The decision to publish the op-ed by Daniel A. Olivas was malicious. Here’s why.
Olivas says he once knew a Latino priest in southern California who was a molester (the priest, who is dead, was suspended from ministry in the 1990s). Okay, I got it: Olivas is angry. Every time I read about another homosexual priest who molested someone (less than 5 percent of abusive priests were pedophiles), I get angry, too. But what was the purpose of publishing this article? And why the obscene drawing of a priest whose head resembles a creature from Hell?
There is almost no sexual abuse being committed by priests in the U.S. today. When reports surface, in almost every instance we are hearing about old cases. But now, given the latest round of documents gathered by the authorities involving the Archdiocese of Los Angeles under Cardinal Roger Mahony, we are being treated to more stories.
The Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn is ablaze with stories of rabbis who rape young people. Even more pernicious is the way those who cooperate with the authorities are being treated. Indeed, the punitive actions taken against innocent persons are shocking—there is no analogue in the Catholic community.
So what has the New York Times said about all of this? In the past year, the Times ran 11 news stories and one editorial on sexual abuse by Orthodox Jewish rabbis; there were no op-ed articles. In the past two weeks, the Times has run 7 news stories, one editorial and three op-eds on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Most of the cases in the Jewish community involve current or recent instances of abuse; none of the cases in Los Angeles do. Moreover, there has never been a depiction of a rabbi with his head resembling a creature from Hell.
Contact editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal: firstname.lastname@example.org