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“Same old spin” indeed

More on that Catholic report, from an excellent editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Same old spin on sex abuse by priests“:

Instead of looking to the culture outside the church to minimize egregious crimes and leadership failures, the report should have focused on the culture within. At the heart of the crisis was clericalism, the mind-set of ecclesiastical privilege in which leaders behave as an anointed class accountable to no one except those above them in the church hierarchy.

Not only priests but even bishops were outed as sex offenders by thousands of victims at the height of the 2002 scandals. The breadth and degree of offenses rightly shocked and outraged faithful Catholics as well as the general public. This wasn’t simply a church crisis, but a public-safety crisis for which bishops and the Vatican downplayed responsibility.

What also was lacking from the bishops was moral outrage, common sense and the backbone to throw the abusers out of ministry. Instead, the bishops focused on protecting their own reputations and that of their priests.

Be sure to read the rest– it’s fantastic and spot-on.

  1. Brad MacInnis #

    Another deft analysis of vatican spin-doctoring, as was your article, “A Worthless and Dangerous Report”. Will they ever wake up, Miranda? PZ just posted a report about an Italian priest who was busted via wiretap for ordering young victims from the Mob and paying with drugs. I’m anxiously awaiting the church’s response to that.

    In my part of the world (Nova Scotia) several dioceses have reached settlements with abuse victims; oddly enough, the millions of dollars involved is raised by selling local church assets, i.e. real estate. I’m not aganinst local catholic (I’m trying to remember to spell religious terms without capital letters) churches losing influence and, yay! closing down, but I can’t help but notice that Ratzi the Nazi, in his very own church/diocese/country, hasn’t had to cut back on the Gucci loafers and silk dresses.

    I wonder how young he likes his boys. (As a recovering catholic and happy and devout athiest, I know from experience that ALL priests are crrrreeeeppppyyy!!!)


    May 28, 2011
    • That’s a really good point- almost all of the settlements (at least in the U.S. and Canada) have been financed primarily by diocesan assets. The Vatican certainly isn’t feeling the pinch, unfortunately enough.

      June 2, 2011
  2. Tezcatlipoca #

    looks like the child rape apologists are out in the comment section. The usual. “others were kiddie fiddling too” etc. Disgusting.

    May 28, 2011
  3. Well, I’ve just finished 3200 words of criticism on the subject and have fired them off to be published. Going to bed now. Tiresome apologetics are tiresome.

    June 1, 2011
    • Just saw your post at B&W- headed off to read it now :)

      June 2, 2011
      • Whachathink? :)

        June 2, 2011
        • It’s great! :) I just left a comment at B&W. I would love to see Stephens’s reaction. Given his complete lack of rhetorical skills (and highly questionable ethics), I’m thinking he’d still go with the “but you didn’t even read the report!!!” response.

          June 2, 2011

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