Question: What does a good reporter do when a decades-old story line continues to get old and stale?
Answer: Nothing at all.
Despite nearly $3 billion in settlements, over $80 million in therapy payments, endless mea culpas, and countless apologies to accusers of priest sex abuse from decades ago, the New York Times' National Religion Correspondent Laurie Goodstein continues to trumpet the tired claims from the lawyer-funded attack group SNAP that the Catholic Church and Pope Francis have somehow "ignored" and "infuriated" victims of clergy abuse.
A sea of protestersWhen Barbara Dorris, the "outreach director" of SNAP, and Becky Ianni, Washington D.C.'s SNAP leader, staged a massive two-person protest in Philadelphia where Pope Francis was appearing, Goodstein was apparently eager to push through the crowd for a quote.
After Goodstein first cites Dorris' curious claim that Pope Francis has somehow "ignored" abuse victims, she then locates yet another befuddled SNAPper who claims that Pope Francis "doesn't get it" when it comes to clergy abuse from decades ago.
As we have reported before, no gathering or group is too tiny for Goodstein when it comes to bashing the Catholic Church. Last year, when a tiny fringe group of dissident priests, nuns, and other left-wing zealots formed a group to attack the Catholic Church over decades-old cases of abuse, Goodstein proudly trumpeted a front-page story about the effort, even though the fledgling gang was so unorganized that it did not even have a web site yet.
Keeping hope alive
But Goodstein is most unhinged in her article when she ambitiously claims that "the abuse scandal has hardly died down in the United States."
Goodstein conveniently fails to inform her readers that in the past decade contemporaneous accusations of abuse against Catholic priests have averaged a paltry 8 per year merely deemed "credible" by the lenient standards of diocesan review boards. (There are over 43,000 priests in the United States and nearly 70 million Catholics.)
So despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Goodstein nonetheless still claims that the abuse scandal is still white hot and raging. A triumph of hope over evidence if there ever was.
But for Goodstein and her never-ending animus for the Catholic Church, it is the same as it ever was.