Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 3, 2009
RELIGION/POLITICS: The Anti-Catholic Times

Archbishop Dolan, the new Archbishop of New York, takes the gloves off regarding the New York Times' persistent anti-Catholicism and its role in the Left's larger public campaign against the Church (which is not to say that every Democrat is anti-Catholic, but when you encounter virulent hatred of the Catholic Church it's almost always from left-wingers, and when you encounter efforts to use the force of government against the Church, especially its ability to run schools and hospitals consistently with its teachings, it's almost always from the Democrats).

It's worth reading the whole thing. One example he cites is wholly typical of the double standard applied to sex-abuse cases, which the Left would have you believe is primarily a Catholic clergy problem; as Archbishop Dolan notes, this perception is fed mainly by playing up such cases in the Catholic Church while systematically downplaying such cases in other faiths, in the public schools, and elsewhere (contrast the defenders of Roman Polanski and Michael Jackson to the broad-brush treatment of the entire Church commonly meted out by anti-Catholic bigots):

On October 14, in the pages of the New York Times, reporter Paul Vitello exposed the sad extent of child sexual abuse in Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community. According to the article, there were forty cases of such abuse in this tiny community last year alone. Yet the Times did not demand what it has called for incessantly when addressing the same kind of abuse by a tiny minority of priests: release of names of abusers, rollback of statute of limitations, external investigations, release of all records, and total transparency. Instead, an attorney is quoted urging law enforcement officials to recognize "religious sensitivities," and no criticism was offered of the DA's office for allowing Orthodox rabbis to settle these cases "internally." Given the Catholic Church's own recent horrible experience, I am hardly in any position to criticize our Orthodox Jewish neighbors, and have no wish to do so . . . but I can criticize this kind of "selective outrage."

Of course, this selective outrage probably should not surprise us at all, as we have seen many other examples of the phenomenon in recent years when it comes to the issue of sexual abuse. To cite but two: In 2004, Professor Carol Shakeshaft documented the wide-spread problem of sexual abuse of minors in our nation's public schools (the study can be found here). In 2007, the Associated Press issued a series of investigative reports that also showed the numerous examples of sexual abuse by educators against public school students. Both the Shakeshaft study and the AP reports were essentially ignored, as papers such as the New York Times only seem to have priests in their crosshairs.

As he notes, there remains pending legislation in Albany to repeal the statute of limitations for sex-abuse cases against the Church, and of course - given the near-impossibility of defending such antique cases (this is why we have statutes of limitations in the first place) - this would be financially ruinous for the Church in many places at a time when it's already in financial straits during a recession. The Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware recently became the seventh US Diocese to file for bankruptcy. But that's precisely the point - it's why the bill pushed by the Democrats in Albany doesn't apply the same treatment to the public schools.

There are, of course, many valid criticisms of the Church's institutional handling of sex-abuse cases, but let us be serious: the critics on the social Left were never interested in those cases except as a club with which to beat the Church, as evidenced by their continuing disinterest in similar cases not involving the Catholic Church.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:23 PM | Politics 2009 • | Religion | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Great post.

When I point these things out, some people say "There you go again, defending those RC-clergy pervs!"

These people have a need to distance themselves from un-PC thoughts.

And they want to prevent someone else then present from saying the same thing before they can, lest their silence be thought to be consent to my points.

Posted by: From Inwood at November 3, 2009 1:22 PM

Re: sexual abuse in public schools.
Any allegations of principals or school boards moving sexual abusers out of districts and allowing them to be someone else's problem?
There's one good thing that came from the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandals. Those in the reality-based community no longer have to pretend that the Catholic Church has any moral standing whatsoever.

Posted by: Berto at November 3, 2009 1:48 PM

But then that was kind out the point all along, wasn't it Berto, discredit the Catholic Church to undercut it politically. Of course to do so, you in the so-called "reality based community" have to actually ignore reality, which is that the Catholic Church isn't the only institution to have a sex-abuse problem, and that public schools have actually had a worse problem.

Interesting that you try to refocus the question by suggesting that public schools didn't move abusers out of district (which isn't necessarily true, as simply letting them go without prosecution would effectuate the same result by allowing them to move to another school district). Even presuming your premise is true, how is moving them worse than the public schools leaving them in place (other than your opportunity to score cheap political points)?

Posted by: Paul H. at November 3, 2009 1:57 PM

Let's not allow Crank to confuse the issue about church-related scandals. The Catholic Church (at the highest levels) put their prestige and bounty (i.e $$$$) above the welfare of the children in their flock.
When it comes to the Catholic Church hierarchy, money trumps morality in a rout. Not. Even. Close.

Posted by: Berto at November 3, 2009 2:01 PM

Of course, the public school establishment, at least as guilty as the Church on this count, only fosters an abuse problem out of sheer incompetence. Money never figures into it, right Corky?

Posted by: spongeworthy at November 3, 2009 3:17 PM

Actually sex abuse in public schools in any recent year (sungular) is something like 400%-600% greater than all the combined allegations against priests over the last 50 plus years combined. There is somewhere between 200k-300k cases/instances inpublic schools every year. But since that doesn't support the lefty agenda and narrative-once again and as usual, the selective outrage from lefty drones.

It is really funny that the Catholic Church which provides probably more social services worldwide than anybody, is basically against war in almost every case, against military spending, against capital punishment, has a socialist outlook on economics and pretty much believes in infinite social spending-becomes in the "mind" of lefty drones-part of the right.

Of course, I am making the basic mistake that lefties actually are familar with facts and can logically reason. The reality is that in many cases they are the most intolerant, bigoted, frothing at the mouth loons in existence.

Posted by: dch at November 3, 2009 3:19 PM

Wow, I don't know how you guys get out of bed in the morning. After all, the vast left-wing conspiracy not only dominates the media to bury atories of child abuse in public schools, it also has designs on bankrputing the Catholic Church.

Is it that you enjoy being martyrs or is it just a psychological defense mechanism?

Sexual abuse of children, in whatever form, irrespective of location ought to be prosecuted without mercy. There should be no statute of limitations for sexual abuse of children and any effort that targets only the church is wrong.

In my view, the biggest problem for the church was that it actively hid the problem, protected the molesters and sought to make the victims feel as if they had done something wrong. Now, I'm sure there are examples of cover-ups in public schools, but the very nature of public education makes it impossible for their to have been a nationwide program similar to that followed across the country by the church.

As for the Shakeshafts study, there were some flaws in her methodology, including employing a definition of abuse so broad that it includes everything from intercourse to off-color jokes, makes her findings somewhat problematic.

Posted by: magrooder at November 3, 2009 3:38 PM

Magrooder, mainly we are able to get out of bed every morning because we are aware of, and can't be bothered to get upset about, the left-wing water-carrying of the media.

Nobody is trying to be a martyr here, we are simply pointing out the marked difference in treatment between sex-abuse scandals, which Berto has graciously admitted was purely a political attempt to marginalize the Catholic Church.

I certainly agree that sex-abuse should be prosecuted in all instances. Glad to see you agree that targeting the Church only in repeal of statutes of limitations is wrong. I'm not sure I agree with your comments regarding the substance of repealing statutes of limitations though, as prosecuting people for decades old claims creates the very real possibility of innocent people getting convicted. There have already been numerous false-claims against priests come out of the Church-abuse scandal. Statutes of limitations exist for a reason.

You are correct that the decentralized nature of public schools makes a program similar to the one in the Church scandal unlikely. However, that doesn't mean that there isn't a widespread practice of indifference or cover-up throughout public schools in the country.

I don't have enough information to comment on the Shakeshaft study, so I'll leave that to others.


Posted by: Paul H. at November 3, 2009 3:58 PM

I can understand that churches get more attention because of the sheer hypocrisy factor - these are the very institutions that promote morality. The question remains why the Catholic church should be singled out among churches.

Posted by: MVH at November 3, 2009 4:10 PM

"It is really funny that the Catholic Church which provides probably more social services worldwide than anybody, is basically against war in almost every case, against military spending, against capital punishment, has a socialist outlook on economics and pretty much believes in infinite social spending-becomes in the "mind" of lefty drones-part of the right."

I can see how that happens - the Church tends to spend a lot of its political influence on the abortion issue, so it's perceived as a right-leaning institution. But in terms of its members, it's hardly a monolithic block. As you note, there are plenty of liberal, "social justice" Catholics and also plenty that do not want to impose their abortion views on the rest of the nation.

Posted by: MVH at November 3, 2009 4:23 PM

"There are, of course, many valid criticisms of the Church's institutional handling of sex-abuse cases" Are you kidding valid criticisms, there is no way to defend the Church's behavior on this. They covered up for the Priests and made the victims feel responsible. I would suggest you do some research on sexual child abuse before you roll out the victim card for the Church that allowed it's own to prey on child in the most scared environment for decades. But, I think what is rich is how you can in clear conscience label the complaints as mere valid criticisms. But, then again the defense of everybody else is doing works as well. Child abuse is child abuse there is no moral high ground for comparison. If you allowed and condoned such heinous acts you have to deal with the repercussions. This should be filed under the to F'n bad deal with it.

Posted by: javaman at November 4, 2009 10:23 AM

Paul H.,
So let me get this right. The mainstream media, owned by private corporations, is a water-carrier for a President that many consider a Marxist who wants to kill capitalism's golden goose?
I stand in awe of the drooling idiocy you are able to write, and I look forward to your post about how 2+2=35.

BTW, I never said or intimated that I want to bankrupt the Catholic Church. Maybe you are confused in that I pointed out the Catholic Church is morally bankrupt.

Posted by: Berto at November 4, 2009 12:33 PM

Sell the Vatican and feed the world!
(hat tip to Sarah Silverman)

Posted by: Berto at November 4, 2009 12:50 PM

Berto, I have consistently resisted resorting to insults when responding to your posts. I can only presume your inability to do the same is indicative of the difficulty you are having coming up with a rebuttal to my points.

If I did want to stoop to insults, I might note that while you seem to think I can't add (I claim that unfortunately hits a little too close to home, I may have answered the 2 + 2 question incorrectly in my younger days), I'm beginning to question your reading comprehension. I never claimed you said or intimated you wanted to bankrupt the Catholic Church, I said you (and other left-wingers) wanted it to be discredited and undercut politically. I still haven't seen you deny that, nor do I think you will. Your fellow traveler Magrooder wrote the part about bankrupting the Church, a claim to which I did not respond.

Regarding the media, yes it is overhwlemingly left-wing. I never claimed it was socialist though, so nice straw-man argument. I fact, all I claimed was that conservatives are aware that the media is left-wing and that we can't be bothered to get upset about it. I guess I crossed the line with that statement huh? No wonder you departed from your usual decorum and described my posts as drooling idiocy. A nice, measured, well-reasoned response. Congratulations.

Posted by: Paul H. at November 5, 2009 11:44 AM

Paul H.,
The media isn't overwhelmingly left-wing. There are absolutely zero facts to back-up that charge.
The mainstream media in the US is owned by a handful of corporations. If you and your fellow conservatives who think the MSM is overwhelmingly left-wing want to make the case that the left-wing is better for corporate bottom lines than the right-wing, I'm all ears.
Ask your fellow conservatives why the liberal media chased Whitewater for 7+ years, but left the Downing Street Memos after 24 hours. NOTE: This is not a defense of Bill Clinton, it's just a way to show how the liberal-media performed a 7+ year witch hunt on a recent Democratic President, then blew-off the smoking gun of a recent Republican President's lies which led to the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocents. Seems an odd way for an overwhelmingly left-wing media to act, don't you think?

As for the Catholic Church, they have proven they have no moral standing whatsoever. I didn't discredit them and undercut them politically. They did. Through their actions.
They talk a good game about morality and how they love their flock as Jesus did, but at the highest levels of the Church they abandoned their flock (innocent children) to the whims of sexual predators to protect their name and their money.
If you don't think a group's actions can (and should) discredit them or undercut them politically, then show me your glowing review of Al-Quaeda and/ or the Taliban.

Posted by: Berto at November 6, 2009 2:46 PM
Site Meter 250wde_2004WeblogAwards_BestSports.jpg