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parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 24, 2003

After months of fanfare, and a grotesquely elaborate wind-up, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly has revealed that -- wait for it -- his subordinates are capable of reading the Boston Globe. The AG deserves a C-minus on his deplorably lightweight Report on the Sexual Abuse of Children in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Not a single new name appears, and not a single new fact -- indeed, there are very few facts at all, except for some fairly lame tabulations (789 purported victims, etc.). Contrast this with the report on the Diocese of Manchester by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office, in which nearly every page has precise and well-documented evidence, with a minimum of heavy breathing for the benefit of the media.

Writing of the scandal sixteen months ago, columnist Ann Coulter said:

It is a fact that the vast majority of the abuser priests - more than 90 percent - are accused of molesting teen-age boys. Indeed, the overwhelmingly homosexual nature of the abuse prompted the New York Times to engage in its classic "Where's Waldo" reporting style, in which the sex of the victims is studiedly hidden amid a torrent of genderless words, such as the "teen-ager," the "former student," the "victim" and the "accuser."

Coulter could have been speaking of the Reilly Report. While the gender of the victims is mentioned sparingly, the age of the victims seems to be eclipsed entirely. Nor do the words "gay" or "homosexual" appear in its 91 pages.

Perhaps we're close to the explanation for the report's curiously vague character. As Fr. Richard Neuhaus pointed out, the priest abuse scandal is an instance in which the media elites love the sin but hate the sinner. Given his political fealty to Massachusetts Democratics, and their significant others, Reilly is no position to connect the dots too clearly in this business.

Who gets a boot in the ribs from Reilly? Cardinal Law, obviously, plus Bishops Murphy, McCormack, Hughes and Banks. What do they have in common? Coincidentally, they are all out of the picture, all out of range of his own responsibility. The signal is clear: the artillery discharge was for its fireworks effect. Nobody gets hurt. Nothing will change. The system takes care of its own

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  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jul. 24, 2003 1:06 PM ET USA

    Has Ted Kennedy made a public statement yet? I can't wait.

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