Pesky media, always getting so bothered about the sexual abuse of children.
Yes, yes, writes New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan: abuse is VERY BAD. But couldn’t the media just give the church a break already?
Friday’s headline, only the most recent, stings us again: “Doctor Asserts Church Ignored Abuse Warnings,” as the psychiatrist who treated the criminal, Dr. Werner Huth, blames the Church for not heeding his recommendations.
What adds to our anger over the nauseating abuse and the awful misjudgment in reassigning such a dangerous man, though, is the glaring fact that we never see similar headlines that would actually be “news”: How about these, for example?
– “Doctor Asserts He Ignored Abuse Warnings,” since Dr. Huth admits in the article that he, in fact, told the archdiocese the abusing priest could be reassigned under certain restrictions, a prescription today recognized as terribly wrong;
– “Doctor Asserts Public Schools Ignored Abuse Warnings,” since the data of Dr. Carol Shakeshaft concludes that the number of cases of abuse of minors by teachers, coaches, counsellors, and staff in government schools is much, much worse than by priests;
– “Doctor Asserts Judges (or Police, Lawyers, District Attorneys, Therapists, Parole Officers) Ignored Abuse Warnings,” since we now know the sober fact that no one in the healing and law enforcement professions knew back then the depth of the scourge of abuse, or the now-taken-for-granted conclusion that abusers of young people can never safely work closely with them again.
Dolan quotes “an international scholar on this subject at Johns Hopkins University” as saying that “Nobody is doing more to address the tragedy of sexual abuse of minors than the Catholic Church.”
“That, of course, is another headline you’ll never see,” concludes Dolan ruefully.