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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Tuesday, June 18, 2002
2:16 PM

The gay veil continues in this afternoon update on the Catholic church sex-abuse scandal. The Post ran a poll on reactions to last weekend's meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

An overwhelming majority of Catholics say U.S. bishops still have not gone far enough to protect children from predatory priests and remain deeply divided over new guidelines to deal with sexually abusive clergymen, according to a new Washington Post survey.

Number of times abuse victims are described as "children": 4.
Number of times abuse victims are described as "boys": 0
Number of times "gay" or "homosexual" appears in this story: You're kidding, right?
Notion that this has nothing to do with mainstream media reflexively portraying gay citizens in the most positive light: Priceless.

No sign the poll asked if respondents felt if the scandal has anything to do with parts of a gay subculture running amok. They might not want to phrase it that way, but I think it's a worthy question.

Tell you what, though, here's another point:

More than eight in 10 Catholics and the public as a whole said bishops should resign if they ever had moved troubled priests from church to church rather than report them to authorities. Equally large majorities said these bishops should be removed by the church if they fail to voluntarily step down--action that some fear could decimate the ranks of the church hierarchy.

The bishops have said they are responsible but have not done much to show it. All talk, no walk. Looks like many people noticed.

In fairness, I should add this:

But the survey also found that a growing majority of Catholics trust their church to handle the issue of abusive priests in the future. And the overall rating of the church among Catholics remains broadly favorable. Taken together, these findings suggest that the faith that Catholics have in their church remains strong, even as their doubts about church leaders continue to grow.

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