Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on an editorial in the Buffalo News:
In a March 18 editorial, the Buffalo News called for Buffalo Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger to open the personnel files on priests accused of sexual abuse. The newspaper speaks of a “cult of secrecy” and a “cover-up culture” in the Catholic Church.
We would love to know if the Buffalo News can name one—just one—institution in the United States, religious or secular, that has not handled cases of alleged sexual misconduct in secret. From Hollywood to the media, and from the public schools to the corporations, virtually every organization has handled cases of alleged wrongdoing behind closed doors.
In other words, the Catholic Church does not have a monopoly on refusing to turn over its personnel files on alleged victims (though some dioceses have). If this is such a big deal for the Buffalo News, why doesn’t it ask all organizations in Buffalo (we suggest they begin where the action is—in the public schools) to open their personnel files on accused sexual offenders. Let’s see how the unions react to that one.
Better still, why doesn’t the Buffalo News demand that Buffalo organizations do away with non-disclosure agreements? The Catholic Church has (but no institution has followed).
It is not just the Buffalo News (which in fairness did not write an insulting editorial the way other papers have on this issue) that needs to be consistent in making these statements, it’s every media outlet. We need to stop the cherry picking: religious profiling is no less invidious than racial profiling.