The implication in “Report on sex abuse – what the critics got wrong,” Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien’s guest column by Karen Terry (CR, July 7), is that the secular media provided the public with incomplete information on the Causes and Context report. The bishops and the Catholic press were more than happy to cherry pick the report for anything that would help to distance them from the actual crimes as well as the criminal cover-up.
This conclusion has been based on reading several Catholic newspapers, including The Catholic Review. Most diocesan newspapers rely on the Catholic News Service for reports of national significance. The idea must have been that emphasizing the “Woodstock Effect” and blaming internal Church problems on social and cultural phenomena would help to distance the bishops from the problem. This idea backfired, as few people were willing to believe this rationale for this scandal.
We have been told that the closures of Catholic schools in poor neighborhoods will actually benefit Catholic education in Baltimore. We are now being told that the closures and mergers of parishes and the scheduling of fewer Masses will actually benefit local Catholics. We are told that the ordination of married Anglican priests is a blessing while we know that some archdiocesan priests have left the priesthood to marry and that married cradle Catholics cannot be ordained. Stop spinning the news. Treat your readership with the respect we deserve.