Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Catholic Media?

A commenter at Rod Dreher's blog makes a very interesting comment ...

If Catholics can’t trust the NY Times to report well on the sex abuse crisis, then Catholics should be doing it themselves. However, if a Catholic media reporter had investigated and published the story about Bishop Finn, Catholics would be calling for that reporter’s excommunication. Catholic media can report stories, but actually investigate and help root out evil from the hierarchy? I can’t imagine it, never mind that no Catholic source would publish it. Maybe there are papers out there I haven’t read.

1 comment:

Joey Higgins said...

As witnessed first hand on this blog...

While I am 100% for rooting out abusers, I could see some difficulty that would need to be worked out with such an approach. The natural reaction of people is to defend priests/people they know from accusations of any type when they know the person to be good or perceive them to be good - completely normal. They may know of people that have been falsely accused and may be aware that many rape accusations target the incorrect individual (as high as 40% incorrect in some studies). This isn't to say that the victim is lying or not a victim, just that there is a lot of error in getting the right person that can occur. People may also react to the news media plastering "ACCUSED SEX OFFENDER" for all to see even if the person is actually innocent; they rarely report on the DNA Evidence that exonerated the falsely convicted.

There was a pastor at the church that I went to that was accused and I believe that he was innocent because of how he handled it (told people to call the police if there were issues with him, etc, told everyone about the accusation when it happened), but, as someone without any information about what actually happened - I couldn't really give an informed opinion.

That caution stated, this is a completely different issue than protecting people that there are valid accusations against - I was just trying to hash out the ramifications or some difficulties with reporting abuses.

Should we self report since there is obviously some kind of information gap? Yes. How can we do it while protecting victims but also the innocence of falsely accused individuals? I do not know the answer to that.