The media simply cannot stop smearing the Catholic Church, especially Pope Benedict, over the alleged cases of sexual abuse. Huffington Post columnist Andy Ostroy was no exception in his April 7 article, “Can We Fire the Pope?” Ostroy blasted the Pope and called the church “diseased.”
Ostroy seemed to base most of his column on New York Times articles. One article reported that as Archbishop, Pope Benedict transferred a priest accused of sexual abuse. Another New York Times article also blamed the Pope for allowing a Wisconsin priest accused of sexual abuse to stay. Although this report is now in question, that didn’t seem to matter to Ostroy.
Even though the Pope hasn’t been proven guilty, Ostroy didn’t seem to understand that. “Perhaps most infuriating is how Church officials have vociferously defended the Pope, who they claim has been a harsh and outspoken critic of the ‘filth’ that infests the Church, citing him as an architect and promoter of reform.”
He also asserted that the Catholic Church is, “suffering from epidemic proportions of denial and enabling.” He continued to describe how the church is more concerned with, “protecting its own image and interests than the faithful innocents.”
Ostroy continued to slam the church and claimed that it was “more concerned with “bad pr than deaf kids being attacked …”The church, he said, “acts as if it’s above the law and shrouds itself in secrecy …”
He asserted that alleged sexual abuse cases were “just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.” Yet a recent Culture & Media article reported that from 2008 to 2009 sexual abuse allegations declined by 36 percent.
Ostroy’s article is just another example of the media rushing to point fingers at Pope Benedict and criticizing the Catholic Church. A CMI study found that during Holy Week ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted 26 stories about the sexual abuse allegations and 69 percent of the stories used language that presumed the pope’s guilt.
On March 25 all three networks’ nightly news programs collectively provided 13 sound bites of victims and victims’ advocates. Only one voice defended the church.
Maureen Dowd of the New York Times called for a female pope and decided that priests should be allowed to marry. She also called Pope Benedict “sin-crazed.” Newsweek’s Lisa Miller used the allegations to call the Catholic Church “out of touch with people” and actually compared Catholic priests to fraternity boys.
And then, of course, there was Rosie O’Donnell who declared that the Catholic Church is comparable to the Jonestown suicide cult.