It's one of the biggest stories of the year: an alleged cover-up of a perverted priest and his massive embezzlement scheme, and a parish suing its own archbishop out of sheer desperation — all of this taking place in the most important see in North America — New York — with its highest-ranking prelates implicated. But if you only follow the Catholic establishment media, you may have never heard of it at all.
Out of all the major Catholic news outlets, only a few token stories were published on the Fr. Peter Miqueli scandal. Some outfits, like highly prominent EWTN, haven't published anything at all.
The lack of interest in this story is particularly astonishing given its huge implications. The Miqueli scandal is a direct challenge to the narrative that the establishment has cleaned up its act in the wake of the homosexual sex abuse crisis. Catholics following the story have learned that when faced with potential embarrassment, the archdiocese of New York falls back on its old ways: misdirection, empty promises, even alleged retaliation against whistleblowers.
When one considers to whom EWTN and her sister organizations are beholden, the reason for the silence becomes apparent. EWTN, which owns National Catholic Register, Catholic News Agency and others, has Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput on its governing board — a prelate who has shown himself loath to discuss scandals in the Church that implicate the U.S. bishops in general or himself personally.
Many other news outlets are either financed directly by the establishment, or rely on them for access. As long as these media outfits don't criticize the bishops, they'll happily grant interviews, welcome them into their dioceses where they can hold conferences, offer speaking gigs, and sell their books. As long as these media outfits avoid any topics that could be potentially embarrassing to the bishops or implicate them in wrongdoing, they can maintain access to the hierarchy and continue with their programming undisturbed. To do otherwise would essentially mean an end to their existence.
To the millions of Catholics in New York, and the many millions more across the United States, the Fr. Miqueli story is one of tremendous importance, and is only the latest highlighting the failure of the Catholic establishment media to investigate and expose corruption within the hierarchy. It's only the rise of faithful, independent Catholic media that can hold our leaders accountable, for the good of the Church and for the good of souls.