This past spring, Bishop J. Keith Symons, the Ordinary of the Diocese of Palm Beach, resigned after an admission of child sexual abuse. In the wake of his resignation came a flood of wild generalizations: pedophilia was rampant among Catholic priests. In this regard, no source of journalistic irresponsibility rivaled the news stories, essays, editorials and cartoons of the Palm Beach Post (the first and third cartoon below are from this newspaper).
From the pen of Steve Gushee, we learn that “The Roman Catholic Church is both the world’s oldest totalitarian state and the quintessential old boys’ club.” From the editorial page, we learn that it is “questionable” whether the pope, who appoints every bishop, can “keep child abusers out.”
Why not write to Edward Sears, the editor of the Palm Beach Post, and let him know what you think of his newspaper? His address is: P.O. Box 24700, West Palm Beach, FL 33416.
Once again, we would like to recommend to our members the most authoritative book on the subject, Pedophiles and Priests by Philip Jenkins (Oxford University Press). Jenkins, a Penn State professor and an Evangelical Protestant, debunks the prevailing mythology regarding Catholic priests, celibacy and sexual abuse.