Friday, July 18, 2008

Perverse Prejudice and Bias

From Australia [honesty from the Press...refreshing]:
Catholic church easy target for bigots
by Andrew Bolt
July 18, 2008 12:00 a.m.
The reporter on the ABC's [Australia Broadcasting Company] 7.30 Report sounded sad. The Catholic Church couldn't find enough men keen to be priests, she sighed.
Gosh. Wondered why? Then check, say, the reports the ABC's Lateline ran to welcome the Pope and thousand of Catholic pilgrims to Sydney.
"Exclusive documents reveal church ignored abuse allegations", "New evidence in church abuse case", "Broken Rites president joins Lateline", "Demonstrators oppose Catholic Church policies", "Father of assault victims to visit Pope".
And so on.
Hmm. Now why aren't more Australians joining up to be vilified?
It hardly needs saying that I despise pedophiles and rapists. But even as a non-Christian, I smell bigotry.
In fact, it seems much of the Left-wing media has tried furiously to make sure when we think of Catholicism, in this week of celebration of the faith, that we think not Saviour but slime.
New laws against protesters that the church never asked for were portrayed as a symbol of church oppression. A newspaper ran a competition for the best anti-Catholic T-shirt. And an ABC host urged men to bait Catholics by going naked, but for a condom.
Meanwhile his colleagues looked for a story to hit the Catholics' most senior figure here, Cardinal George Pell. And Lateline found it in a man who said he'd been sexually assaulted by a stereotypical dirty priest.
How hard was it trying to find a stick? This victim, Anthony Jones, was 29 when he went swimming at night with a priest, who fondled him. He swam off, aroused, but returned to the priest's bedroom, dressed in a towel.
There a sexual encounter took place. In convicting the priest for a then-illegal act, a judge later found Jones could have left had he wanted.
And all this happened 26 long years ago. So why bring it up now? Because, Jones conceded, it might at this sensitive time make the church give him $3.5 million -- or $100,000, final offer. Let's not call this blackmail.
He deserved the door. He got instead the media limelight.
Another case long dealt with has also been revived, for much the same reason, by a media that tends to be hostile to any institution that acknowledges a higher authority than the musings of the journalistic pack.
I despise it all. Of the priests I've known, not one deserves this casual vilification as pedophiles, or their protectors. And when I check how their church touches even my life, I see one of its hospitals, in which my children were born. I see its churchmen tackling forces that rip up homes and make our streets unsafe. I see its intellectuals preaching values I recognise as essential for the defence of our weak. And I see a faith that exhorts its -- yes, fallible -- believers to goodness, integrity and public service.
Such a faith deserves respect. Instead, there's that hooting mob, brandishing cobwebbed skeletons to smash one of the few institutions still trying to civilise the barbarians.


  1. Thanks, Mark. I don't read the newspapers but Andrew Bolte is a great journalistic commentator. He gets it right very often.

    I dropped a note on his paper's site.

  2. Thanks to John who posted this! I'd have missed it, although the attempt to smear Abp Pell on the eve of WYD was pretty, well, transparent.