The newly released annual audit of abuse in the Catholic Church reports that only six credible abuse allegations were made against priests by current minors in all of 2012 (out of some 40,000 active priests) and that the "fewest allegations and victims" ever were tabulated since annual reports began to be compiled in 2004.
This is obviously very good news. Yet in years past while syndicated news outlets like the Associated Press and Reuters have fallen over themselves to dig out unflattering statistics from these annual reports, the mainstream media is notably silent about this very positive report.
A search of news coverage about the Church's new annual report found only three tiny secular newspapers reporting the news: the Press-Register (Alabama), the Rapid City Journal (South Dakota), and the Georgia Bulletin.
Not a single major secular newspaper (e.g., the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune etc.) reported on the study.
The statistics that the mainstream media refuses to report
Here are the facts about the Catholic Church abuse story you will not see reported in the mainstream media and which once again underscore the fact that the abuse story is no longer really "news" but a history lesson:
• 45% of all identified priests who were accused in 2012 were already long deceased (this is the second year in a row of this record high figure);
• 77% of all identified priests who were accused in 2012 are either already deceased, already removed from ministry, already laicized, or simply missing;
• 77% of all abuse accusations last year allege incidents from before 1985; and
• accusations against priests in 2012 were down 20% and were the lowest recorded numbers since annual audit reports began.
Indeed, current accusations against Catholic priests are extremely rare.
SNAP: Don't confuse me with the factsWhat does the anti-Catholic group SNAP do when the facts clearly show that abuse in the Catholic Church has reduced to a trickle? In the case of SNAP's Judy Block Jones, you just make up your own facts.
Jones, who apparently lives her life trolling web sites and leaving nutty comments in comment boxes, left one of her more bizarre rants in recent memory on the site of Alabama's Press-Register.
Jones claimed that "this report from the bishops can not be trusted as accurate."
First of all, the annual audits and their corresponding reports do not exactly come "from the bishops." This year, for example, StoneBridge Business Partners, a private auditing firm, visited dioceses and gathered all of the relevant information, and it worked with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), an independent organization based at Georgetown University, to prepare the report.
In other words, Jones' claim that the information in the reports is "from the bishops" is simply false.
Then, without a shred of supporting documentation, Jones claimed that "the sex abuse and cover up within the church hierarchy is still going on to this day," that "Cardinals and bishops are still covering up sex crimes against kids," and that "they are still not removing accused predator clergy."
And if that were not enough, she charged bishops with "protecting their image and the institution rather than protecting innocent kids."
In truth, when it comes to protecting one's own image rather than children, SNAP itself has been shown to do this very same thing. The group's National Director David Clohessy refused to call the police back in the early 1990s when he fully knew that his priest brother Kevin was sexually abusing innocent boys, an action by Clohessy which possibly jeopardized the safety of countless children. And just a couple years ago, SNAP founder Barbara Blaine actually wrote a passionate letter on behalf of a SNAP psychiatrist arrested with over 100 images of kiddie porn on his computer.
So much for protecting kids.
Indeed, it would appear that children are much safer in the arms of the Catholic Church than under the supervision of the leaders at SNAP.