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Media heads like Bill Donohue and Fr. James Martin both admit they had heard rumors for years concerning the sexual abuse of seminarians by former Cdl. Theodore McCarrick — yet neither bothered to get involved.
Father Martin, editor of America Magazine, wrote an article in July admitting that he'd heard stories for years concerning McCarrick's sexual escapades:
Over the past few years, I had heard stories about Cardinal (then Bishop and Archbishop) McCarrick's summer home, where he would invite (or suborn or force) seminarians to share a bed with him, massage them and invite them to call him "Uncle Ted." But at the time they were unsubstantiated rumors, and I knew no one with any first-hand knowledge.
Another question: Why would journalists at a premier Catholic magazine (James Martin, Thomas Reese, etc.) fail for many years to investigate serious abuse allegations that they heard about a senior cleric in the American Church? We should acknowledge that many, many people with responsibilities, not just bishops, have utterly betrayed our trust. … [T]he Catholic press is cynically uninterested in discussing their own failings in this mess.
Meanwhile, Donohue, head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, says he too heard of the many rumors pointing out McCarrick's nefarious deeds but did nothing. He downplays the sexual abuse crisis saying it's no longer important.
The problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church occurred mostly between 1965 and 1985. Now that it is harder for practicing homosexuals to enter the priesthood … there is no need for the annual study. To be sure, the training programs and screening procedures that have worked so well should continue, but it makes no sense to waste money on a study of this magnitude any longer. Indeed, it only feeds the erroneous perception that the problem continues unabated. This is not our problem anymore. We need to have the guts to say so.
Watch the panel discuss the need for independent Catholic reporting in The Download—Complicit Media.
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