The Kansas City Star’s latest hit on the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is both contrived and dishonest. It is contrived because the dirt it alleges to have found doesn’t exist. To wit: there is nothing even vaguely unethical about Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, the Pennsylvania psychiatrist who evaluated Fr. Ratigan, and his advisory role to Opus Bono Sacerdotii (OBS). It is dishonest because it continues the cover-up of its ally, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
Dr. Fitzgibbons is to be commended, not condemned, for his association with OBS. It is run by two dedicated Catholics, Peter Ferrara and Joe Maher; its founding advisors were two of the most stellar Catholics in the past half-century, Avery Cardinal Dulles and Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. The group not only defends the rights of priests, it reaches out to those who have sinned and seek reconciliation. It is a noble enterprise. So to imply that there is something sinister about Fitzgibbons evaluating Ratigan is yellow journalism.
The Star adds to its corrupt reporting by dishonestly covering up for SNAP. There is a psychiatrist who is unethical—indeed is a convicted sex abuser—and he is the long-time SNAP advisor, Dr. Steve Taylor. Taylor is in prison today for doing something not attributed to Ratigan: he downloaded child porn from his computer. Barbara Blaine, the founder of SNAP, came to his defense and wrote to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners pleading with them not to strip Taylor of his license. Yet the Star has never once told its readers about this story.
This is vintage Star reporting on the Catholic Church.
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