Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,470 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

oh, NOW I get it!

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 12, 2010

The Vatican has for the first time made it clear that bishops and other high-ranking clergy should report clerical sex abuse to police.

That's the lede in an AP account of the Vatican's public summary of Church guidelines for handling sex-abuse complaints. The message, as delivered by AP, is clear: the Vatican has finally instructed Church leaders to inform civil authorities about abuse complaints.

But wait. The next sentence sends quite a different message:

The Vatican has insisted that this has long been the Catholic Church's policy.

And the guidelines that were made public today have been in place since 2001. So this isn't a new policy at all; the story is several years old.

The Vatican made these guidelines public for the benefit of the public. The people with a "need to know"-- the bishops and other Church leaders who were expected to implement the policies—were already acquainted with them.

So an accurate lede for the AP story would run like this:

The Vatican has for the first time made it clear even to AP reporters that bishops and other high-ranking clergy should report clerical sex abuse to police.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,848 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,151.70
84% 16%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Apr. 12, 2010 7:41 PM ET USA

    Ah, ah, ah, Arbp. Weisgerber; ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 12, 2010 4:41 PM ET USA

    "The problem is when there is a big difficulty, the people in the Church don't know how to deal with it," says Archbishop Weisgerber. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/life/faith/code-of-conduct-for-priests-developed-by-archdiocese-90460109.html?viewAllComments=y

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Apr. 12, 2010 4:17 PM ET USA

    Don't bet on it. The AP will never believe it---even if, like Thomas, they put their hands in the wounds. "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." - Anon. Or, perhaps, "There are none so blind as those who will not see." - Harwood (?)

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal 3 hours ago
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? 7 hours ago
The Synod: It's a Wrap! 24 hours ago
A chaotic synod? Not in its results October 21
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6