Phoning It In: Lazy AP Trio Discovers That Church Review Panels Actually Have Critics

Reese Dunklin : Mitch Weiss : Matt Sedensky : Associated Press

Journalistic lightweights: (l to r) Reese Dunklin, Mitch Weiss, and Matt Sedensky of the Associated Press

Imagine a large private organization – with a membership of some 70 million people – sought to tackle the issue of sex abuse within its ranks by devoting the resources to voluntarily set up review panels throughout the country made up of lay experts to adjudicate claims of abuse well beyond that required by criminal or civil law.

And the organization even did so decades ago, well before the current "#MeeToo" hysteria and discovery of abuse everywhere in our culture. Would such a large nationwide system still be completely free of criticism by anyone?

Of course not. But that is exactly the premise of a recent piece by journalistic lightweights Reese Dunklin, Mitch Weiss, and Matt Sedensky of the Associated Press: that the Catholic Church review panels have critics! Yikes!

On the hunt for cranks and kooks

Becky Ianni : SNAP

Church hater Becky Ianni
from the lawyer-funded SNAP

The AP's meandering screed is little more than a survey of longtime professional cranks and kooks who have a long history of ripping the Church about everything under the sun, yet the AP trio never told their readers this.

The AP featured longtime Church hater Becky Ianni and somehow completely failed to mention that she is a longtime leader of the lawyer-funded hate group SNAP.

Ianni also tells a dubious story that when she appeared years ago before a diocesan abuse board in Virginia to air an accusation from many decades earlier, "one member fell asleep and another flipped through a magazine."

The AP also trotted out Joey Piscitelli, whom the AP did not mention was a self-proclaimed "pagan witch" and also a longtime associate of SNAP. Piscitelli once appeared at court in support of a man who employed a ruse to enter a retirement home and then violently attack a 65-year-old priest. A guy of real gravitas.

The article also features nutty Jennifer Haselberger, a disgruntled ex-employee of the Archdiocese of St. Paul – Minneapolis. As we reported years ago, Haselberger once screamed to the media an explosive story that a Minnesota priest possessed "images of pornography," some of which, in her view, "appear[ed] to show children." Yet after police spent months investigating the claim, not a single frame of child pornography was ever found. Haselberger's machination was completely false, and the media firestorm over the case completely destroyed the reputation of an innocent priest.

The AP also presented the case of accuser Erin Brady, who claimed a priest molested her decades ago, as unquestionably true. Yet the AP never mentioned the fact that not only was Brady's claim based on the disredited theory of "repressed memory flashbacks" but also that the accused priest so vehemently denied the charges against him that he actually sued Brady for defamation. (Tellingly, the accused priest had no other claims against him even after several decades in ministry; he died in 2014.)

Lazy journalism

Simply put, the Catholic Church is the safest environment in the world for children today. No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care. As rampant child sex abuse continues in our nation's public schools largely unreported, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.

Yet the Associated Press trio is not interested in any of this. The story is the Catholic Church, not sex abuse per se. So if you have to reach out further and further to come up with new, even dumber storylines like this, so be it.

For most journalists, what is easy always comes before what is true.

Comments

  1. Oimou says:

    Is the AP on some sort of jihad against the church now?  They have had a lot of recent stories like this.  I did not even know they were still in business.  What difference is it to the public if some people dont like the review panels?.

  2. Dan says:

    The AP story wasn't about, "Yikes! the Catholic Church review panels have critics!" It was discussing how the system set-up was more like a incompetent Kangaroo Court, fraudulently posing as a fair judicial process, when it really was nothing of the sort.

    "Instead review boards appointed by bishops and operating in secrecy have routinely undermined sex abuse claims from victims, shielded accused priests and helped the church avoid payouts."

    The terrible outcomes, dismissals by bishops siding with guilty priests and secular courts overturning review board decisions stands as proof of the fraud. That is what the AP story was about.

    • LLC says:

      Dan,

      While it is true that the AP article is not mostly about critics in the Church’s panels, it is also true that TMR post is very effective in showing how the article is biased, misleading, poorly written, and while doesn’t report clear conflict of interests with its contributors, it’s quick to allege the same when it comes to the Church’s boards.

      The AP article doesn’t report absolute numbers, only individual cases here and there in the USA, but uses generic terms such as “several” to imply that such cases are widespread. It uses sympathetic words towards the alleged victims, and always negative connotations like “secrecy”, “undermine”, “hostility” and “grilled” when referring to the boards and their members. Testimonies from Bishops and board members are often followed by “however” and “but” with arguments meant to contradict their words, but such rebukes refer to different geographies and dioceses, old stories already addressed and debunked, or use personal opinions without objective bases.

      In short, in an appropriate court of law, this article would be thrown out immediately as argumentative, speculative and inflammatory, and the part presenting it would immediately be reprimanded by the judge. But none of this is of any interest to the AP, nor to you, it seems.

      Have a blessed day, non-Christian brother.

    • Dan says:

      LLC, Do you really believe all the garbage excuses you continue to spew? You might want to stop living in such denial. Victims at the very least deserve "sympathetic words". On the other hand, bishops and cunningly chosen board members "sympathetic" to 'the Church', deserve words like "secrecy", "undermine", "hostility" and "grilled", because that's been the church's modus operandi in dealing with victims and protecting their cults reputation. Let's call a spade a spade and stop trying to "undermine" the truth.

  3. LLC says:

    Dan,

    "Do you really believe all the garbage excuses you continue to spew?" = the AP will be pleased to know that they found in you another gullible reader who takes their biased, unsubstantiated and disparaging news article at face value. As someone said, "birds of the same feather…".

    Have a blessed week, non-Christian brother.

  4. LLC says:

    Dan,

    Actually, my answer would be "not". I am not pleased that you are a gullible, acritical reader, who believes everything he's told about Jesus' Church by the secular media. I can highlight examples of the media’s bias and lack of professionalism, but it’s up to you to get rid of your preconceptions and open your mind to the fact that you have been, indeed, fooled.

    Have a blessed day, non-Christian brother.

    • Dan says:

      In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Jesus Christ will be persecuted, while evildoers and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Tim 3:12-13

      Don't even have to interpret that one. Have you ever given thought as to how God could have you and your church pegged almost a couple thousand years before you even existed. Food for thought, freely served from the Lord's servant. Too bad you prefer not to sit at His table.

    • Dan says:

      Isn't it odd that every diocese has a pretty long list of pedophile and pederast clergy, usually only divulged when forced by the courts, yet its because of my preconceived and gullible acceptance of everything the secular media writes that brings me to my conclusions? Are you really that ignorant or just think you can make your fellow cohorts believe any nonsense you can spew?

      And I'm terribly sorry. I was not aware that I was supposed to please deceived catholics like yourself. I've been so busy trying to please my Lord and my God, that I overlooked pleasing you. Is that written in your false catechism that Christians are supposed to please the world? Now explain to us how I'm the one being "fooled". You're an absolute joke. servant

  5. LLC says:

    Dan,

    “Don't even have to interpret that one” = I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.

    “Have you ever given thought as to how God could have you and your church pegged almost a couple thousand years before you even existed” = Scriptures foretold God’s Church from the beginning, and how it would be persecuted and prosecuted by the earthly power, with the support of deceived fools like yourself.

    “Too bad you prefer not to sit at His table” = I actually sit at His table (almost) every Sunday. It is wonderful, in communion with countless other Catholics around the world. I recommend you try it.

    “Isn't it odd that every diocese has a pretty long list of pedophile and pederast clergy, usually only divulged when forced by the courts” = first of all, the lists are usually short, but it doesn’t matter; just one name in these lists is one too many. Second, is not odd at all, because the Church is the only organization that is actually doing something to prevent these horrible abuses from happening. Other organizations, including your so-called church, are light-years behind, but reckoning is coming for yours, as well.

    “yet it’s because of my preconceived and gullible acceptance of everything the secular media writes that brings me to my conclusions?” = correct; wonderfully said.

    “I was not aware that I was supposed to please deceived Catholics like yourself” = correct; you aren’t. I am not pleased because, clearly, I am not doing a good enough job in showing the shortcomings and the biased attitude of the media. As already said, nothing you say or do affects me in the least.

    “Now explain to us how I'm the one being "fooled" = please see above.

    Now, this TMR post is about a failed AP piece of news. Do you have anything else to say about it? If not, you know the routine.

    Have a blessed day, non-Christian brother.

    • Dan says:

      If "one name in these lists is one too many", then how can you claim partial lists of over thirty or fifty or more priests and bishops in a diocese is short? Who do you think you're fooling. Are your catholic cohorts as dumb and "gullible" as you? The only failure to the AP piece of news is your poor excuses and the denials along with your poor interpretations. No worse than your twisted interpretation of God's Word. How dare you claim that God's Church is defined by greed, idolatry, homosexual pedophilia, cowards and liars. Most definitely your church, but not God's church.

    • Dan says:

      "I am not doing a good enough job" = correct, you never have.

    • Dan says:

      Allow me to add – Your church is not "persecuted". When there is this much guilt it should be "prosecuted", but instead they handled cases secretly in house and avoided the prosecution they most assuredly deserve. For centuries you've been conning gov't authorities and getting away with it, but thanks be to God, those days seem to be coming to a close. Nobody other than your brainwashed sheep are trusting or believing the excuses and lies of your disgusting church.

    • LLC says:

      Dan,

      Since you are partially referring to the topic at hand (the AP piece of news), here’s my response to you.

      “then how can you claim partial lists” = since you can’t provide an alternate list, I maintain that you are a liar.

      “over thirty or fifty or more priests and bishops in a diocese is short?” = it’s a question of math and ratios. I wonder if your claim of having majored in math is another lie. Wouldn't be the first, I am afraid won't be the last.

      “The only failure to the AP piece of news is your poor excuses and the denials along with your poor interpretations” = non-sequitur, meaning that your conclusion doesn’t follow your own premises (no surprise here). The failure of the AP piece of news is that is poorly written, biased, extrapolates general conclusions from thin air and is deceitful. Interestingly enough, it looks like your own posts. I wonder if you double as an AP contributor. It would explain volumes.

      “How dare you claim that God's Church is defined by greed, idolatry, homosexual pedophilia, cowards and liars” = I don’t; you do. Hence, you are bringing judgement on yourself, again.

      As for your remaining comments, they do not refer to the content of this post, and have been answered many times before, so I won’t spend any more time there.

      Have a blessed day, non-Christian brother.

Speak Your Mind

(email addresses will not be displayed publicly)

*