I was not going to comment on the latest offering from John Cornwell, but I want to link to a great article by Ed Peters which will be a handy resource for dealing with another batch of lies about the Church, our faith and our popes.
Cornwell, famous, or infamous, for his inaccurate account of Pope Pius XII's activities during World War II in Hitler's Pope, has now moved on to St Pius X and is connecting him with child abuse. How so, you might ask? Well he maintains that Pope Pius X facilitated the abuse of children by requiring children from the age of seven to go to confession. I know, it's crazy, but there will be people out there who will latch on to this and run with it in the hope of having yet another stick to beat the Catholic Church. It is also a snide attack on the sacrament of confession, a sacrament much despised by many "progressives" in the Church.
Anyway, here is the link to Ed Peter's response to Cornwell and the Daily Mail which published extracts from his book. Cornwell's hypothesis is, as I suppose we have come to expect, littered with inaccuracies. Sadly I note what Dr Peters says at the beginning of his piece: "It always takes longer, sometimes much longer, to correct mistakes than it takes to make them". How true. As Cornwell laughs all the way to the bank yet again, we Catholics are left for years trying to undo the lie.
Of course attacks on Pope St Pius are not new. Liberals and "progressives" have been complaining about him for decades for his clarification and condemnation of modernism, the mother of religious relativism. Even as recent as when I was in seminary a theology lecturer was making snide remarks against him. Interestingly Pius has a good deal in common with Pope Francis - both came from humble backgrounds, and both lived a ascetic, simple life embracing radical poverty.