ROLLING STONE’S YELLOW JOURNALISM
Catholic League president Bill Donohue offers a brief statement about a more extended commentary he has written [click here to read it] on an article in the September 15 edition of Rolling Stone, “The Catholic Church’s Secret Sex-Crime Files”:
Catholic bashers have gotten a lot of mileage out of the sexual abuse scandal, but for sheer maliciousness, it is hard to top the piece in Rolling Stone. The factual errors, the stereotypes, the grand omissions, and the melodramatic language make for an incredible read. Make no mistake about it, the author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, has secured her place in the annals of yellow journalism.
Ten years ago, former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham was charged with the responsibility of investigating the sexual abuse of minors by the clergy of all religions. She chose to disregard her assignment, choosing only to go after priests; all ministers and rabbis were given a pass. Yet after all her efforts, not a single priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was convicted of anything. But in the court of public opinion, many priests, including the last three Philly archbishops, are guilty as sin. That’s what Abraham set out to do, and now the baton has been passed to the likes of Erdely.
It does no good to simply say Erdely is wrong—she must be proven wrong. That is why I wrote a lengthy rebuttal, detailing her prejudices and falsehoods. Shame on Rolling Stone for entertaining this vile hit on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Miscreant priests should be dealt with in a just manner, and punished accordingly; that is what the courts will determine next year when three priests, one ex-priest, and a lay schoolteacher stand trial. In the meantime, everyone would do well to take a deep breath and remember that the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty. That this needs to be said, especially in cases involving priests, is an index of just how tenuous their status is these days.
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