Catholic League president Bill Donohue accuses the Philadelphia Inquirer of bias:
The sexual abuse of minors is unfortunately a social problem, especially in homes where live-in boyfriends and step-fathers reside. It is also a serious problem in the public schools. Nowhere is it less of a problem today than in the Catholic Church. To wit: in the last five years we have data for, the number of credible accusations made against over 40,000 priests averaged 8.6; the figure for 2009 was six. Can any institution sport a record that is proportionately more impressive?
This is important because a February 17 editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer on the subject of the sexual abuse of minors never mentions any of this. Instead, it singles out the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Here’s the backdrop. After failing to nail a single priest in a 2005 grand jury investigation—which never focused on any other institution but the Catholic Church—a second was convened. It came up way short of what those who lobbied for it wanted. Then the Inquirer editorial appears, calling on the Archdiocese to make public its files on accused priests; it also calls on lawmakers to make it easier for past alleged victims to sue.
The editorial’s dishonesty is remarkable. It does not call for any other institution to make public its files on accused employees; nor does it call for lawmakers to make it easier for alleged victims of public school teachers to sue. In a despicable act of bias, it singles out the Archdiocese and gives every other institution a pass. An op-ed I submitted on this subject to the newspaper was rejected, and that is why we sent it to the more than 200 pastors in the Philadelphia Archdiocese [click here to read it].
There needs to be a Catholic revolt. The selective pursuit of priests, and the wholesale denial of their due process rights—that’s what calls for a selective suspension of the statute of limitations are—needs a vigorous and responsible response. All we want is a level playing field.
Contact the editor, Stan Wischnowski: firstname.lastname@example.org