The Washington Post is on a tear, ripping the Catholic Church for defending itself against professional victims’ advocates and their lawyers. On April 20, it ran an editorial blasting the Vatican for not moving fast enough to commence a tribunal that would investigate bishops who allegedly failed to discipline an offending priest. Yesterday, it ripped dioceses that fight bills that would lift the statute of limitations on the sexual abuse of minors. In doing so, it showed how utterly dishonest it is.
It is dishonest to pretend that an institution that has been ravaged with claims by rogue lawyers has no right to defend itself. For example, church-suing lawyer Jeffrey Anderson has boasted how he is “suing the s*** out of them [the Catholic Church] everywhere.”
It is dishonest to pretend that the Catholic Church is the only institution opposing the elimination of a fundamental civil liberty, namely the statute of limitations. Many religious organizations have done the same, and when public schools are included in bills to revise this statute, the teachers’ unions lead the charge to defeat them.
It is dishonest to pretend that these bills are designed to protect minors—that is an out-and-out lie. If they were they would always apply to the public sector, but they rarely do.
It is dishonest to pretend that these bills are needed to protect Catholic students today: this problem has slowed immensely in Catholic quarters, even as it has increased dramatically in other communities.
It is dishonest to pretend that these bills would not encourage more false accusations against Catholic employees—data released last week show that bogus claims are rising precipitously. Yet the Washington Post says nothing about this.
Contact Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor: firstname.lastname@example.org