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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Where is Mainstream Media When It Comes to Investigating Child Sexual Abuse?

When it doesn't involve Catholic clergy, that is.

Today, Mark Shea drew attention to this interview with Cardinal Ratzinger, in which he says the following:

.... In the United States, there is constant news on this topic, but less than 1% of priests are guilty of acts of this type. The constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information nor to the statistical objectivity of the facts. Therefore, one comes to the conclusion that it is intentional, manipulated, that there is a desire to discredit the Church. It is a logical and well-founded conclusion....

I honestly don't see how this can be disputed.

Let me take you back to March 11, on which I published a column including this:

As mentioned above, child sexual abuse isn’t only a “Catholic” problem; it’s not only a “clergy” problem, either. Witness recent news stories:

  • An AP story, Jan. 10: “An Orange County Superior Court judge already facing a federal charge of possessing child pornography was arrested Thursday in a child molestation case more than 25 years old. Judge Ronald C. Kline, 61, was booked for investigation of four counts of lewd conduct with a child under the age of 14, said Irvine police Lt. Sam Allevato.”
  • A story in Insight in the News, Mar. 2: “Steve Elson, a former Navy SEAL and former member of the FAA’s elite and secret ‘Red Team’ that conducted mock raids to test security at U.S. airports, tells Insight that over the years he has been made aware of sexual exploitation of children by traveling U.S. aviation-security personnel. ‘I heard them talk about having sex with young girls,’ he says. ‘Some of them talked about how [the children] were hairless [in their pubic area]. It was disgusting. My impression is that the behavior was pretty well-known. It was kind of a joke.’”
  • A story at NewsMax, Mar. 8: “At a confidential forum, the United States and the international community castigated the U.N. Refugee Agency for the sex scandal surrounding the alleged mass abuse of West African refugee children by aid workers and ‘peacekeepers,’ according to senior diplomats.... The U.S. delegation told a closed-door session of UNHCR’s top executive committee Tuesday, ‘These allegations of abuse by the very people entrusted with care of refugee people are deeply distressing and utterly appalling to all of us.’”

(The New York Times is owned by the same company that owns the Boston Globe. If the NYT has attempted, or does in the future attempt, to investigate charges of child sexual abuse by agents of the UN, which is headquartered in New York, as vigorously as the BG has investigated the Catholic hierarchy in Boston, please let me know. Do not think it necessary to also send contemporary reports of flying pigs.)

In a later installment of that six-part column, Apr. 8, I noted the following:

Alas — and I am very sorry to have to say this — married clergy is no cure-all palladium. Witness, for instance, the report of Bill Wineke, a member of the United Church of Christ, in the Wisconsin State Journal, Apr. 5:

Lest you become comforted thinking only Catholic priests can be clerical perverts, you might want to subscribe to “Freethought Today,” the monthly publication of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. It runs a gleeful feature — one that usually covers a couple of pages — called “Black Collar Crime Blotter.” The blotter picks up newspaper clippings about problem pastors from around the country and the result isn’t pretty.

The April issue, for example, begins with an item announcing the minister of the Edmond, Okla., Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry had been charged with molesting two girls, aged 8 and 9, in the church recreation room. Also listed are an Oklahoma City rabbi, the cantor of one of the world’s largest Reform synagogues, an Assembly of God pastor charged with raping a girl, and a Southern Baptist minister charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. From my own denomination, the United Church of Christ, came news that one of our conference ministers — the equivalent of an archbishop in role, if not in status — was convicted of standing in his house window and exposing himself to neighbors.

Now, I admit that the news that Catholic priests aren’t the only clerical deviates does not do much to make us feel better about the church in general. But it should serve to keep those of us who aren’t Catholic from getting too judgmental and it should call into question the validity of the claim of many that celibacy and the male-only priesthood are the causes of priest failures. Most of the non-Catholics listed in Black Collar Crimes are married and most are in churches that ordain women.

Well, it should be real easy to disprove the observation that anti-Catholic bias fuels mainstream media's investigation of, and reporting on, child sexual abuse. The New York Times has published some shocking investigative reports about child sexual abuse by UN workers — right? And The Boston Globe has finally taken to crusading against child sexual abuse by "U.S. aviation-security personnel" — right? And ABC/CBS/NBC are all over the case of child sexual abuse among (married) Protestant clergy — right?

And what do all those cases have in common? The word "Catholic" can't be worked into them anywhere.

MM doesn't care about the children. It doesn't care about the abuse. It cares about (1) smearing the Catholic Church as much as possible and (2) circulation.

[Follow-up: Some People Just Can't Read What's In Front of Them.]

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 12/04/02 06:52:41 PM
Categorized as Media.


"Religion of Peace?"

"Prove it."

A hard-hitting article by Jonah Goldberg at NRO today:

.... Look: I take law-abiding, tolerant, and peaceful Muslims at their word when they say to me that they believe Islam means peace. Further, I take them at their word that they live by that interpretation. But the fact remains that other Muslims surely believe that Islam means death. Death to Christians, Jews, and Hindus; death to unbelievers, heretics, blasphemers, adulterers, and plenty of other categories of human being. And guess what, it's those Muslims who are killing us. And guess what else? Those other, peace-loving, Muslims aren't doing enough about it.
I've written before that in the realm of public policy, theology doesn't matter nearly as much as morality and behavior. You can believe that murder is wrong because it depletes the ozone layer for all we care — so long as you believe murder is wrong. The differences between, say, Greek Orthodox Christians and Quakers are fascinating, rich, storied, and significant. But in the public square they do not matter one bit so long as Greek Orthodox Christians and Quakers alike abide by the law and our common sense of morality. If one group wants to burn incense and the other wants to make oatmeal, nobody cares. So long as each group leaves the other alone.
So, to a certain extent, I couldn't care less if Islam is, on paper, factually, textually, objectively, and in all other academic senses a religion of war and bigotry — so long as actual Muslims are decent and upstanding people. And, similarly, the fact that Christianity is a religion of love and compassion would be equally meaningless if Christians spent their days poking me with red-hot metal thingies — out of love and compassion no doubt — in order to get me to convert. Sure, I might take note of Christian hypocrisy while I waited for Torquemada to bust out his scrotal tongs, but, truth be told, scoring debating points wouldn't be at the forefront of my agenda....

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 12/04/02 06:20:28 PM
Categorized as Social/Cultural.


The Pope Pius XII Controversy

A Review-Article by Kenneth D. Whitehead.

From The Political Science Reviewer at the Catholic League website.

Thanks to the Catholic League for making this article, and many others, available on the Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust section of its website:

One of the most remarkable of phenomena in recent years has been the revival of the controversy over the role of Pope Pius XII during the Second World War, and, specifically, over that pontiff's stance with regard to Hitler's effort to exterminate the Jews. First played out over thirty years ago, beginning during the 1960s, the controversy centered on the question of whether Pius XII was culpably "silent" and passive in the face of one of the most monstrous crimes in human history--when his voice as a moral leader and his action as head of the worldwide Catholic Church might possibly have prevented, or at least have seriously hindered--so it is argued--the Nazis in their ghastly plans to implement what they so chillingly called the Final Solution (Endlösung) to a long and widely perceived "Jewish Problem" in Europe.
The controversy over Pope Pius XII has not only been rekindled. It has been extended to include other modern popes and, indeed, the Catholic Church herself as "anti-Semitic." An unusual number of books and articles has continued to fuel this controversy. Ten of the most recent books on the subject have been selected for evaluation in this review-article....

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 12/04/02 05:48:46 PM
Categorized as Religious.


The Corner Way Behind St. Blog's

Rod Dreher took note yesterday of Harry's Stein's article in the Autumn 2002 issue of City Journal.

Lex Communis and The Blog from the Core told you about it, Oct. 29. :)

But Dreher also called attention later to an article at OpinionJournal, showing how Stein was correct in his judgement that Robert McTeer was the real target of the smear:

"Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?" These were the words Ray Donovan addressed to the prosecutor after being acquitted of the fraud and larceny charges that had forced him two years earlier to resign as Ronald Reagan's secretary of labor.
Robert McTeer might be asking himself the same question. The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Mr. McTeer has been named a possible successor to Alan Greenspan. Which is precisely how he was listed in a recent New York Times article. With this kicker: "Uncomfortable questions" could be provoked by any McTeer nomination, warned the Times. The cause of those "uncomfortable" questions? "Earlier this year," the article reported, Mr. McTeer had "arranged a conference at which a speech by a conservative author was criticized by some Fed officials as offensive to blacks and gays." ....

Oh. I see now that Ramesh Ponnuru blogged about the City Journal article, Oct. 30. We still beat 'em, though.

Seriously, Dreher is right: "We have got to end this damnable situation, aided and abetted by the media, whereby a man may be adjudged guilty of racism simply because someone, somewhere, decided to be offended by his words, regardless of their actual content." Use of the Internet will help: it makes articles, such as Stein's in City Journal, available to, literally, millions of people who otherwise would never hear of them.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 12/04/02 08:44:11 AM
Categorized as Other.


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