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Veteran journalist decries ‘misleading, irresponsible’ Pennsylvania grand-jury report

January 11, 2019

» Continue to this story on Commonweal

CWN Editor's Note: Peter Steinfels, a veteran Catholic journalist who for years covered religious affairs for the New York Times, has published a devastating critique of the Pennsylvania grand-jury report on clerical abuse. In an essay of over 10,000 words, published in Commonweal, Steinfels provides detailed examples of misleading language in the report, noting that it is clearly written for emotional impact rather than legal accuracy. He emphasizes the report’s failure to note changes in Church handling of abuse cases, and observes that it “treats more than seven decades from 1945 until yesterday as a block.” Rather than careful analysis, he charges, the report chose “a tack more suited to our hyperbolic, bumper-sticker, post-truth environment.”

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