The editorial of the Philadelphia Inquirer, published on the 19th of November made a comment about sexual abuse cases in the US. It stated that there had been “sexual-abuse scandals at other institutions … including public schools, universities, other religious organizations, the media, politics and Hollywood, but nowhere has the abuse been as widespread and accountability so disregarded [as in the Catholic Church].” Catholic League president Bill Donohue vigorously refuted the statement, citing data that clearly proves the editorial to be unfounded.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue says in his opinion article that the Philadelphia Inquirer’s statement, according to which “nowhere has the abuse been as widespread and accountability so disregarded,” as in the Catholic Church is “scurrilous.” He goes on to say that:
“sexual misconduct is a ubiquitous phenomenon, sparing no institution. Moreover, it is hardly unique to our age. Yet by reading news stories, as well as commentaries by pundits, this would not be so evident. These sources would have us believe that the Catholic Church is the worst offender. There is no evidence to support this claim.”
“How in the world could any newspaper, or for that matter any social scientist, make such a statement? Where is the comparative data?” – asks Donohue.
In fact, the only data available on public schools comes from journalists at the Associated Press and USA Today. They found in 2007 and 2016 respectively that sexual abuse in elementary and secondary schools is widespread. What is even more alarming is that accountability in these institutions is still lacking.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League
“Passing the trash”—moving teachers that molest children from one school district to another—is still going on. This is in contrast to the Catholic Church where this practice was already prohibited by Benedict XVI, given that in the past, some bishops were guilty of moving offending priests to other parishes. Such actions are no longer tolerated, and zero tolerance policies have been put in place by the Catholic Church.
Some stories about sexual abuse in educational institutions do get published. We know from a research institute at Georgetown University that 42 teachers in Pennsylvania lost their license to teach because of sexual misconduct in 2017.
Ironically the Pennsylvania grand jury report on the Catholic Church mainly noted cases from the last century, yet failed to highlight recent abuse cases in the state’s own public schools.
Donohue goes on citing hard facts regarding sexual abuse cases that are widespread in several school districts in different states, at Google and in Hollywood, noting that the facts he refers to are all recent.
Again, Donohue’s reporting does not seem to interest the liberal media outlets in the United States. It would appear they are more interested in attacking the Catholic Church than in ensuring the wellbeing of their innocent underage co-patriots.
You can read the full article here.