By Kay Ebeling
If you are not specifically Googling “pope” and especially “pope sex abuse” this week, you probably won’t hear or read much about the thousands of felonies committed by pedophiles and other sexual predators operating as priests in the American Catholic Church the last 50 years. In its “complete coverage” of the papal press event, the New York Times does have an article about Catholic school enrollment being half what it was in the 1950s but you have to read between the lines to say, Thank you God that Catholic parents are getting their children out of danger.
Don’t expect mainstream media to do much more than respond to press releases and for that I’m grateful to VOTF and SNAP*. In fact the stream of demands from advocates in the past week may have caused the pontiff to change his upcoming speeches to at least acknowledge the crimes, crimes like these:
Sodomy with children. Men grabbed altar boys and forced oral sex on them before going out to serve Mass. Regularly. Altar boy rape before Mass shows up over and over again in the documents that have come out so far. In one LA coastal town, the church had a carnival every Saturday plus Catechism class, and a network of pedophile priests picked children up from the carnival rides and forced them into nearby rooms to have sex, on church property, when the children were supposed to be learning church doctrine. Instead the children were developing their gag response. Children sexualized before age 10 while staring at the stained glass and statues of saints to take their minds off the horror.
But when you go to the actual front pages of mainstream press, as usual, thousands of felonies aided and abetted in the Catholic Church are barely mentioned, and only then as an upsetting dollar figure. The New York Times refers to the thousands of felonies in its Page One Sunday piece as “the sex-abuse scandals that racked the church and are now costing it millions (sic) of dollars in legal fees and settlements with victims.”
That's a factual error in the New York Times, what was once the “official record.”
And once again it’s all about money.
No one mentions the hundreds of thousands of persons whose lives were damaged by predator priests. Even the Times’ use of the word “scandal” implies an element of gossip, like something bad happened and then the media turned it into something worse.
Mainstream media reporters today do little more than read press releases and make a few phone calls for quotes to file their stories. They are understaffed in corporate owned news organizations. If you want real reporting you have to turn to places like City of Angels Blog, rapidly becoming City of Angels Network (CAN) with webasting of videos.
Here is a place to put comments at the New York Times, because the religion reporter apparently is submitting questions to the Pope’s office and getting them “answered”
Copy and paste into blogger and go down to comments:
Instead of acknowledging the thousands of felonies and crime victims in the United States, the Associated Press article today has this quote:
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, notes that "religion is deeply rooted in American life despite the separation of church and state."
Reuters reports the Pope brings a message of peace. However, security is so tight that a religious sikh leader could not attend any papal event because he would have to remove his ceremonial sword.
Detroit Free Press: Hundreds flocking to see the Pope because “they don’t know much about the pope.” You will hear that message repeated throughout the coming week: "Americans do not know much about this pope" and then biographical information with a lot of stock footage.