile to the Church writing for Catholic Online?
How did an article with this tone make it onto Catholic Online?