Viewpoint of a Catholic Priest

November 27, 2019 Updated: November 27, 2019

I am a recent subscriber, about a month ago, and a big fan of your publication. I want news, not left-leaning propaganda. I also see in your motto something that resonates deeply with me: Truth and Tradition.

I am also a Catholic priest. Another one of my fellow priests has also become a fan of The Epoch Times.

That is why I was so disappointed about the article “Church Review Boards Often Protect Clergy Over Victims, Report Says” by Bowen Xiao.

The article uncritically took most of its information from an AP article.

I found a more studied critique [“AP’s ‘Investigation’ Is Farcical” by Bill Donohue, posted on the website of the Catholic League] of the referred AP article. [Here are] a couple of quotes:

“It would be more accurate to say that AP has failed. It provided no data, just anecdotes. Where is the summary data combed from the diocesan review boards? Moreover, every anecdote that AP offers is critical of the Church.”
“If there is a single thread that is evident in all of these criticisms it is the assumption that the accusers are always right and that the Church should just accept what they say. Nowhere in this report of 4,630 words is there even a hint that accused priests have rights. They are assumed to have none.”

The Catholic Church in the United States should be held to account for its behavior. And in the last 20 years, its sins have not only been evident for the world to see, it has also gone a long way in correcting its behavior. Since the Dallas Charter of 2002, there has been much improvement. Again, I quote Donohue:
“Shouldn’t Catholic priests have the same civil rights as other citizens? Does the presumption of innocence until proven guilty hold for us too?”

Why is it that the Catholic Church as an institution is almost exclusively singled out as an institution for the problem of abuse? Do we really think other institutions do not struggle with this societal problem? Would any other institution, religious or civil, be willing to undergo the public scrutiny the Catholic Church has?

I expect such reporting from The Associated Press. I hope future reports in The Epoch Times on this issue would be more balanced and truthful.

With Regards and Prayers,
John

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