Twisted Logic at Minneapolis Star Tribune: Old Abuse Claims Hinder Bishops’ Religious Liberty

Susan Hogan Minneapolis Star Tribune

Catholic Church hit job: Susan Hogan

If any more proof were really needed that the abuse scandals from years ago are only used as a red herring by agenda-driven journalists to attack the Church with respect to other issues, a bleary-eyed piece from Susan Hogan at the Minneapolis Star Tribune should provide ample evidence.

Hogan doesn't like the fact that Catholic bishops have voiced in their opposition to the government's recent attempts to stomp on the Church's right to operate freely. Apparently, Hogan thinks that the Church should just stay silent as the government forces it to violate its principles and provide contraceptives and abortifacients in healthcare coverage.

In Hogan's world, the Catholic Church has little standing in defending itself. Why? Because many years ago bishops tragically mishandled abuse claims – as did every other institution that dealt with youth. Yes, that's her stunted logic.

Attacking the bishops

But Hogan doesn't let it end there. She smears American bishops by claiming that in 2002 they were "more concerned with protecting predatory priests and themselves than doing right by the victims."

If that were so, then why did the bishops approve the Dallas Charter and initiate protective measures that are unprecedented and unmatched by any organization anywhere? Hogan would be hard pressed to name another organization with so stringent child protection policies – because there is none. The best that Hogan can muster is that the Charter was "commendable."

Hogan also unleashes this whopper:

"[A]lthough bishops have repeatedly offered public assurances and data to demonstrate their efforts at dealing with abusers among the clergy, the statistics are unreliable because they include only the information the bishops were willing to provide. Not everyone cooperated."

Hogan provides no real evidence in support of her wild broadside that the bishops' annual data is "unreliable." Even the anti-Catholic leaders at SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and have been unable to refute the numbers that the bishops have provided.

As far as her statement that "not everyone cooperated" with audits, this is misleading. Almost all bishops have complied with the Dallas Charter with the exception of some tiny dioceses and some small Eastern Rite eparchies. The number of those not complying with the Charter is minuscule.

Turning a blind eye

Meanwhile, as we have repeatedly noted, rampant abuse and cover-ups continue today elsewhere – especially in public schools. Innocent students are being molested, raped, and sexually attacked in public schools, and administrators are covering it up. Yet this does not seem to upset Hogan in the least bit. (A review of her recent columns reveals that she has not dedicated a single article to this important issue.)

Because for Hogan the issue is not really about the abuse of kids; it's about attacking the Catholic Church.


  1. Publion says:

    This is not connected to this particular article here, but I want to share it anyway.
    I do so because it’s graduation time and that has brought back a memory from my own graduation from Catholic grammar school quite some time ago.
     It is relevant to this entire Catholic priest-abuse matter because there is a vital axiom of SNAP-like dogma that Catholics were ‘taught’ that the priest was ‘another Christ’ and therefore divine (or perhaps at least semi-divine). This axiom is utterly unsupportable (and slyly propagated these days): it is utterly contrary to Catholic dogma that any human being is divine or even semi-divine; further, you often didn’t have to experience much beyond some of the preaching or the chanting at a Solemn High funeral mass to realize that God was working with ‘crooked timber of humanity’.
    As our 8th-grade class prepared for graduation, the pastor, the old Monsignor himself, came in to give us a special final-talk. He quoted to us from Aquinas in Latin (wow – were we special or what?! We were getting to hear Latin, and from a heavy-hitter like Aquinas too! Even if we didn’t know any more Latin than necessary to get through Mass, this was major-league, primetime stuff!): “Et quod est amplius, omnes Christi fideles, in quantum sunt membra ejus, reges et sacerdotes dicuntur”.
    That quote (I later found out) comes from Aquinas’s “Letter to the King of Cyprus” (at No. 109). Aquinas wrote it to that worthy in order to educate him into the responsibilities of an ideal king in the Christian vision.  I am including a link to that Letter, with parallel Latin text and English translation, here since it has profound bearing on matters of religious liberty and also public governance (somebody should send a copy to every newly-elected public official, or at this point to just about everybody in the Beltway phone book).
    Anyhoo, the translation of that little quote is: “All those who believe in Christ, to the extent that they are His members, are called kings and priests”.
    The Monsignor then went on to explain that in a democracy all adults have that dignity, that flows from being created in the Image of God and it would be our responsibility to try to live up to that. He went on to say ‘try’ because nobody is perfect and no human beings ever reach the perfection of their own ideals. But this is the ‘askesis’ (he used the Greek word, meaning ‘discipline’ – we really really felt important by then!) we had to pursue throughout our lives, as Citizens and as Catholics.
    This is not intended for any specific purpose here; but I think it’s a relevant bit for your reflection.
    If anything comes from all this clerical sex-abuse matter, I hope it’s that all Catholics – lay and clergy  and especially in this country – reflect on what Aquinas has to offer. I can’t help but think that the Framers, some of them, might also have been familiar with Aquinas’s thoughts, either directly or indirectly. When you read the whole Letter, you might see what I mean.

  2. Julie says:

    I'm becoming so weary of ignorant journalists with an agenda. What does that say about the state of our media? No wonder people are disillusioned with the mainstream media.

    • Dai Yoshida says:

      Susan Hogan is not ignorant. She just ignores facts to further her agenda, which is the distruction of the Catholic Church. She is angry that the Church is unwilling to worship the mother goddess and allow liturgy presided by lesbian priests.

  3. Julie says:

    From the Catholic League:
    Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows:
    In 2002, the bishops assembled in Dallas amidst a media frenzy to consider reforms to combat the sexual abuse of minors. Today the bishops are meeting in Atlanta to assess them. But there is no media frenzy this time around. That’s because the reforms worked.
    Over the past week, not a single media outlet provided an in-depth assessment of the ten-year anniversary of the reforms, and the few that mentioned it at all were mostly flawed. The Boston Globe won a Pulitzer Prize for its work exposing the scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002, but in today’s newspaper its entire coverage amounts to one sentence. And even that is factually inaccurate: it mentions the problem of “pedophile priests.” Ten years ago it correctly noted that nearly 8 in 10 victims were “post-pubescent” males. Which, of course, means we are dealing with homosexuality, not pedophilia. The cover-up is striking.
    Similarly, Susan Hogan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s editorial board writes of “Catholic priests raping children.” This is also factually incorrect: most of the victims were not children—they were adolescents—and the most common infraction was “inappropriate touching,” not rape. David Gibson’s piece on the anniversary, written for the Religion News Service, leaves the reader straining to find a single good thing about the reforms. The CBS affiliate in Chicago uncritically cites an Illinois judge, Ann Burke, to the effect that the scandal continues to this day: not only is Burke factually incorrect, she is on record opposing civil liberties for accused priests.
    We don’t expect the media to cheer whenever the Catholic Church, or any organization, does good. But when an institution is put under the microscope for wrongdoing, and subsequently makes yeoman reforms, it smacks of bias not to report it. And it smacks of politics to pretend that while most gay priests are not molesters, most of the molesters have been gay.

  4. recovered cathlick says:

    I agree 100% with Hogan. The rest of you are pedophile protectors!

    • Phil Steinacker says:

      recovered cathlick, you and Bender are ignorant of facts - even more so Bender, who works a bit harder to expose his foolishness. Bender, you lie when you suggest anyone puts off reponsibility by suggesting that other institutions have the same problem. Rather, the truth is that MANY other institutions are FAR WORSE, and NO ONE else has matched the safeguards which we put into place years ago to protect our children.
      YOU CANNOT PROVE OTHERWISE – because the FACTS are on our side.
      Contrary to your assertions, there are a number of studies which have found the incidence of sexual abuse of children (a broad term because pedophilia is NOT the correct term; it is pederasty, which reflects victims' average age of 15) in Protestant churches and Jewish synogogues outstripped those in the Catholic Church.
      Worse, in a significant 2005 U.S. Dept. of Education study the problem was found to exist in a major cross-section of western culture – at least, here in America. The lead investigator of the study claims that such abuse throughout the American public school systems across the nation occur 100 to 1 when compared to those incidences in the U.S. Catholc Church.
      Furthermore, the overwhelming number of accusations against Catholic clergy refer to alleged occrances 20 yers ago or more which were only filed in recent years. That CANNOT be said by the Protestant and Jewish houses of worship, and certainly not by the teachers' unions and school boards.
      Yet, the problem in the public schools continutes to be buried from sight by those same school boards and teachers unions. I don't see you or your ilk attacking those entities with the same venomous gusto with which you deride the Catholic Church.
      Instead, let's place full responsibility on the shoulders of the perps, who are MOSTLY homosexual predators drawn to positions of authority and trust which also provide opportunities to abuse children. We know such predators also like to be teachers, counselors, coaches, Scout leaders, and such, for the exact same reason. Yes, there are heterosexual perps, also, but 85-90% olus are definitely homosexual, and liberal attempts to bury that truth whild focusing on the Church has elevated whatever fault there is in moving these perps around (exceeded in culpability by school boards and unions doing the same thing) to a criminal level much higher than that of the homosexual predators committing the actual crimes.
      While anti-Catholicism by the news media accounts for much of the ignorance of the widespread national scope of this problem, it is clear by your verbiage (and that of others like you) elsewhere that you inhabit a cesspool of hatred. It is nothing short of twisted to turn a blind eye to the victims in our public schools while spewing your vile hatred for the Cathoilic Church..
      You have no idea how bad you make yourselves look when you post such tripe.

  5. Julie says:

    Don't be ridiculous. We are not pedophile protectors. Just because we are concerned about sex abuse in OTHER institutions as well as the Catholic Church, we are pedophile protectors? Go read your New York Times.

    • Bender says:

      Yes you are. And pretty childish ones. "Oh, there is abuse in OTHER institutions". That doesn't excuse the catholic church.

  6. annika says:

    "[A]lthough bishops have repeatedly offered public assurances and data to demonstrate their efforts at dealing with abusers among the clergy, the statistics are unreliable because they include only the information the bishops were willing to provide. Not everyone cooperated."
    the evidence if all over the news, is coming out in criminal trials and has been presented from Day 1 by victims that show the MO of the entire Roman Catholic organization has been repeated over and over in every diocese in ever state, county, province, and country.
    Do you think we live under rocks?

  7. Bender says:

    Hogan is right. You should [abbreviation for expletive deleted by moderator] about anticonceptives in healthcare.

  8. Andre says:

    This is not only about attacking the Catholic Church for Hogan, but primarily the purpose is denigrating anyone who stands in the way of the marriage amendment that is up for vote this November.  The Star Tribune, it could be said, is the gay agenda's most important ally in Minnesota.  Hardly a day goes by where they don't either a) actively promote the homosexual lifestyle, b) demonstrate how regular marriage is failing, or c) denigrate or intentionally skew the views of local religious types, not limited to the Catholic Church.
    Please pray for us in Minnesota, we need all the spiritual help we can get to make sure this amendment passes.


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