National Catholic Register


Questioning the Media’s Timing on Abuse Stories

BY Tim Drake

| Posted 3/16/10 at 6:27 PM


Call me distrustful, but isn’t the media’s timing regarding the European sexual abuse allegations suspect? Haven’t we been through all of this before?

As a journalist, I can’t help but wonder, why didn’t we hear about all of these allegations - in Ireland and Germany and Austria - back in 2001 when the Boston Globe and so many other media outlets were overturning every rock in their search to report on the decades-old sexual abuse crisis?

Isn’t the timeline in the European stories similar to that in the U.S., with the preponderance of abuse happening between 1960 and 1980?

The Church, especially in recent years, has done more than nearly any other organization I am aware of, to protect against sexual abuse.

I can’t help but wonder if the motive for the press’ current coverage hasn’t been to 1) silence the Church, 2) undermine the authority of the Pope, and 3) distract people from the U.S. Bishops’ opposition to the healthcare bill.

By comparison, what, if anything, has the public school system done to protect children?

The rate of sexual abuse in the public school system has been shown to be considerably higher than it is in the Church, and yet we have few if any media stories exploring how the public school system is protecting children from sexual abuse.

No matter how you look at it, there’s a clear bias.

Dragging Pope Benedict XVI’s name into it, as the New York Times and others have done, goes only to prove my first two points. My third point is speculative, but may not be too far off the mark, for who has been more vocal against the healthcare bill than the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops?

What better way to sully the Church than to drag it through additional abuse accusations?

Because the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ, teaches traditional morality, and its members submit themselves to a hierarchical, fraternal authority, it will always be a target of the secular media. The world rejected Christ; it will reject His Church as well.