Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,467 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

No sexual abuse? Then it's no story

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 28, 2010

If Italian authorities deported two young Muslims, saying that they were conspiring to kill the Pope, would you consider that a significant news story?

So would I. So did CWN.

But most American media outlets ignored the story entirely. Writing on the GetReligion blog, journalist Terry Mattingly asks why not, and offers several possible explanations:

  • Everyone knows that it would be impossible for assassins or angry people to get close enough to a pope to be a real threat to his life.
  • These kinds of threats against the pope may now be quite common in Europe. Thus, this is old news.
  • Vatican officials were not anxious to respond to questions from journalists about the plot, in part because of their fear of inspiring copycats.
  • This story does not appear to be linked to the ongoing scandal of sexual abuse of children and teen-agers by Catholic clergy.
  • Journalists are worried about offending Moroccans or contributing to negative stereotypes of young, male Moroccans.

My vote is for option #4. The story wasn't about sexual abuse in the Church. If the story involves sexual abuse but it's not in the Catholic Church, forget it. If it's about the Catholic Church and it doesn't involve sexual abuse, no dice. If you can't fit "Vatican" and "sexual abuse" into the same sentence, you can't get the sentence printed in the mainstream media.  

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 ($117,141 to go):
$150,000.00 $32,858.98
78% 22%
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 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: rpp - May. 28, 2010 6:50 PM ET USA

    I have to disagree with you on this one. I think it is number 5. In addition, not to be picky or pedantic, but you misspelled "Muslim" on choice number 5.

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - May. 28, 2010 6:46 PM ET USA

    I agree with your take on this, Di, but I would say #5 runs a close second. The MSM never want to offend any religious group, except Christians, nor any ethnic group, except Caucasians.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Contentious Spirits, Beware! 10 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28

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
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6