I’ve been reading a new book by Leon Podles entitled Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church (Crossland Press, 2008), an eye-opening, 600-page analysis of the clerical sex abuse crisis in the Church. However one may feel about his treatment of the subject, Podles is to be commended for his candor and research, but even more for his relentlessly compelling advocacy on behalf of abuse victims and their families.
With that backdrop, yesterday’s front-page, “above the fold” article in the Kansas City Star on the scandals caught my attention. It seemed to me that the article used the scandals as the basis for publishing a decidedly negative piece on the Church. Here is the letter I wrote to the Star:
As an active Catholic, I was drawn to Sunday’s front-page article “Abuse lawsuits nearer to trial.” Sure, all pending suits are closer to trial today than they were yesterday. Yet, despite the article’s title, the trials of those abuse cases apparently are not imminent, and the story doesn’t cover any new significant new ground.
Instead, it retells salacious details of alleged events occurring in the 70s that have been known to the general public for several years. While everyone deplores the sexual abuse of minors whatever its context might be, one wonders why the Star, under the pretext of giving us “news,” would publish such a hit piece.
Here’s the article itself. Do you agree with my assessment?