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Skewed report suggests-- inaccurately-- that most abusive British priests remain active

Catholic World News - September 16, 2010

Most of the British priests who have been convicted for molesting children remain in the priesthood, according to a misleading story appearing in the Guardian newspaper.

A careful reading of the story reveals that the priests who have convicted are still members of the clergy—that is, they have not been formally laicized. There is no indication that these men remain active in priestly ministry. An ordained priest remains a member of the clergy unless he is laicized as the result of a formal canonical process. He may be suspended from ministry, and prevented from interaction with children, without ceasing to be a priest.

The Guardian exposes its bias clearly by saying that the news raises “serious questions about depth of church commitment to child protection and overshadowing the start of the papal visit.” Issued on the day of the Pope’s arrival in Great Britain, the paper notes, the story “will fuel hostility towards a trip that is proving controversial on many levels and in many quarters.” No doubt both of those statements will prove true, if newspapers like the Guardian continue to provide prominent coverage for such skewed reports.

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  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Sep. 16, 2010 8:02 PM ET USA

    I've just sent a reply to the Guardian editors, but will not be holding my breath as to whether they publish it, since I was none too flattering. Perhaps it will be read by someone who has some say in their editorial policies, and perhaps they'll hesitate to write more nonsense in future. And perhaps not. One can only hope their sales are flagging just as they are for the NYT and other liberal rags.

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