Catholic News Agency Canceling Victims

News: US News
by Christine Niles  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 27, 2022   

Erasing comments, misreporting facts

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Catholic News Agency is under fire for deleting a victim's comments and whitewashing clerics' legacies of abuse cover-up.

On Friday, Catholic News Agency (CNA) published an article titled "Cardinal Robert McElroy: Newest (and youngest) American ‘red hat’ a kindred spirit of Pope Francis." It minimized the San Diego prelate's history of ignoring allegations against disgraced homosexual predator Theodore McCarrick. It also entirely omitted any mention of McElroy's reinstatement to ministry of sexual predator Fr. Jacob Bertrand — a San Diego priest who confessed in 2014 to ritual abuse of a young woman in his spiritual charge, Rachel Mastrogiacomo.

In spite of knowing of his confession, McElroy put him back into priestly ministry within months of his arrival in San Diego as bishop in 2015. He left Bertrand at his parish assignment until 2016, when Mastrogiacomo reported Bertrand's crimes to Minnesota police (where the rapes occurred) and the Dakota County district attorney brought criminal charges. 

Only then did McElroy suspend Bertrand from ministry. The priest pleaded guilty to third-degree rape in 2018, afterwards laicized by the diocese.

The story is covered in detail in Church Militant's Special Report: The Devil in Rome.

Erasing a Victim

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The warning given to Rachel Mastrogiacomo

on CNA's Facebook page

On Saturday, Mastrogiacomo posted a comment on CNA's Facebook page asking why its article omitted mention of McElroy's cover-up of her abuse.

The CNA moderator deleted her comments within minutes.

Mastrogiacomo tried posting new comments, linking to articles that covered her story in the Wall Street Journal, Crux, Daily Beast, San Diego Tribune, Crisis and other news agencies.

She also offered to give an interview to CNA and allow it the chance to review all the police reports, court documents and other evidence from her story. Again, CNA deleted her comments, with an accompanying warning that her comments violated their "community standards."

"Catholics in the pews have little to no idea how corrupt 'Catholic' media is," Mastrogiacomo posted elsewhere on Facebook. "Thank you for giving me a voice, Christine Niles."


"Catholic priests, Catholic bishops and Catholic establishment media outlets have consistently told me through their actions that it would be better that I just disappear," she added.

"[S]urvivors of clergy sexual abuse who do in fact kill themselves do so because they've been told by representatives of Almighty God over and over and over again that they should not exist. They should just disappear." she noted.


In spite of being "erased" by CNA, Mastrogiacomo remains defiant: "No matter how hard I am bullied to the ground by the Church I love, I will not be erased from this story."

Canceling Anthony Gorgia

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Anthony Gorgia

The same news outfit has been called out for misreporting the facts and harming whistleblower Anthony Gorgia's legal case.

In a $25 million lawsuit, Gorgia is accusing Rome's Pontifical North American College (NAC) — through its former rector, Fr. Peter Harman — of retaliating against him for being a witness to homosexual grooming and predation.

A stellar student, Gorgia was quickly demoted and ousted from the NAC after he witnessed then-vice rector Fr. Adam Park showing inappropriate physical affection to a younger seminarian. Gorgia accuses New York's Cdl. Timothy Dolan of colluding with the NAC to retaliate against him and remove him from the seminary.

In addition to Harman's alleged misconduct at the NAC, he is also accused of being part of a homosexual ring in Springfield, Illinois, his home diocese. An eyewitness testifies to having taken part in a homosexual orgy in 2004, where Harman was present, along with then-Bp. George Lucas and a handful of high-ranking monsignors.

The details are covered in Church Militant's Spotlight: IL Orgy—the Rome Connection.

"Omission and misrepresentations of the full truth caused serious harm to my client," wrote Attorney Joseph Mulvey in an Aug. 8 letter to CNA.

He singled out a Jan. 18, 2022 article in which CNA "misled the public to believe that [Gorgia's] litigation was terminated."

He noted:

Further, the manner in which CNA presented [current NAC rector Msgr.] Powers' statement would cause any reasonable reader unfamiliar with the litigation to incorrectly conclude that the lawsuit had been "dismissed" owing to a lack of evidence supporting the allegations rather than questions of technicalities or jurisdiction.

As CNA is fully aware, the Judge's ruling had nothing to do with the merits of the case.

As a result of CNA's omissions, donations to Gorgia's legal fund have dropped sharply.

Mulvey also accuses the author, Hannah Brockhaus, of deliberately leaving out serious accusations against Harman: "Ms. Brockhaus was personally in receipt of copies of witness' affidavits after they were filed, and she was repeatedly offered opportunities to contact witnesses who could corroborate these allegations prior to publication. She chose not to do so."

CNA is owned by Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), and has a reputation for never criticizing the Church hierarchy. 

People can donate to Gorgia's legal fund here.

 

 

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