It is not uncommon for the leader of any organization to be on the firing line for decisions made by his predecessor and his staff. But in this regard, bishops have no rival: sitting bishops are being held responsible to an absurd degree for the rulings made by those who preceded them.
Two days ago, MPR published the e-mail interview it had with Archbishop Nienstedt. There was one question that showed palpable bias: “Why haven’t you released the names of offending priests?”
The question suggests that MPR knows about a cover-up of guilty priests. It turns out that it does not, which is why it did not name names. Nienstedt replied, “There are no offending priests in active ministry in our archdiocese.” So why did MPR assume he was guilty?
Nienstedt then addressed the issue of falsely accused priests who have been exonerated—a subject that MPR, and the media in general, have been strikingly incurious about—saying that it “would be wrong to publicize their names as offenders when they have not been proven to be offenders.” Good for him.
Equal justice demands that if the leaders of other religious and secular organizations do not publicize the names of those who are accused, but not convicted, then neither should the bishops. Does MPR’s parent organization, NPR, go public with accusations made against its employees?
Just this week, the House voted for a bill to prohibit convicted sex offenders from working in the public schools. It was vigorously opposed by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. It received almost no press. Which just goes to show that it is not child sexual abuse that bothers elites in education and the media—it’s who the alleged offender is.