Boston Globe: alleged accusers left off list

The “Catholic Church Attack Engine” at the Boston Globe appears to have filled up with gasoline this past week.  On Friday they published a rather biased “Editor steers church paper into controversy”  piece going after The Boston Pilot–quoting, of course, the standard-bearer dissenting Catholics the Globe apparently has on “speed-dial” who are invariably quoted saying something critical about the Catholic Church. Today, we have a journalistic rehashing of the complaints from August that the Archdiocese of Boston excluded in its public list of priests accused of sexual abuse, those priests who came from religious orders or other dioceses.

BCI has said this before and will say it again, if the Boston Globe is really concerned about the sexual abuse of children and about victims having the courage to come forward with claims of past abuse, why has there been no investigation whatsoever of the matter of sexual abuse of children in public schools, where the problem is reportedly far more extensive, or a call for public disclosure of the names of public school teachers accused of sexual abuse of children?  Why is that?

Front Page Hypocricy

This is to Michael Rezendes, reporter of the piece today in the Globe, “Many alleged abusers left off church list.”  Your carefully-worded Wikipedia entry–written by username “Script8″ who, coincidentally, has only contributed on Wikipedia to your profile and nothing else–says the following:

For nearly a decade Rezendes was also a member of the Globe’s Spotlight Team, where he shared a Pulitzer Prize for investigating the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. For his reporting and writing on the Church, he also shared the George Polk Award for National Reporting, the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, and numerous other honors.

Rezendes was the lead writer and reporter on the opening story of the Globe’s series on the Church…In addition, Rezendes broke the stories about similar cover-ups by Church officials in New York City and Tucson, Arizona…Rezendes and the Spotlight Team were also Pulitzer Prize finalists for a series of stories that uncovered abuses in the debt collection industry.

As a Spotlight Team member, Rezendes played a key role in many of the Globe’s most significant investigations, including those probing the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, financial corruption in the nation’s charitable foundations, and the plight of mentally ill state prisoners.

This background suggests reporting skills which are not at all in evidence in your article today or your coverage of the problem of child sexual abuse in society.

Catholics acknowledge the pain that hundreds of victims of sexual abuse by clergy in Boston have experienced. And the Globe report begrudingly acknowledges that the extent of disclosure by the Boston Archdiocese “compares favorably with the vast majority of the nation’s 195 dioceses, which have released no official lists at all.”  Michael, arguably the Catholic Church is now the safest institution in the world for children. You know that.  After nearly 10 years of disclosures of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, surely you are aware that your own work has made it easier for victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy to come forward and not fear they are alone. 

So, if you and the Globe really give a rat’s @#$ about victims of sexual  abuse, why have you not tackled the much greater problem of sexual abuse in public schools and other public institutions?

BCI is going to restate and add to what we said in this post back in August.

Why is there no effort by the Boston Globe and Attorney General Martha Coakley to have public disclosure of the names of public school teachers who have abused children?   This article on LifeSiteNews says that according to Charol Shakeshaft, researcher of a little-remembered 2004 study prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, “the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.” According to the 2004 study “the most accurate data available at this time” indicates that “nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career.”

George Weigel, writing in First Things in 2010 said:

The sexual and physical abuse of children and young people is a global plague; its manifestations run the gamut from fondling by teachers to rape by uncles to kidnapping-and-sex-trafficking. In the United States alone, there are reportedly some 39 million victims of childhood sexual abuse. Forty to sixty percent were abused by family members, including stepfathers and live-in boyfriends of a child’s mother—thus suggesting that abused children are the principal victims of the sexual revolution, the breakdown of marriage, and the hook-up culture. Hofstra University professor Charol Shakeshaft reports that 6-10 percent of public school students have been molested in recent years—some 290,000 between 1991 and 2000.  According to other recent studies, 2 percent of sex abuse offenders were Catholic priests—a phenomenon that spiked between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s but seems to have virtually disappeared (six credible cases of clerical sexual abuse in 2009 were reported in the U.S. bishops’ annual audit, in a Church of some 65,000,000 members).

Remember that number–six credible cases of sexual abuse by priests were reported in 2009 out of 65 million Catholics.  In New York City, Archbishop Dolan shared word on his blog that the “rate of sexual abuse among public school teachers is 10 times higher than that of priests.” The statistics were from a NYS Special Commissioner of Investigation report that substantiated 78 abuse cases by teachers in 2009, and 73 such cases in 2010.  There were 78 cases in just NY City Public Schools in 2009, but 6 across the entire Catholic Church nationally.  Where is the problem, really?  Why does the Boston Globe not insist that similar work be done in Boston Public Schools or across the state, and that a list of accused teachers be published?

On March 12, 2011, the NY Times published a report about widespread abuse problems in more than 2,000 New York state-run homes for the developmentally disabled. Despite a state law requiring that incidents in which a crime may have been committed be reported to law enforcement, state records show that of some 13,000 allegations of abuse in 2009 within state-operated and licensed homes, fewer than 5 percent were referred to law enforcement.

One might argue that is New York, not Massachusetts. Here in Massachusetts, in 2007 then-U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan reported on his study of 11 years of records at the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission. Sullivan found “very concerning neglect and abuse trends”, especially sexual abuse, in state-supported vendor-operated group homes for the disabled. In the report, he said:

“Unfortunately, after reviewing data from the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, our office did note some very concerning neglect and abuse trends in Contract Vendor operated community residences, as compared to the ICF/MRs and State operated community residences. These neglect and abuse trends, particularly sexual abuse, were of great concern to our office and shows that residents in our community homes are at a greater risk of being abused and/or neglected.”

What are Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Michael Rezendes and the crack Spotlight Team doing about the “very concerning neglect and abuse” of the disabled in state-supported homes?  What is Attorney General Martha Coakley doing?  Nothing that we can find reported publicly.

This 2001 report from the Guttmacher Institute says, “Almost one-third of females and nearly one in 10 male high school students in Massachusetts say they have experienced sexual abuse.  Where is the outrage?  What is the Boston Globe doing about this?  What is Martha Coakely doing?  Nothing that we can find reported publicly.

Martha Coakley is quoted as saying, “By failing to name the visiting priests and those from religious orders they’re sending a mixed message to the public…’’  Martha, how do you justify the mixed message YOU are sending to the public by your complete and utter failure to investigate and publicly disclose names of those guilty of sexual abuse of children in public schools or of adults in state-run facilities?

Yet the drumbeat goes on and the criticism continues, asking for the release of yet more names by the Catholic Church.  How the Globe and Attorney General justify their front-page hypocricy to themselves personally and to the public is a mystery.

Shoddy Journalism

Is this paragraph by Rezendes an example of unbiased news reporting?

To many committed Catholics, his brown robe and sandals – the attire of a Capuchin friar – symbolized a refreshingly humble alternative to his predecessor, the imperious Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who resigned as archbishop and decamped for Rome after 58 of his priests signed a letter urging him to quit because of his handling of the burgeoning abuse crisis…

It is not even factually accurate.  “Decamp” means “to depart suddenly.”  Cardinal Law resigned in December of 2002 and he did not “decamp” to Rome after 58 priests signed a letter urging him to quit.  As reported in February of 2003 by the Associated Press, Law, in fact, went to Maryland a few months after leaving Boston and was chaplain to the Sisters of Mercy of Alma. Perhaps Mr. Rezendes should reread the Globe archives to see the Globe’s own story from November 2003 that acknowledged Law was living in a convent in Maryland. It was not until May of 2004 that Law was named to his post as archpriest at Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.  And where exactly does the reporter get his facts to justify the opinion of “many committed Catholics” that Cardinal Bernard Law was “imperious”?  Would those “many committed Catholics” be the people he interviewed for this story?

Why Boston Archdiocese is Not Releasing Names of Religious Order Priests and Those from Other Dioceses

This is the explanation given by Cardinal O’Malley and the Boston Archdiocese in August 2011:

“Another issue to which I have given substantial consideration has to do with listing names of accused priests who are not priests of the Boston Archdiocese, but are religious order priests or priests from other dioceses.  After careful consideration, I have decided to limit the names that are being published on our website to clergy of the Boston Archdiocese.  I have decided not to include names of religious order priests or priests from other dioceses on our list because the Boston Archdiocese does not determine the outcome in such cases; that is the responsibility of the priest’s order or diocese.  I recognize that, over the years, many religious order priests and priests of other dioceses have served within the territory of the Boston Archdiocese, including in assignments at our parishes.

In its 2004 report, the Archdiocese published information with respect to the number of religious order priests and priests from other dioceses who had been accused of abusing minors while serving within the Archdiocese.  Archdiocesan policy is that, as soon as an accusation of misconduct is received against a religious order priest or a priest from a different diocese, we immediately notify law enforcement, as well as the superior of that order or the bishop of that diocese, and revoke the accused priest’s faculties to minister within our Archdiocese.  Under canon law, it falls to the superior or to the bishop to investigate and evaluate the accusation, taking appropriate canonical action. I urge the religious orders and other dioceses to consider their own policies with regard to publishing the names of accused clergy.  I hope that other dioceses and religious orders will review our new policy and consider making similar information available to the public to the extent they have not already done so.”

Bishop Accountability and SNAP

Terrence McKiernan, founder of BishopAccountability.org, is featured prominently in the Globe article. Yet oddly, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who wrote the Globe story tells us virtually nothing about McKiernan, or about his organization.  Who is McKiernan?  It is virtually impossible to find much about his background anywhere. This piece from the SNAP 2009 Conference brochure describes him as follows:

Terence McKiernan founded BishopAccountability.org in 2003 and is the organization’s president. Terry holds master’s degrees in Classics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Bristol in England. Before his involvement in the church crisis, he was an academic editor and a consulting firm manager.

What led to his “involvement in the church crisis”?  Various web searches turn up Terence McKiernan, 57, of Natick, and Terence McKiernan-White, a former copy editor for the Cornell University Press.  But why does the Globe not share whatever other credentials and background that give him credibility and standing to be quoted in matters of Church governance, besides McKiernan’s self-appointment as the “president” of BishopAccountability.org?  And who exactly are the main sources of funding for BishopAccountability.org?  What is their budget?  How is McKiernan compensated?

Then there is the matter of the agendas of McKiernan and his SNAP colleagues.  BCI and others have said it appears they will never be satisfied.

This September article from Our Sunday Visitor,”Report Questions Motives of Clerical Sex Abuse Victim’s Groups” bears reading. Here are a few excerpts:

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and their allies have “decided to wage war on the Catholic Church,” says a report released last month by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Catholic League President William A. Donohue said he sent two trusted friends in July to observe SNAP’s national conference in Washington D.C. What they reported back, said Donohue, was an event marred by open hostility toward the Catholic Church.

“For three days, people were talking about an evil institution,” he told Our Sunday Visitor…

Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston attorney who has represented abuse victims, also reportedly said, “This immoral entity, the Catholic Church, should be defeated. We must stand up and defeat this evil.” Garabedian did not return a message from OSV seeking comment.

The Catholic League report says McKiernan “went on a rant” against Archbishop Dolan, accusing him of refusing to release a list of 55 “predator priests” and saying he hoped to “find ways of sticking it to [Dolan].”

McKiernan — who told OSV he is an orthodox Catholic who attends Mass, prays the Rosary and goes to confession — said he may have been “too opinionated” in his Dolan comments, but stood by his statement that the archbishop is not releasing names of accused priests.

McKiernan is a regular speaker at SNAP Conferences.  SNAP, of course, has their own problems, like issuing a press statement Aug 10, 2011 to attack a falsely accused priest after he has been legally exonerated and the alleged victim found to have fabricated claims. (“The defense [for Rev. Borowec] produced evidence at trial that demonstrated the complaining witness fabricated the charges and was seeking attention with intent to obtain money from the church. Prior to trial, the prosecutor suppressed evidence regarding the complaining witness’s mental health history and prior false allegations she made against another priest”).

Here are a few pieces from TheMediaReport.com on BishopAccountability.org and SNAP:

Glaring Hypocrisy From SNAP in Penn State Abuse Story
“Do As I Say, Not …”
November 2011 -

Bravo! Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas Slams SNAP
“My take is that they have a hatred toward the Church. Their mission is no longer to assist victims, but is to strike at the Church and wound the Church.”
-October 2011-

SNAP Misleads Public On False Accusations – Again
More frustrating dishonesty from SNAP.
-October 2011-

No Fairness For Innocent Priests at BishopAccountability.org
Tarnished. (w/UPDATE: Anti-Church site admits “error”!)
-September 2011-

Have Michael Rezendes or the Globe reported any of this information?   No.

Has the Boston Globe ever reported anything about those priests falsely accused of abuse–and the devastation to their lives and health that come from false accusations aired publicly?  No.

BCI will close by re-running this excerpt from the piece by George Weigel (“Scoundrel Times)” in First Things:

Yet in a pattern exemplifying the dog’s behavior in Proverbs 26:11, the sexual abuse story in the global media is almost entirely a Catholic story, in which the Catholic Church is portrayed as the epicenter of the sexual abuse of the young, with hints of an ecclesiastical criminal conspiracy involving sexual predators whose predations continue today. That the vast majority of the abuse cases in the United States took place decades ago is of no consequence to this story line. For the narrative that has been constructed is often less about the protection of the young (for whom the Catholic Church is, by empirical measure, the safest environment for young people in America today) than it is about taking the Church down—and, eventually, out, both financially and as a credible voice in the public debate over public policy. For if the Church is a global criminal conspiracy of sexual abusers and their protectors, then the Catholic Church has no claim to a place at the table of public moral argument.

BCI is sending this blog post to Mr. Rezendes at the Boston Globe. His email is rezendes@globe.com. At the end of this post, where it says, “Share this,” do us a favor today. Click on the graphic that says, “email” and send a copy of this post to Mr. Rezendes.  Or, better still, copy and paste the post into a new email, and ask Michael one question: When are you going to run a spotlight series about sexual abuse of children in Massachusetts public schools and call for the public release of names of public school teachers with credible claims of sexual abuse against them?  While you are at it, also send a copy to Martha Coakley <ago@state.ma.us>  and ask her the same question.

Let us know if you get a response.

29 Responses to Boston Globe: alleged accusers left off list

  1. Mark Frances says:

    I would say that this is one of your better posts. I have extensive experience in the public school system. I have knowledge of an extensive list of “sins”. I made an anonymous report and was sued for “defamation of character” when the report was turned over to the supposed perpetrators.

  2. George C. says:

    The Boston Globe doesn’t care a whit about the protection of children or about victims of child sexual abuse. They care primarily about taking the Catholic church down, as George Weigel said.

    BCI, you’re once again done a tremendous service to the Catholic church and Archdiocese of Boston by writing and publishing what most Catholics are thinking but no one else in the hierarchy of this God-forsaken diocese has the courage to say. Thank you for your continuing efforts.

  3. Alice Slattery says:

    Perhaps an important reason why public school employees who engage in sex acts with youth, who are students, are not reported and, therefore, are not the subject of the Globe reporters, is because of the attitude of the leaders in the Mass. Dept. of Public Health. In a Bay Windows article:”HIV in youth on rise” by Ethan Jacobs (July 10,2003), when Kevin Cranston was asked about the reason why young people from age 13 to 24″ made up an increasingly larger segment of the population diagnosed with HIV”, Jacobs stated:
    “Kevin Cranston, the deputy of the HIV/AIDS Bureau,said that young gay men are at particular risk for contracting HIV when they seek out partners in the adult gay community. The higher rate of HIV infection among older gay men in Massachusetts, many of whom Cranston says are experiencing “prevention fatigue” and are less careful about practicing safer sex, puts youth at greater risk for contracting the virus when they choose adult partners.”
    After I read this, I heard Dr.Jean Flatley McGuire,Director of the DPH HIV/AIDS Bureau, being interviewed on Channel 2 TV about whether, when minor youth who test positive for HIV, if their parents are told and if there is a report to any legal authority that someone engaged in sex with a minor. She said “NO” to both questions. I then wrote to the Atty. General’s office(Tom Reilly at the time) to ask why this was happening. Kurt N. Schwartz,Asst. Atty. Gen., responded and wrote that “it is a criminal offense for an adult(or anyone) to engage in sexual intercourse with a child.” But he further stated:”that confidentiality statutes preclude the HIV/AIDS Bureau from disseminating biographical information it obtains.”(letter of July 30,2003). He also stated:”these matters more squarely fall within the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Health rather than the Office of the Attorney General.”(letter of Aug. 5,2003).
    By the way, Kevin Cranston is now the Director of Infectious Disease at Mass. Dept. of Public Health.
    It would seem that under the circumstances of a youth testing positive for HIV in a school clinic or any clinic under the jurisdiction of the Mass. Dept. of Public Health, it would be very difficult ,in the case of a school department employee engaging in sex with such a youth ,to be found out. Even the parents of the youth are not told by the clinic personnel that their child contracted HIV from someone.
    This response may not be sufficiently within the focus of this comment section, so disregard it if that is the case.

  4. Dave Burns says:

    Why?

    Because no other group, company, church, organization has a record of systematic hiding and whitewashing child endangerment from the top down, throughout the world.

    Public schools, et al, do have terrible incidents, but typically do not enjoy the infrastructure of deceit that is employed by our Church, and child rapists are typically brought to justice.

    This conspiracy of coverup which has contirbuted significantly to the hemmorhage of 30 million of the lapsed in the last few years in the U.S., alone, is still not solved. Witness Finn, Rigali, and others. Law and Mahony are only two of a dirty laundry list of enablers guilty of the ruin of so many youth and none have even been excommunicated; instead they are rewarded.

    By the way, comparative scandal is always a bad policy.

    ‘You wonder why so many of us have walked away in disgust?

    • BobofNewtn says:

      A good and accurate blod, Dave. I totally agree!

    • George C. says:

      Dave,
      The data referenced in the post suggests you’re wrong–it’s simply that the press has not gone after other organizations.or churches and put them in the limelight. Public schools DO enjoy a greater infrastructure of deceit. Look at what Alice has just written.

      I just read this article:

      http://newsbusters.org/blogs/dave-pierre/2011/11/20/boston-globe-keeps-anti-catholic-reputation-thriving

      Imagine if a newspaper disproportionately and endlessly harped upon decades-old crimes committed by black people. Even if the stories were all true, people would be rightfully outraged at the paper’s overt racism in consistently and repeatedly targeting the past misdeeds of people of one particular race. The public would never allow such blatant bigotry.

      Such a comparison can be applied to the Boston Globe and the Catholic Church, except this bigotry is real, and there is no public outrage.

      Today (Sun., 11/20/11), the Globe has a ridiculous, top-of the-front-page, 2,444-word article bashing the Catholic Church.

      Three months ago, in August, the Archdiocese of Boston released a sweeping list on the Internet of all of its priests who were accused of abuse. Much to the consternation of many priests, the list even included those who have been exonerated.

      Today’s article profiles complaints by critics of the Church that the archdiocese’s lists did not include the names of accused members of religious orders and members of other dioceses. Fair enough.

      But today’s Globe article is remarkably dishonest for a number of reasons.

      First, the objection by Church critics (about not releasing the names of religious order priests) was already widely aired and reported three months ago. Today’s Globe article simply rehashes this exact same issue with the addition of some different names. In fact, the themes and content of today’s hit piece are virtually indistinguishable from an article in August – by the very same Globe writer!

      Second, the article profiles the case of a Rev. Czeslaw “Chet” Szymanski. The article quotes an anonymous accuser to give the false impression that the man was a known abuser. The Globe makes no mention of the fact that Fr. Chet was killed in a car crash in 1987 without any public accusations against him whatsoever, and his first accuser did not surface until 2009. (In nearly two decades of relentlessly pursuing the issue of abuse in the Catholic Church, the Globe has never cared to fully explore the issue of abuse accusations against previously unblemished and long-deceased clerics.)

      Third, the article features a shifty individual by the name of Terence W. McKiernan, who runs a high-profile web site called BishopAccountability.org.

      BishopAccountability.org will publicly post the names, pictures, and cases of accused priests, no matter how flimsy the allegations may be. A lone individual could invoke the discredited theory of “repressed memory” to lodge an allegation against a long-deceased priest with a previously unblemished record, and BishopAccountability.org will still do everything in its power to post the priest’s name and picture on its site as if the cleric were a convicted child molester.

      Again, this dubious practice has never seemed to be an issue that concerns the Boston Globe

      Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/dave-pierre/2011/11/20/boston-globe-keeps-anti-catholic-reputation-thriving#ixzz1eHau1wkw

    • Carolyn says:

      Dear Dave,

      The rape of children is never something to defend. The systemic non-admission of this criminal tragedy among town sports teams, public schools, scouting, Big Brother/Big Sister and countless boarding schools and camps, comprises an enormous swath of institutions that have somehow enabled the behavior, in addition to every religion in existence.

      So you’re wrong. Ask the headmasters of Andover, Exeter, Holderness, Hotchkiss, Salisbury, Concord Academy, Worcester Academy and Fessenden. And those are all within a two-hour drive of Boston. Every institution that has unwittingly or cooperatively enabled the abuse of children has handled it the same way: settle the complaints with confidential, legally binding settlements, and dismiss the perpetrator — never warning the next place the perp will land. This is true of EVERY institution. What’s remarkable is that, of all the institutions who woke up in 2002 and realized the fallacy in that practice, Penn State thought it was different.

      RCAB listed the RCAB priests who were accused. The Jesuits need to release their own list, as do the Passionists, the Franciscans, and so on. But at the same time, why not the boarding schools? Why not the public schools? Why not the other religions and institutions that bear this grave crime? Why do their perps walk away and find jobs with kids again?

      Where’s the transparency from other institutions that begins to compare to the list RCAB has provided?

    • Jennifer says:

      “By the way, comparative scandal is always a bad policy.”

      Intelligent people rarely use the words “always” and “never.”

      Actually, comparative analysis is “key” in this matter.

      Why is it “key” David? It is key because the Boston Globe,
      represents itself as a source of “news” not fiction

      By purposely excluding data to slant the topic is dishonest, and,
      sounds potentially dangerous for youngsters.

      In other words, Dave, if the reality is that there is no true safe haven
      for children in public schools: It is horrendous to allow parents to be lulled into a false sense of security when one knows better.

      Shame on them

  5. BobofNewtn says:

    I sent an email to him at The Globe and will let you know if I get a response. BTW, I am still awaiting a response from the emails I sent to Rome at your suggestion.

    I referred Mr. Rezendes to this website so that he can see the text and the replies.

    Also, BTW, I think his work should be commended and he no doubt saved an entire later generation from abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic Priests. Were it not for him, Judges Moriarty and McHugh, lawyers like Garabedian, Durso and others and papers like The Globe and The Herald, the coverup would still be going on today.

    • Objective Observer says:

      Let’s not forget the $33.8 million that Garabedian pocketed in the first round of Boston settlements. Why could he not have donated half of that back to a fund to benefit victims? Would $17 million not have been enough for him?

      • BobofNewtn says:

        Hi – Given the fact of the status of the victims involved in these multiple lawsuits, I am loathe to criticize the payments that were made to Attorney Garabedian as part of the settlements negotiated by the lawyers for the RCAB. I also am loathe to criticize the legal fees paid by Boston Catholics to the Rogers Law firm and to J. Owen Todd (the latter who is a very capable attorney). Both your and my posts are off subject so let’s return to the Globe’s treatment of the RCAB!

      • Michael says:

        But you don’t realize how traumatic it must be for the attorneys to have to accept 1/3 of all of the money. It is such a tough job … they really do deserve to take as much money as they can from their injured clients. Without Garabedian … would there really be any justice in the world? No. At least that’s what he keeps telling himself.

        As far as whether Owen Todd is a “good” lawyer … certainly if you ask him. But here is a question … where was he when the most obvious legal fraud was happening in Massachusetts? Where was he when the basic foundation of society was being undermined? Where was his brilliant legal mind? Where is his memo? Where is his analysis of what actually happened “legally speaking” in Massachusetts? Does he even know what I am referring to? He was awol during the most important issue regarding the Catholic church in centuries. I guess my point is … there is a difference between being “good at marketing yourself as a good lawyer” and actually being “a good lawyer.” It’s kind of like the difference between being a good Catholic and claiming to be.

    • Boston Catholic Insider says:

      A BCI reader has just received a response by the Globe and copied BCI on the message.

      The reporter said, “I have been inundated with messages about my story in the Sunday Globe and am still making my way through all the correspondence.”

      >>>Sorry about that, Michael.

      “Otherwise, I have to say that your assertion that the Globe is ignoring sexual abuse in institutions other than the Catholic Church is simply not accurate. To cite but one example: not long ago I wrote a page one story about the problem of sexual abuse of minors in the Orthodox Jewish community.”

      >>>One story, in July 2010. Here is what the London Telegraph said about the problem of sexual abuse of minors in the Orthodox Jewish community:

      “As with the Roman Catholic hierarchy, the mechanism to preserve a wholesome public image has meant abusers and paedophiles have been protected, excused and shuffled from community to community.”

      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/juliankossoff/100026836/sexual-abuse-the-orthodox-jewish-communitys-devastating-secret/

      “Also, the Globe’s stories about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church concern an institutional effort to cover up that abuse at the highest levels of the organization.”

      >>>And no other institution has been covering up sexual abuse at the highest levels of the organization?

  6. DHO says:

    What continues to have me seething is the addition of good priests, who had no finding ( I think exonerated is a better word for it: but, who am I?) to that list published in the GLOBE. Hey, Cardinal Seah, you can’t have it both ways! Haven’t heard another peep about the retired Boston teacher who was picked up in the sex sting have we? The fact that he continued to work for TWO years after TWO arrests boggles my mind. I wonder how many others are wandering around abusing kids and we don’t get a heads up about that?

  7. DHO says:

    OOPs; insert ‘added’ after (). After all, I AM a retired BPS teacher, married to a retired BPS teacher and the mother of a BPS teacher. We gotta have standards, here.

  8. qclou says:

    this is one of the more memorable posts IMHO, the Globe and its chief dealer in muck stirring need to choose another target . They apparently think constantly hitting on a sensitive story with lots of ‘history’ is easier than doing REAL investigating work.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Someones done the homework:

    Please see this website: BadBadTeacher.com

    The priests do not have a union.

  10. JRBreton says:

    Here are a few issues which everyone neglects on the topic of sex-abuse.
    1. Many of the victims appear to be mentally ill. As such they make an easy target for the predators. Though the abuse would worsen the illness, it may very well be that absent the abuse many of the victims would nevertheless be experiencing significant emotional problems. Yet no one seems to be willing to investigate this aspect.

    2. The priesthood is the premier profession, before teaching, doctoring, lawyering, engineering, etc. As such priests should be held to a much higher standard. To compare rates of priestly abuse with those of teachers, for example, smacks of exculpation. Surely abuses by teachers should be reported and prosecuted (and very often are though perhaps not not by the Globe) but let’s not make the tawdry comparisons between professions.
    3. The Church in Boston refuses to acknowledge the money angle. Our predator priests wined and dined their victims. Where did the money come from? You can be pretty sure it did not come out the personal assets of the predators. Was it stolen from the parishes? Were the predators also thieves? Are misappropriated moneys the seed-bed of the sexual abuses?
    4. I have little patience with the argument that we have cleaned house as evidenced by the miniscule number of reported recent cases. That really is grasping at straws. In many cases of sexual abuse the victim is flattered by the abusers, even appears to welcome and enjoy the abuse. Only after many years of maturing does the victim begin to realize the true dimensions of the crime. This principle is recognized both in civil and canon law. Both systems recognized that the accountability for the crime needs to extend at least a decade beyond the actual date of commission. In other words, the crimes being committed in 2011 won’t likely surface before 2021. We needn’t be so smug about the latest figures.

    I’m afraid that so long as the bishops refuse to look at this problem realistically and thoroughly, they will never be able to repel the critics charge that they are only dodging.

    • BobofNewtn says:

      I agree with your post JRBreton. Whatever the sins of commission or omission the Globe has committed in the eyes of the posters here, our fellow posters somehow refuse to acknowledge that but for the crimes committed by our creepo clergy and their criminal enablers, we would be here today screaming about St. Cecilia’s parish bulletin and Mary O’Neill’s salary and its damning effect on 17% of the members of the RCAB!

      BTW, I, too, received a response to my email to Michael Rezendes. However, still no response to my emails to Rome! Has anyone gotten one?

      • Bobof Newtn,

        BCI acknowledges the crimes committed by the clergy. These crimes have been acknowledged since 2002–nearly ten years. Who is not acknowledging them?

        The point that BCI made with our post is that there is apparently a double-standard. The criticism against the Catholic Church and this archdiocese by the Boston Globe today, in 2011, is disproportionate not only to the current problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, but is also disproportionate to the attention and criticism given to the problem of sexual abuse in other organizations.

        For example, based on the emails forwarded to us, the Boston Globe has not responded at all to the question of whether they have made any attempt at investigating the problem of sexual abuse in public schools or in state-run homes, and if not, why not. Nor have they addressed the question of why apparently they feel only the Catholic Church need make public a list of clergy against whom public claims of sexual abuse have been made, but other organizations need not do the same for their employees.

        Bob, as for you receiving a response from Rome, do yourself a favor and do not hold your breath waiting–you told us on Nov. 12 that you specifically decided to NOT send a message to Rome!:

        http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/vatican-s-o-s-ask-for-stronger-epispocal-leadership-in-boston/#comment-4678 BobofNewtn says: November 12, 2011 at 7:44 am

        “Hi – I declined to sign the message to the Vatican because I could not agree with several of the charges contained therein.”

        You damage your own credibility here by asking for a response from Rome to a message you acknowledge you never sent.

        But even if you were among the hundreds who sent messages, just to again set expectations, it is extremely unlikely anyone will get a personal response. We said previously, that is not how these Vatican dicasteries work. We are sending messages to people and organizations who are not in the practice of corresponding with the general public. We are bringing certain matters to their attention–and in sufficient volume that it is impossible for them to *not* notice that faithful Catholics are raising concerns. How the Vatican intends to deal with these issues is not something readers can expect to see in a personal letter or email back. It will happen behind the scenes. Bob, please do yourself and all readers a favor and stop wondering and asking if personal responses from the Vatican will be forthcoming, as they simply will not.

      • BobofNewtn says:

        Hi BCI – I did not sign your letter and you know that full well because I assume you monitored the transmission on the SOS emails. I sent a separate email to some addresses I had. Sorry for the confusion.

      • Bob, Thanks for clarifying. With help from technically-savvy colleagues, we provide a Web-based infrastructure that makes it easy for people to send the messages, but we do not monitor the transmission on the SOS emails. Although a log is kept on the server of email addresses that sent the letter, we have not looked at it. We do not have the time to do so. We also can check the approximate number of fax transmissions attempted and we know it is several hundred.

        Based on your most recent comment, you seem to greatly over-estimate both our technical sophistocation and our time available for this blog. More troubling is how you made a definitive-sounding statement like, “you know that full well because I assume you” did such-and-such, when you are quite wrong with your accusation. Our response to you on this thread was based on the simple fact that you publicly commented on Nov. 12 that you were not sending a message. We remembered your comment and our response. Since you publicly declared you were not signing our letter, it seemed odd you were complaining that you got no response. Simple.

    • Mack says:

      JR, your points have merit, but on point 4 I think you are overlooking the evidence at the decrease in abuse. As Weigel points out, the spike in abuse cases went through the mid 80s and declined thereafter. That was 25 years ago, ample time by your own timetable for victims to come forward. There is also a great difference in the way abuse cases are handled now. For example, a few years ago a recently-ordained priest from Columbia raped a young girl. It was reported right away and he was immediately arrested and is now in jail–no wait of 10 years. There was no attempt to try and protect him from legal charges. To ignore these differences between now and a few decades ago makes it seem like you are not acknowledging the changes that have been made.

    • GoodTeacher says:

      Teachers and Nurses, are mostly female dominated professions, and,
      many have the support and protections of a union.

      Furthermore, the press does not delight in exposing their stupidity (i.e. 72% Aspiring teachers fail math portion of licensing exam in 2009 ) and/or criminal behavior.

  11. GoodTeacher says:

    BadBadTeacher.com is still up and running. Yes, the guy got exhausted
    logging all of the entries (imagine the effort required without the
    press “helping” )

    If you go to this website, it is very well organized and if you look on the right hand side of the page, all of the information is categorized by both
    the subject taught (HA HA) and/or by state.

  12. BobofNewtn says:

    I did not want to miss the opportunity to say to you BCI – Happy Thanksgiving and to my associated posters – Happy Thanksgiving as well. Travel safely, eat hearty, and return soon! Best to all.

  13. bill bannon says:

    We are a more astounding target because we tell the world what is moral in the bedroom and our priests receive the Eucharist daily. Public school teachers don’t preach to the world about bedroom morals nor do they receive Christ and then straightway sin the same day heinously. That’s why we are the story.

    We need detail as to what is meant by abuse in each study. 100 times more abuse in public schools seems rediculous unless the parameters were far different than those used in studies of Catholic schools.
    For example, are female seniors in public high schools being asked if they ever received unwanted flirtatious remarks from staff which includes young teacher’s assistants (10K a year workers) whose age difference vis a vis the girls is less than that which was probable between Joseph and Mary. Are these flirtatious remarks being counted as abuse? If so, is that hundred fold figure dropping quickly as we examine what is being counted as abuse? Too little detail and nuance in these harangues of ours.
    Is the present Catholic safety real or temporary precisely due to media concentrating on us. If a 16% figure for gay clergy is accurate (Andrew Greeley in a 2004 book on priesthood in crisis) how safe can we be….even allowing for some of those men being men striving for chastity? What percent will fail morally in the long run?
    Our authors did this same thing with the Inquisition….it wasn’t so bad because Protestants burned people also. Yet none of us try this in confession….” Father, I robbed a bank but non Catholics rob banks also.”

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