Blockbuster: Veteran Journalist Wypijewski Slams ‘Spotlight’ As Factually Inaccurate, Born of Shoddy Journalism and Witch Hunt Mentality Against the Church

JoAnn Wypijewski : Spotlight

Shining the truth on the corrupt Spotlight: JoAnn Wypijewski from CounterPunch

We at are not the only ones angered that Hollywood awarded the factually challenged movie Spotlight its Best Picture prize at the Oscars Sunday night.

Veteran left-wing journalist JoAnn Wypijewski – who herself was in Boston during the spring of 2002 reporting on the Catholic sex abuse story – has just unleashed a stinging attack on the Boston Globe, the makers of Spotlight, the media, Church-suing contingency lawyers, and so-called "survivors" in a new piece in the left-wing blog, CounterPunch. This is truly a must-read piece:

"Oscar Hangover Special: Why 'Spotlight' Is a Terrible Film"
by JoAnn Wypijewski at CounterPunch

Among Wypijewski's many notable passages:

  • "[B]ecause I know some of what is untrue, I don't believe the personal injury lawyers or the Boston Globe's 'Spotlight' team or the Catholic 'faithful' who became harpies outside Boston churches, carrying signs with images of Satan, hurling invective at congregants who'd just attended Mass, and at least once – this in my presence – spitting in the face of a person who dared dispute them."
  • "The Globe did not so much practice journalism as it constructed a courtroom of panic, one that reversed the presumption of innocence and spilled over into real courtrooms where real defendants didn't stand a chance."
  • "I don't believe the claims of all who say they are victims – or who prefer the more tough-minded label 'survivor' – because ready belief is not part of a journalist's mental kit, but also because what happened in 2002 makes it difficult to distinguish real claims from fraudulent or opportunistic ones without independent research."

We highly recommend this article in its entirety if you want a true story of the Church abuse crisis bereft of all the hyperbole, hysteria, and bias.

Take the time. Read it.


  1. malcolm harris says:

    There is much informative reading  in the article by veteran jounalist JoAnn Wypijeswki. It is great to know  that there are real journalists… in this mad world.. 

    To maintain my sanity, I sometimes stand back and do a reality check. For example….. what exactly is Hollywood?.

    Well… Hollywood is actually a fantasy factory….they manufacture fantasies

    O.K….. but what's the Oscars?  The Oscars are the annual orgy of self-congratulations for the people working in the fantasy factory.

  2. Mark says:

    Hi David. I watched the end of the Oscars the other day and as soon as it was announced that Spotlight had won for best picture I thought of you and Fr. Gordon. As you can guess, he is not happy about the win either and also linked to the same article you did. One lady named Mary Fran has read the article and was upset by the comments on it.

    Also, it is funny how Spotlight should win best picture while at the same time, Australian Cardinal George Pell is being questioned about the sex scandal dogging the Aussie Catholic Church. On Facebook, he is really being thrown under the bus, mostly (I estimate) by people who are not Christians. George certainly deserves to go to Hell but sadly a lot of his critics are also on the way there. Like that disgusting Tim Minchin. (I used to like him until I heard him singing a very vile song about Pope Benedict.)

    I wonder if any of those critics are as worried about falsely accused priests? Somehow I doubt it.

  3. Dennis Ecker says:

    Oh boy, TMR once again scrapping the bottom of the barrel with that large putty knife that can be named envy or jealousy by now climbing into bed with the likes of Joann Wypijeswki the female version of a Ralph Cipriano. If there is any two people who must compare notes its these two. "The judges are corrupt, the juries are corrupt" and so on and so on. But you do have to give Ralph an "atta boy" at least he made it into main stream media at the L.A. Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer before being tossed on his ear. Though Joann does list one of her many skills as being a "storyteller" (no doubt there) that is one thing Ralph has left out. But I do like a good story so that is why I"m still waiting for Ralph's story of some 20 factual errors to hold some water. (Glad I'm not holding my breath)

    ​Now Dave wants us to read the words Joann wrote for Counter Punch (cute name for a publication) about the Oscar winning movie SPOTLIGHT and her non approval of the win and I would assume the Pulitzer prize awarded as well. But when the first sentence starts out " I don't believe the victims" I stop right there. It is one thing to say you don't believe someone that's her opinion but to say I don't believe the victims. Is she not contradicting herself with her own words ? I'm sure she is the owner of a dictionary and should look up the word victim for its meaning.

    • chris palmer says:

      She did not write, "I don't believe the victims", she wrote the following:

      I don't "believe the victims".

      I'll won't insult your intelligence by suggesting you can't tell the difference.

      Punctuation is so important. The quote marks in what she actually wrote make it clear that she is referring to the popular injunction to assume that any person who speaks of any kind of sexual violation against themselves must be telling the absolute truth, cannot possibly be lying or confused, cannot have any other motive for saying what they are saying. It follows from this injunction that the accused is to be assumed guilty until proven innocent. Witch hunt anyone? I won't bother with the usual disclaimers, they are unnecessary if what Wypijewsky (or I) am writing is evaluated for it's actual content.

    • Dennis, I'm writing for Newsweek these days. They might be considered the mainstream media. 

  4. LDB says:

    Gordon McRae is mentally ill and if he deserves any sympathy, it would only be for that affliction. His pathetic life was a total mess before and during his priesthood. Everywhere he went he got into conflict and trouble so that he was constantly on the move. Read his biography. He is such a sketchy loser. Why believe anything he says? And his defense is only his repeated assertion that everyone involved was out to get him. A conspiracy or 'synergy', if you will.

    When a person expresses belief in the innocence of this pudgy, little, demented and deranged mammal, that person immediately demonstrates that they are totally deluded, which is to say that they are devoutly religious/catholic. JoAnn Wypijewski is reckless and crazy (read some of her other writing) and like everyone else she goes to the example of Gordon McRae because there are almost no other priests in prision. Considering the scope of the rape and sex abuse of children and young people by priests, it is amazing that there have been only a few criminal trials and that so very few priests are in prision. Thus, the necessary and continued rush to Gordon McRae as evidence of catholic/clerical persecution.

    • Dorothy R. Stein says:

      I think you just demonstrated some of Ms. Wypijewski's points in that article.  The availability bias has really taken over.  MacRae had two parish assignments in the Diocese of Manchester.  He was at one for a year, then another for 6 years, and then he was in ministry with the Servants of the Paraclete order for six years.  How does that translate into "always moving around"?  There are two common denominators in the claims against him:  money and a zealot police detective who appears to have bribed some of his accusers. But alas, that has been covered up. By the way I write using my own name. Who the hell are you?

    • Mary Fran says:

      I don't know what YOUR problem is (and, you DEFINITELY have one) that you would spew such vitriol about a person you don't even know. This "little" man, as you call him, stands head and shoulders over someone like you who can only lower himself to attacking and name calling. At the very least, you owe Father MacRae an apology for your libel. But, I'm not holding my breath. Pity on you for your anger and hatred which binds you so firmly.

    • Phil Steinacker says:

      Only someone too cowardly to sign his real name would dare post such a pack of lies about Fr. MacRae, who had no reason to turn down the plea "deal" offered by the DA which would have meant serving a couple years instead of one extending well past his natural lifetime. You're just another anti-Catholic bigot, and ignorance is your primary feature.

  5. Rory Connor says:


    Actually Forbes magazine made simiar points to Joann Wypijeswki in an article by Daniel Lyons published in 2003 . The following is an extract that focuses on Shanley’s ORIGINAL accuser Greg Ford

    ….As his parents tell it, in years of therapy Greg had tried, unsuccessfully, to recall being molested by anyone. When his parents showed him the Globe article, he didn’t remember Shanley or recognize his photograph. The Fords persisted, showing Greg a snapshot from his First Communion with Shanley. At last Greg collapsed, sobbing, and said that from age 6 to 11 he had been raped by the priest.

    Later he estimated this happened 80 times. He alleged that Shanley took him from his one-hour Sunday school class, raped him, then returned him to his classmates. Verona Mazzei, who was director of the Sunday school program, says she never saw Shanley take any kids from class. The Fords say Greg never exhibited any unusual behavior during these years. “As soon as it happened, each time he left that room, he forgot about it,” Rodney Ford says. “The specialists he sees now are amazed that he could block this out, that he had such control.” … [My emphasis]

    The prosecutors dropped this man from the case – for OBVIOUS reasons you would think but you would be wrong! The accuser who actually made it to court (also mentioned in the Forbes article) was a friend of the first accuser who “recovered his memory” at the same time and told the same story of weekly rapes each forgotten after it occurred and then all forgotten for 20 years until suddenly the memories were “recovered”. 

    So why did the rich man’s magazine Forbes take an interest in this case? Probably because of its likely effect on the American insurance industry i.e. people claiming huge “compensation” on the basis of insurance policies written before “Recovered Memory” was ever heard of. The Forbes article is entitled “Sex, God & Greed” with subheading “Pedophile priests have sparked a litigation gold rush. The Boy Scouts, day care firms and Hollywood may be next.

    What a pity that The Boston Globe or the Spotlight movie didn’t go into THAT aspect of the story! And what a pity Dennis Ecker is too busy sneering to even mention the "evidence" presented in the case. Does he find the evidence convincing – or just too embarrassing to write about?

  6. Publion says:

    Readers who have gone over the JW article from the Counterpunch site have perhaps noticed that it is chock full of factual reporting and clearly-stated conclusions drawn from the facts presented.

    What has ‘Dennis Ecker’ got to say about it (the 2nd at 816AM)?

    He opens with epithet, and seeks merely to compare JW to Ecker’s personal bugbear, Ralph Cipriano.

    There is much to be said for comparing JW and RC, since they are both competent reporters who both a) rely on demonstrable facts and b) follow those facts to (some hard-hitting) legitimately and rationally derived conclusions.

    It is indicative of how far from reality Ecker has to position himself in order to Keep The Ball Rolling that he tries to mock the ‘corruption’ (I would say ‘derangement’) of the judicial system even though we continue to watch the ongoing court saga of the Billy-Doe-based cases in Ecker’s own town of Philadelphia. Nor can he be ignorant of all the problems with those cases, since he puts up quite a few comments on RC’s BigTrial site.

  7. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dennis Ecker’s of the 2nd at 816AM:

    And his first paragraph then peters out with a riffy assortment of old bits he has hanging around the desk.

    And – being somewhat hard-up for some plop to toss while ( of course) avoiding any substantive engagement with the JW material – he will then even work in a juvenile whack at the name of the “Counter Punch” site.

  8. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dennis Ecker’s of the 2nd at 816AM:

    Whether through ignorance or design, he doesn’t quite quote JW’s opening statement accurately: she wrote “I don’t ‘believe the victims’”, with the phrase “believe the victims” in quotation marks.

    Readers familiar and conversant with the decades-long long history of Victimism (which apparently doesn’t include Ecker) will instantly recognize that phrase as the old Victimist mantra: ‘Believe the victims!’ (A variant of which, during the McMartin Pre-School Ritual Satanic Day-Care Child Abuse scare 30 and more years ago was ‘Believe the children!’.)

    At the outset of her article, JW puts forth the conclusion that she reached after conducting her in-depth examination (the results and conclusions of which she then puts forward at length in the rest of the article): based on what she is now reporting, she is not going to be taken-in by the old mantra).

  9. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dennis Ecker’s of the 2nd at 816AM:

    Having – intentionally or otherwise – bungled that bit, he will then proceed to build on that bungling by riffing on ‘victim’.

    But – as so very very often with Abuseniks when they really haven’t got anything substantive to say but feel they must toss some plop – descends into conceptual confusion: He opens what would appear to be the sentence presenting the core of his point here with “It’s one thing to say …”; and of course the reader will expect then a following clause beginning ‘It’s another thing to say …’ in which his own point is put forward.

    But Ecker has no second, follow-on clause expressing his own point/position. It’s not there.

    Instead, he leaves his “It’s one thing to say” clause hanging in the air, and immediately moves on to something else.

    And that something else is – had you been waittttinggggg forrrr ittttt? – insinuation: he asks the question as to whether “she is not contradicting herself with her own words?”. That seems to be a question that doesn’t arise from the material, and the reader awaits his answer in the next sentence.

    But there is no answer; he leaves his insinuating (if also befogged) question hanging there.

  10. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dennis Ecker’s of the 2nd at 816AM:

    And then immediately moves on to something else, which – had you been waitttingggg forrrr itttt? – turns out to be another bit of epithet: she “should look up the word victim for its meaning”.

    Again the reader – presuming rationally enough that JW is familiar with the meaning of the word – waits to see just where Ecker is going with this bit.

    But he’s going nowhere with it, at least not that he’s going to explain. He leaves this bit of his hanging in the air as well.

  11. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dennis Ecker’s of the 2nd at 816AM:

    But, anyway, the definition of ‘victim’ wouldn’t really address the core problem we have been dealing with on this site: distinguishing a genuine victim from … someone otherwise classifiable.

    JW has clearly familiarized herself with the stories, claims, allegations and assertions of a number of ‘victims’ and the cases resulting from them, and she concludes that after all that she doesn’t “believe the victim” in that knee-jerk, automatic, pre-rational and emotive sense that Victimism would have everyone ‘believing’.

    And on some level, ‘Dennis Ecker’ just knew he had to toss some plop at that.

    And avoid going near the powerful content of her article.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      "Powerful content" to who? Not to any of us who were raped. We got all the "powerful content" we needed the day we were raped.

      If these cases are frauds yet they are the only cases where priests are jailed? I say why?

      How did that happen when 99% of the criminal Catholic rapists and their enablers are not jailed. Out of all the cases, the 2 where priests are in prison, just happen to be so obviously (to you) unjust?  Oh tell me please the odds for that? More miracles than at Lourdes.

      Tommy Doyle keeps doubling down on the lies. Praying one will stick.

      And now we will hear from the dog posse as usual. Yawn!

  12. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dennis Ecker’s of the 2nd at 816AM:

    He also seeks to ‘minimize’ her piece as merely being her “non approval” of ‘Spotlight’s award. Has he not read her article? (No, he claims he stopped reading after she said she didn’t “believe the victim”.)

    Thus that her piece is merely sour-grapes because she didn’t like the movie and she didn’t like it getting an award. Her piece, as anyone who has read it may soon realize, is much more than that.

    And thus too that her piece is merely her “opinion”. And it’s much more than that too, since she goes into great factual detail and analysis in order to explain just why she doesn’t “believe the victim”.

    Readers may also enter either JW’s name or CounterPunch into a search engine and quickly realize that both she and that site are well-established and experienced.

  13. Dennis Ecker says:

    The stink of jealousy lingers over TMR like a big black cloud.

  14. true catholic says:

    It was, and still is, a lieing, "Brotherhood Of Silence." Are you saying Law didn't lie, cover up for dozens, and intimidate ? And you blame the Boston Globe, for exposing it. That;s why things wil never change in the Catholic Church. You need to blame the child raping priests. Not the children, or the reporters.

    • malcolm harris says:

      "True Catholic" on March 2, hides behind his mask of anonymity, and pours vilification on all priests… with his phrase "child raping priests". His words alone tells me that he is not a Catholic. Because if he was he would know that such a  sweeping generalization is intended to destroy the reputation of all priests, whether guilty or not guilty.

      In thirty years living in one parish, I never heard any accusation that a priest had ever molested anybody. What puzzles me about this witch -hunt is that everybody seems to be forgetting the police. Every parent I know would have gone straight to the cops… if their kid came home distressed, and cried that they had been sexually interfered with. Yes, even as far back as forty years ago. How fortunate for the torties and their dubious clients that mainstream media never ask questions, like real journalist are supposed to, 

      Future generations will come to understand that this was one of the most successful extortion rackets ever devised.  What will shock them is the media's role. Indeed it would never have been possible without the enthusiastic assistance of many journalists.


  15. Rory Connor says:

    Apart from the 2003 article in Forbes magazine, I recently re-discovered an article by JoAnn Wypijewski dated March 2009 in "The Nation" about the Father Paul Shanley case. This was after his conviction (in 2005) and the following extract refers to the accuser on whose evidence the entire case was based.

     The accuser asserted that from the age of 6, in 1983, he had been raped and otherwise indecently assaulted by the defendant for three years in a busy church on Sunday mornings. Each assault, it was alleged, instantly erased his memory of what had just happened, so that the boy re-approached the defendant in a state of innocent unknowing, to be assaulted again, to forget everything again and again, and then move on in life without the slightest inkling of the experience until twenty years later, when it all came back to him.

    Note the similarity between this and the allegations of the original accuser Greg Ford quoted in Forbes. The original guy was dropped from the case because of entirely separate issues which are also referenced in the Forbes article! However the ludicrous "Recovered Memory" evidence was accepted as proof of Paul Shanley's guilt.

  16. Jim Robertson says:

    Oh now I see how it is. Cipriano And Wypijewski saving the priests by pretending real victims aren't. Don't you think more than 2 reporters would be on this if there were proof of what these 2 hired hands say? The church pays these clowns whether the clowns know who's paying them is another issue but the drift is clear. The church needs to buy more reporters. 2 won't cut it.

    You know I'd just love them to prove what they say to be true. They won't ;but the pack of running dogs stationed around poisoned wells like TMR are barking their master's voice already. Stationed to do so.

    You're all fakes. Every last one of you. Prayers won't make you anything else but fakes. You are a kennel full of frauds.

    Bark away you hounds from hell. No one gives a shit.

  17. Jim Robertson says:

    P will now start yapping on cue….take it away P.       I'll have a nap. Thank god for ear plugs.

  18. Phil Steinacker says:

    Recovered memory is a HUGE fraud, just like therapy based on memory "recovered" from dreams which was finally thrown out by the Royal Society of Medicine after a 10-15 year stint at legitimization produced nothing but false accusations unable to survive scrutiny.

    I pray eventually we will wise up here and toss out this money-making fraud on its ass. I fear the only ones mentally ill are the phony accusers who lined up for the gravy train with stories that don't add up or hold water – if only anyone would apply strict standards to them

    Worse still is the damage down to actual victims who are, in fact, far fewer in number than we've been brainwashed into believing. We've seen how many decades of hyper-ventilating and over-stated accusations of racism eventually led to a "so what" response to even legitimate instances of racism, and a real blurring of the line between reality and self-serving falsehoods. Now we're beginning to see more and more that we have hung out to dry many innocent priests and that this problem is not nearly as big in the Catholic Church is it has been for 50 years in the nation's public school systems.

    The Church is a bigger fatter, juicier target, and it stands in the way of the monster Left's long-term goals. The teachers' unions and so-called establishment "educators"… ah, now that's another story altogether. They're all part of the movement to change the world, and anyway, a little sex never hurt anyone, ya know? Especially if you're a progressive invested in the development of a world in which you can "do" whomever you want, whenever you want it, wherever you want it , and in any way you want it.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Jealous Phil? It sure sounds like it.

      Doing "whomever, whenever, wherever and in any way" As long as no laws are broken nor children involved seems just swell to me; but then my sexuality was fucked up by an adult cleric who thought it was perfectly fine to try to fuck a 16  year old child.

      Hey but you want to change the world too. Make your child victims out to be the real oppressors while you white wash your own sepulchers. That's what got you into all this trouble in the first place. Not the fact you have molestors every business does but the fact that you covered up these abuses knowingly and transferred these perps to fresh fields of innocent Catholic children and our unknowing families. And you refuse to accept any responsibility for any of these crimes pretending all, most of our claims, as fraud. With no proof of such, as such.

  19. dennis ecker says:

    Vatican owned newspaper commends the movie Spotlight

    .Interested to know what the Vatican thinks of the book Sins of the Press ?

  20. Jim Robertson says:

    Malcolm's lying again. If he's typing he's lying.  Just because you have no experience with child raping priests Malcolm; doesn't mean we haven't.

    We were Catholic kids. remember that fact. Who'd been told if the priest is mad at you. You are in big trouble at home. Who would believe me over a priest. In the sexually repressive church to mention sex with children by priests was outlandish for children to think about. Even us children who knew we were being raped; thought that way. I remember quite clearly my wanting to protect the church even as I was trying to protect myself. I held the church and it's reputation more important than myself. That takes years of self internalized propaganda to occures.  I wanted to forget all about what was happening to me and never think about it again. A scared kid thinks that will work; but it never does. I wanted to go on loving my church but I just couldn't do it. The scales had fallen from my eyes and heart.

    So you all pretend we are the oppressors while you defend the criminals as victims. You are so ill. All you'd have to do is accept what's been done and help the injure but that repells you. Money is more sacred to you than your own children. And why are we to think you follow the teachings of Jesus exactly?


    • malcolm harris says:

      Responding to JR's latest comments. Someone once told me that if you are going to fabricate stories, you had better have a good memory. Alas poor JR?. It seems he has forgotten telling us that a teaching brother took him into his office and groped his groin area. Full stop! Yet now, for dramatic effect, he tells us he was fucked?.  And that 'fucked' his future life, he says?  Gee!  Well, if  true, the guy was a sicko….will grant you that. Can recall a teenage boy at my school who would grope girls, between their legs, at every opportunity. They all called him a 'sicko' …. but never reported him.  The fifties and the sixties were a different world.

      But JR says he was a 16 year old child. Really? When I was that age I never considered myself a child. So JR's  attacker took a big risk of actually being in a fight. Surprising too that this particular 'sicko' left his own religious order, went to another state, and rose to the rank of Principal.

      It all seems so unlikely, doesn't it? But if you have taken a million bucks in compensaton, then 'fucked' has much more emotive impact than 'groped'.

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 2nd at 729PM:

      Among which ‘come-backs’ we also now see JR’s familiar ‘the reporters are bought tools of the Church’ bit. And they are “clowns” too, as JR deploys again this juvenile epithet with no thought that it could so easily recoil upon him.

      But that’s the wonder of clinical projection. Which JR then demonstrates with even more clarity as he puffs up his feathers to deliver – yet again – one of his favorite prounciamentos or denunciamentos: “You’re all fakes”.

      Another Abusenik bit that revealingly works better in the recoil than the projectile.

      But the uncharacteristically elaborate extended bit about “kennel” and “hounds from hell” is too much of a muchness here, coming (as if) from JR.

      And in conclusion, the characteristic adolescent scatology deployed to justify the Abuseniks’ failure to deal with the material in these articles: why bother to respond when “No one gives a sxxt”?

    • Publion says:

      On the 3rd at 1255AM ‘Dennis Ecker’ gives us another unsupported drive-by.

      As you can see, he – among other Abuseniks – doesn’t like to proffer links or any identifying material for his material. He would rather just toss up his own take and  - without the actual original reference material – then readers are more likely to buy his ‘take’ on it than actually see the material.

      Thus whether and how the “Vatican owned newspaper” “commended” the ‘Spotlight’ movie remains – as so very often – up in the air. 

      And this is followed by an insinuation – and nothing more – about the Sins of the Press book. 

      And it’s more than an insinuation. It’s a juvenile bit of plop-tossing and the manner of it is on this wise: that is the book DP wrote. Here, Ecker snidely implies that since the Vatican didn’t comment-upon, or “commend” it, then DP … what? What is the conclusion Ecker draws from his own point here?

      There isn’t one, at least that he is willing to express. 

    • Publion says:

      On the 3rd at 1143AM JR comments on a ‘Malcolm Harris’ comment. 

      He opens, as so very often, with an epithet – again oblivious to the dangers of using epithets that can so obviously recoil back upon him. 

      And – as so very often – he slides in a point which has yet to actually be demonstrated: he waves the ‘rape shirt’ by claiming that “we” (in JR-speak meaning ‘we victims’, to which I would add ‘genuine or otherwise classifiable’) have had experience with “child raping priests”. 

      And on that basis he launches into one of his favorite recitations, i.e. the now-familiar Stampede scripting of large-futured youths who were believing Catholics (to the very ultimate max) and respected and obeyed their priests (whom they confused with God Himself). 

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 3rd at 1143AM:

      Readers – especially those who were or were familiar with young Catholic males – may consider the validity of this Stampede scripting to begin with. 

      Readers so inclined may then also consider whether the personality they know as JR from his material here was ever so cherubic and loyal and obedient and ‘classic’ a Catholic youth. (Or whether a single instance as he alleges could have totally and utterly reversed all that with effects that clearly have lasted into his late-60s.)

      And if we accept all of his proffers in his second paragraph, then who, really, would be ‘pretending’?

      He’s right – I would say – that he “just couldn’t do it” (i.e. being an obedient and respectful and loyal son of the Church), but I would propose that this was characteristic of him from the get-go, and not as the anti-miraculous result of the single instance of being grabbed in his high-school years that he alleges. 

      Which is necessary to point out since he accuses ‘Malcolm Harris’ and “you all” of ‘pretending’. I would say that ‘doubting’ his material is not the same as ‘pretending’ that it didn’t happen as he wants us all to believe it happened. 

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 3rd at 1143AM:

      And to back up all that, then, he delivers yet another pronunciamento or denunciamento: “You are so ill”. And again with no apparent awareness of the recoil dangers of such a statement. 

      Nor is anyone I can think of on this site ‘repelled’ by ‘helping the injured’. But I think there is sufficient sense that we do not actually know who was genuinely “injured” in the first place. So his effort at spinning things to his advantage here fails. 

      Ditto his concluding effort to drag “the teachings of Jesus” into things, in an effort to take a swipe at the moral integrity of one and all.

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on the ‘A Henneberry’ comment of the 3rd at 536PM:

      I refer readers to this article

      It states that in the period 2004-20011 there were 3400 allegation-cases “reported to Rome”, and in regard to the accused the Vatican laicized 848 priests and removed 2,572 from ministry.

      And I would wonder if – in light of the stringency of the prevention protocols – some of those priests were thus dealt-with not so much because of demonstrable proof of what was alleged but simply– as they say nowadays generally – “out of an abundance of caution”. 

    • Publion says:

      On the 3rd at 1133PM ‘Dennis Ecker’ – as usual – tosses up another one-liner with no reference and thus no opportunity for readers to consider the situation about which he is merely attempting to insinuate his preferred spin.

      There was a Grand Jury report – which tosses us right back to the same questions arising from the Grand Jury report(s) involved in the Philadelphia cases.

      And the allegations deal with the way-back, not involving the present Bishop but instead going back to the tenure of two Bishops from decades ago. 

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on the Ecker comment of the 3rd at 1133PM:

      Readers may consider the article entitled “Grand jury: Altoona diocese concealed sex abuse of hundreds of children by priests” by Peter Smith of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

      The State Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, made the announcement issuing the 147-page Report on the 1st of March, using the number of 50 priests “and others associated with the Church” over the course of “half a century” (but neglects to say that this time-period antedated the tenure of the present Bishop).

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on the Ecker comment of the 3rd at 1133PM:

      Many of the now-classic scripting elements of the Stampede are deployed in the article:

      Kane provides an 800-number for anyone wishing to make allegations;

      The offenses are a misch of “molested” and “raped”;

      They resulted (stated as a matter of demonstrated causation and fact) in “lasting psychological trauma”;

      There was a “conspiracy” and a “cover-up”;

      It amounted to “soul murder”; 

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on the Ecker comment of the 3rd at 1133PM:

      Neatly, Kane simultaneously called for “a day of reckoning” but lamented that the (alleged) cases could not be prosecuted;

      They could not be prosecuted because either “the abuse happened” (thus presuming the “abuse” actually did happen) far too long ago or because the child-victims themselves had now aged and died or because “the victims were too traumatized to testify” (after all this time, and to no small extent this reduces the matter simply to ‘spectral evidence’ and the claims of the allegants);

       The “findings” are “both staggering and sobering”, as characterized by Kane;

      The allegations cover a period from the 1940s to the 1980s;

      Although “many” of the allegations were just recently lodged;

      The two Bishops named were in office over a period from 1966 to 2011.

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on the Ecker comment of the 3rd at 1133PM:

      My own thoughts are these:

      I don’t doubt that some cases of some sort of “abuse” happened, although I am not inclined to infer “rape” (as classically defined) in the majority of them.

      The timing of this document’s release – immediately after the ‘rape-heavy’ Oscars ceremony – is certainly curious.

      Which also raises the question of the ‘politics’ that might be involved in all of this (and for those unsure of any connection there, one need only consider that a Vice-President of the United States appeared at the Oscar ceremony to make a ‘rape’ pitch).

      And the more localized considerations of ‘politics’ as the Lynn case continues to bounce back and forth between the State Superior and the State Supreme courts as well as the original trial court.

      From what we have seen of the two Grand Jury Reports involved in the still-current cases in Philadelphia itself, then Grand Jury Reports need to be looked at more closely and need to receive “heightened scrutiny” from the public.

      And I would recall to readers the many problems I have pointed out over time here with allegations in the era of Stampede, especially with cases dating back over half a century.

      Considering the old observation that ‘a prosecutor can get a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich’ then I would also have to consider the possibility that the only part of that dynamic not active here is that indictments – neatly, as I have said above – are not going to be forthcoming.


    • Jim Robertson says:

      Malcolm I was forced to grope him, my abusor. When an adult sexually touches an under age child (or, as in my case, forces the child to touch him) that is STATUATORY RAPE. I got FUCKED all right. You are so full of hate. What you thought about yourself at 16 has nothing to do with what was true for me at 16. Maybe if you'd been abused by a religious at 16 you'd have found out what a child you truly were at that age.

      Frankly I don't give a flying shit what any of you Nazi apologists "think" about me or my abuse.

      Yap on!

  21. Publion says:

    My thanks to those commenters who put up links and quotes in regard to those articles by Daniel Lyons and JW.

    And we now have a nice variety of displays from some of the sites’ more notable Abuseniks. Faced with the material in the recent JW article and the others added by commenters, what do we get?

  22. Publion says:

    On the 2nd at 1034AM ‘LDB’ weighs in; he – regular readers may recall – claims to be i) a graduate of Harvard with a Major in Philosophy and ii) a practicing attorney.

    In his first paragraph he proffers quite an indictment, making a number of assertions about Fr. MacRae. Surely it would occur to so allegedly well-trained a mind to provide some evidence or at least how he arrived at his characterizations here. Otherwise his entire first paragraph would appear to be merely unsupported  assertions. But neither his claimed philosophical nor legal training is in evidence here, as is almost always the case with his material.

    Then – reverting to what appears to be his actual level of operating – he proffers his second paragraph, which turns out to be – unsurprisingly – a collection of modestly histrionic epithetical bits, tossing his stuff at both Fr. MacRae and JW.

    And as a result I can only put ‘LDB’s own question back to him: why believe anything he says?

  23. Publion says:

    Then comes JR (the 2nd at 742PM) who tries to avoid the powerful content of all the articles on the table by – had you been waittttingggg forrrr ittttt? – waving his ‘rape’ shirt. And thus – to his mind at least – he has resolved the problems posed to his position by the articles.

    But ideas and concepts do to tend to bore him – as he has so often proclaimed with a “Yawn!” – and when coupled with the fact that he doesn’t like to read what he doesn’t like, then there’s no surprise here.

    As a substitute, then, he will toss up some of his 3×5 bits:

    He tries to make a plop-tossy point about the cases and the priests jailed, but then – as so often – limits himself to simply posing an insinuating question (to which, as always, he prefers not to proffer an answer, even his own proposed answer to his own question – but quite possibly he has no answer).

  24. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 2nd at 742PM:

    He then tries another question, this time by presuming what has not been demonstrated: that “99% of the criminal Catholic rapists and their enablers are not jailed”. (And there’s that most curious – for his material – capitalization of “Catholic”.)

    Nor does he appear to recall that the Philadelphia and MacRae cases, as they continue to wend their tortured way through the legal system, are both legally dubious, for reasons that have been noted and discussed at length here.

    The “odds” for all that – when we factor in elements of the Stampede and the additional factor that once cases are decided at trial, the legal system is greatly hesitant to reverse its lower-lower level courts or embarrass prosecutors – then the “odds” are rather good that efforts to redress the problems with the trials are going to be often frustrated (the current status of the Philadelphia Lynn case being an outstanding exception, although the State Supreme Court remains hesitant).

    And he files a preemptive excuse for himself not to have to deal with my material, nicely capped by that “Yawn!”.

    I would deploy again the ‘LDB’ question: why believe anything he says at all?

  25. Publion says:

    Then ‘Dennis Ecker’ weighs in on the 2nd at 340PM with a one-liner that is apparently trying to go for the juvenile insinuation that TMR is ‘jealous’ … but of what? As usual, Ecker doesn’t care to (or can’t) say.

  26. Publion says:

    And on the 2nd at 729PM JR announces that he now doth “see how it is”. And what might it be that he doth “see”?

    He claims that both RC and JW are engaged in “saving priests by pretending real victims aren’t”.

    He proffers no accurate quotation from any material that RC and JW have written; he deals not at all with the substantial amount of evidence – drawn from extant sources – that they have presented concerning the cases they discuss.

    In short, he has nothing on which to base is assertion and accusation except that the results of RC’s and JW’s analysis of abuse cases don’t make ‘victims’ look too good. So – in the workings of JR’s mind or, at least, agenda – their results cannot be ‘good’.

    After all – he would have us pretend – if a demonstrable and demonstrated actuality makes ‘victims’ look bad, then it can have that effect only because of … well, something besides the fact that there are abyssal problems with the whole Victimist/Stampede thing to begin with.

  27. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 2nd at 729PM:

    Then, suddenly, the Folksy Wig is on, and we get that chummy “You know …” which provides the lead-in for him to try running his old “proof” bit again: there’s no proof, he wants us to think.

    Proof of what? RC and JW have provided information from extant sources – including what the victims themselves claimed (under oath). Do those claims improve any sense of their veracity?

  28. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 2nd at 729PM:

    But as I said in a comment on a recent thread, this is a conceptual scam JR is running (and his own ‘proof’ issues are already well-known); he is running the scam that was inherent in the Victimist strategy from the beginning: since there are not-often any witnesses to the types of situations upon which they base their allegations, then allegants don’t actually have any “proof” themselves.

    The Stampede solved that problem through the synergy with the sensation-hungry media: souse the public with as many ‘stories’ as you can, to the point where the public simply passes-over the Problem of Proof by merely presuming that since a current allegation is ‘just another Catholic priest case’ then the priest must indubitably be guilty. Once that dynamic is in place, then allegants don’t have to ‘prove’ anything but can instead appeal to a general public sense that any allegation is – or at least ‘must be’ – true.

    And the game can continue from there, with enterprising DA’s (think of Philadelphia in the present Doe cases) and even more strategically-minded tort attorneys (for the past few decades) making such hay as they can (a lot of hay, as it has turned out).

  29. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 2nd at 729PM:

    And this “proof” (or, actually, the lack of it), upon which the Stampede was built, can now be put to work in the reverse, as well: if the “believe-the-victim” aura starts to wear off, and now it is the allegants who are questioned, then they can simply say ‘there is no proof that I lied and you can’t find any’ (add in an in-your-face ‘Myah, myah’ if you like, just to capture the mood).

    Which is true: there is no proof they lied about their original alleged victimization-event because there is no proof that their original victimization-event ever took place to begin with.

    We wind up trying to find some ‘proof’ about whether somebody lied in regard to some ‘X’, when actually we still don’t (and never did) have proof that ‘X’ ever took place to begin with.

  30. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 2nd at 729PM:

    Thus the hall of mirrors which the Stampede has been from the get-go.

    I don’t deny, nor do I doubt, that some cases of genuine clerical abuse took place, even – in some few cases – rising to the level of ‘rape’ (meaning the charge as classically defined).

    But what we have from the articles under consideration here is clear and demonstrated evidence that there was a great deal of highly (if not also utterly) dubious material in allegations that – slyly surfing the wave of media-induced public presumption – furthered the Stampede and resulted in priests being jailed for years and decades.

    And what we have from the Abuseniks here is clear and demonstrated evidence from their own proffered material that they haven’t got any substantive response. And of course they don’t; they were never supposed to have to make a response, if the Stampede dynamics had rolled on an on. But they haven’t. And so, all we get is not ‘responses’ but ‘come-backs’, in best distracting and juvenile fashion.

  31. A Henneberry says:

    Why must these anus-lickers cling to their intrinsically evil practices? Even though church leaders didn't realize the harm caused to the victims, they knew it was mortally sinful and should have tossed them into a penitential facility.Today they do know the harm and continue to wink at these scum. As Our Lady of Fatima predicted, the smoke of satan is in the Vatican.

    • Publion says:

      On the 3rd at 536PM ‘A Hennebery’ (‘AH’) uses the present tense to describe what – at the very best – appear to be events from the way-back. We see here simply the tendency of some who – for whatever reasons or purposes – still consider that way-back to be the ‘present’ (and thus The Ball Can Be Kept Rolling).

      AH continues that present-tense with the accusation the Church doth “continue to wink at these scum”.

      Then – perhaps a bit oddly – AH invokes Our Lady of Fatima to make the accusation that “the smoke of satan is in the Vatican”.

      The Vatican has introduced protocols that are now some of the most – if not actually the most – comprehensive abuse-prevention protocols of any large institution on the planet.

      And, indeed, from the numbers I have seen of priests either laicized or removed from ministry, there are more priests thus dealt-with than there were allegations formally referred to the Vatican.

  32. Jim Robertson says:

    Shhhhhhhhhhhhh! Quite everybody!  P's trying to fool people.

  33. dennis ecker says:

    Pennsylvania Attorney General releases findings catholic bishops covered up hundreds of cases of clergy sexual abuse of children.

  34. malcolm harris says:

    The article by JoAnn  Wypijewski in 'CounterPunch' is a light being shone into dark corners. That other "Spotlight", now holding centre stage, is the proverbial "blind leading the blind".

    JoAnn sums it all up by comparing the Catholic Church to a ATM, for which the password is VICTIM. How very true, there is always a herd of opportunists lining up to make a withdrawal.

    There is much to ponder in this gem of investigative journalism. Personally the part that stunned me was the success of a guy called Gregory Ford.   Much publicized case… in Boston, 2002, he and three others accused a Fr. Shanley. During this criminal trial three of the accusers withdrew from proceedings, and that left only one accuser, a guy called Buto    ( or some name like that). The priest was convicted. But later it was revealed that Ford had also accused his own father, his neighbout and a relative, of sexual abuse???. Hence the prosecutor pulling him out of the criminal case.

    Incredibly, Ford still lined up for a cash settlement, together with Buto and the others. Ford walked away with 1.4 million dollars. So a serial accuser and proven liar was paid a truckload of cash.

    Go figure??? As I previously said….I smell a whole nest of rats.


  35. Dennis Ecker says:

    To be fair why are we only hearing one side of the story ?

    CNN is reporting " the new best picture Oscar Winner  SPOTLIGHT has earned a stamp of approval from an unlikely source: L' Osservatore Romano A VATICAN-owned newspaper. Calling it NOT ANTI – CATHOLIC. In addition the newspaper states the film "manages to voice the shock and profound pain of the faithful confronting the discovery of these horrendous realities". The New York Daily News reports the Vatican's official newspaper is preaching the praises of SPOTLIGHT, and other publications such as UPI, reuters, The Guardian and the Vatican radio use such words as The Osservatore Romano said the film " did not take a hostile position against the church."        

    I think if we are going to read one woman's dislike for a movie TMR should be fair in publishing these accounts and feelings of those who like the movie and feel it has told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


  36. Jim Robertson says:

    Not TMR's purpose Dennis. It has other fish to fry.

  37. Publion says:

    On the 4th at 955PM ‘Dennis Ecker’ finally gets around to putting up some references for his material. Good for him.

    The Vatican has indeed made some nice, if carefully limited and guarded, comments about the film.

    As is often the case with official statements, readers may consider the quoted comment “shock and profound pain of the faithful confronting the discovery of these horrendous realities” not only for what it does say but for what it doesn’t say.

    It acknowledges the reaction of the faithful; it acknowledges “these horrendous realities”.

    It does not at all comment on the extent (or lack of it) of “these realities”.

    Surely nobody on this site has ever denied the fact of some such instances happening, as they have happened in other large human institutions (such as universities, public schools, assorted youth groups, the military, and other religious polities).

    • Dennis Ecker says:

      I think a reported 5 million dollar award to one victim and another 3 Billion dollars in awards to other victims and a reported 2.3 Billion dollars in lost income per year to the church clearly shows the extent of these "realities".

      You and other catholics should consider yourselves lucky sol's are in place and every victim has not been able to collect for the torture they endured or you would be celebrating your catholic rituals in your basement.

      P.S. The money numbers come from your friends Ralph Cipriano and two reporters over at NCR. You have a problem with the accuracy take it up with them.

  38. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on the Ecker comment of the 4th at 955PM:

    But there is nothing as to a) the specific focus on the Church; b) the dynamics of the Stampede; or c) the credibility or probable credibility of many of the allegations.

    These remain the major matters that have certainly been aired on this site.

  39. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on the Ecker comment of the 4th at 955PM:

    It can hardly be surprising that the Vatican chose the response it did to the film.

    Under the conditions of Stampede and Victimism, to deny abuse is to admit abuse; defending oneself under these circumstances becomes next to impossible in the public forum. Thus to take a more critical stance to the film would be to pick a fight that surely could not be won in the public forum, given the state of public opinion in this era in these matters.

    And since the actions of the Globe and even the Stampede itself (comprised as it is of its many interests and elements) have prompted the Church to institute some of the best abuse-prevention protocols of any large organization on the planet, then a pleasant and low-key Vatican response would be far more advisable than any other route.

    But this is hardly to assert that the Vatican’s comments on the film also constitute i) an approval of the Globe’s various actions or ii) a general admission as to the validity of the Stampede as it has evolved (especially in its post-2002 sue-the-Church phase).

  40. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on the Ecker comment of the 4th at 955PM:

    Thus – using the Ecker formulation here – what we get in the Vatican statement(s) is not in any sense and surely not completely “the other side of the story”.

    And for that we can to some extent turn to the Wypijewski piece or for that matter any of the Cipriano pieces on the Doe cases in Philadelphia.

    And in that regard I would also point out that neither the JW nor RC pieces are accurately characterizable as mere opinion: both authors present an assessment and reach conclusions that are based on material that is set forth in their pieces, researchable by others in extant public records, and the conclusions drawn are consistent with the actualities in the material they present.

  41. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on the Ecker comment of the 4th at 955PM:

    In his effort to characterize the JW piece as merely expressing her “dislike” of the film, Ecker here reflects the familiar Abusenik confusion of ‘opinion’ and the far more strenuous ‘competent assessment’. And the two approaches are hardly the same.

    What we so often get from the Abuseniks is indeed ‘opinion’ and nothing more, whether attempting to mimic competent assessment or merely tossing up opinion frosted with assorted distracting bits such as epithet and unsupported claims, assertions, stories, and accusations or even claiming that such ‘opinion’ is the Word, Will and Thought of God.

    Ditto his concluding use of “feel”. That is a term congruent with mere opinion. What JW and RC provide is competent assessment, which – as I said – is something else altogether and not something Abuseniks of any level of competence seem to prefer.

    • Dennis Ecker says:

       I "feel" your an ass. There maybe someone out there who may "feel" your a bigger ass then I do. I believe that maybe congruent with many who post here. But again that is only our opinion. 

    • Jim Robertson says:

      I feel you are right Dennis about P being an ass. You are also right about him being felt a bigger ass in other victims' views.

      I also feel he's a plant. A smoke blowing piece of vegitation. Stationed here to obliterate truth.

      A marvel of modern "gardening".

  42. Mrpkguy says:

    It would appear that "Pubilon says" has taken over this forum and we would think someoneone would have cut off his posts about 20 or so back……oh well, I truthfully could not bother to read to read any of them after the first few. Shame "Pubilon says" is so fascinated by his/her own rehetoric.

  43. Publion says:

    In regard to the Ecker comment of the 5th at 658PM:

    The doubt as to the amount paid out by the Church is pretty much JR’s. Ecker will have to take the matter up with him the next time they confer.

    The income lost to the Church through pay-outs and lost contributions (however that might be calculated accurately) would be attributable perhaps as much if not more to the “realities” of the Stampede and the Anderson Strategies, employing the tried and true tactics of the “strike suit” and the long-established dynamics of disability lawsuits (or – if one prefers – scams).

    But I note again Ecker’s interest in the “sol’s” (i.e. Statutes of Limitation). They are currently in force in Pennsylvania, although there is some agitation to have them removed or weakened. Since he has claimed at some point to have been abused in the way-back by a Catholic cleric, then his interest here might seem more than academic.

    The “torture” trope would certainly help that along.

  44. Publion says:

    On then to the Ecker comment of the 5th at 709PM:

    As so often with Abuseniks, you sooner or later come to a queasily adolescent core as the lava erupts and sweeps away the carefully contrived appearance of mature concern and the scatological epithets are ejected into the atmosphere.

    Just how the dynamics operate here that lead him from “I” to “our” is for any reader so inclined to consider.

  45. Jim Robertson says:

     The real issue: Only 15% of the church's victims compensated so far.

  46. malcolm harris says:

    Consider these words from JoAnn Wypijewski, in "Counterpunch'…. a  very perceptive insight into the problem. 

    "Moral panics are by their nature hysterical. They jettison reason for emotion, transfer accusations into proof, spur more accusations, and create a climate that demands not deliberation or evidence……"

    Gee….almost as though she was describing JR…. and also some of his pitch-fork carrying friends.

  47. Jim Robertson says:

    Was it "moral panic" that caused cardinal Law to transfer known perp clerics to supervise new Catholic children?

    • malcolm harris says:

      JR on the 7th asks whether it was moral panic that caused Cardinal Law to transfer "perp clerics to supervise new Catholic children."

      This is exactly what JoAnn Wyijewski was referring to when she said of moral panic…. "jettisons reason for emotion….transfers accusations into proof"

      He jettisons reason when he tells you that priests supervise children…they don't and never have. It used to be nuns and brothers who taught and supervised. Today I think they are mostly lay teachers. Even back in my time most kids only saw and heard a priest at mass. 

      As for… "transfering accusation into proof". Yes, JR has also done that. Because he takes  unsupported allegations and says that it is proof that the guy was a perpetrator. So on his reasoning the Cardinal should have reported it to the police??? Well the parents didn't report to the police? Why? Perhaps they were unsure…. like the Cardinal.

      Anyway government schools were doing the same with accused teachers. Transfering them… and giving them another chance.. But JR is hoping you all have short memories.


  48. Jim Robertson says:

    Bugger off Malcolm Harris! Your own Australian cardinal Pell did exactly the same thing and he too like Law is hiding out in the Vatican to avoid jail time.

    The Vatican seems to be the last refuge of child RAPISTS and their ENABLERS in fsact.

    Oh sure Frank the talking mule says one thin;g but what he does for victims is ZERO.

  49. Publion says:

    On the 5th at 559PM a ‘Mrpkguy’ tries to run the old no-word-in-edgewise play so beloved of the Abuseniks: to him “it would appear” that I have “taken over this forum”.

    Nope. I just put up a lot of thoughts. ‘Mrpkguy’ or anybody else is also welcome to put up as many thoughts as they wish.

    Has ‘Mrpkguy’ put up many thoughts? For that matter, once you have filtered out the epithets and assorted distractions, have any of the Abuseniks put up any actual thoughts?

    No. ‘Feelings’, yes; and feelings masked to mimic thoughts, yes. But otherwise … readers may consider as they will. And readers may also take into account the further riffings on ‘feel’ and ‘feelings’ by other Abuseniks recently as well.

  50. Publion says:

    On then to JR’s of the 6th at 233PM:

    The only useful potential in his comment is that it might prompt consideration as to the mind of a person who would not only put up this assertion of his once, but then continue to put it up – even after it has been demonstrated that the assertion is based on a near-decade-old listing that was admittedly partial even when it was compiled back then.