Rezendes Unhinged: ‘Spotlight’ Reporter Now Claims the Church Still ‘Has No Policies’ for Dealing With Abuse By Priests

Michael Rezendes : Boston Globe

Professional anti-Catholic bigot: The Boston Globe's Michael Rezendes

There comes a point when an individual shows such contempt for the truth that one can no longer give him the benefit of the doubt and must conclude that he is an unabashed bigot.

Such is the case with Michael Rezendes, the crack reporter from The Boston Globe's "Spotlight" team, who has recently been repeatedly making the claim in media appearances in recent weeks that the Catholic Church has somehow "not dealt with" the decades-old issue of clergy sex abuse.

Oh, the tangled webs we weave

Thomas J. Nash

Shining the light of truth:
Writer Thomas J. Nash

Rezendes has appeared on various outlets over the past couple months promoting his latest "Spotlight" item in the Boston Globe claiming that Catholic priests have fathered numerous children and that the Church "has never set rules" as to how to deal with this.

Enter writer Thomas J. Nash, who read Rezendes' piece and also saw an interview appearance by Rezendes on CBS This Morning discussing his work.

In a must-see article in Catholic World Report, Nash notes that Rezendes is "seriously mistaken in claiming that the Vatican has failed to establish polices" regarding priests fathering children.

"[W]hat Rezendes asserts is simply not true and not befitting a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist. The Code of Canon Law, issued in 1983, and which continues longstanding Church policy, specifically addresses clerical sins regarding the Sixth Commandment, i.e., regarding sexual sins that encompass fathering a child, and conveys such a priest should be suspended from clerical ministry (CIC, canon 1395; cf. canon 277.3)."

But, most troubling, Rezendes, in his interview with CBS, claimed that that "after all these years of having to confront the problem, the Vatican has still not come up with a set of policies for dealing with the problem of clergy sexual abuse."

However, nothing could be further from the truth! As Nash noted, the Vatican has long had protocols in place to deal with abuse by priests, including those embedded in Canon law.

And, as we have discussed numerous times over years, the Catholic Church was tackling the issue within its ranks even before 1985 – over 30 years ago, when cases of clergy sex abuse first began receiving national attention.

"As early as 1982, we saw policies and procedures coming to the attention of the USCCB (the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) regarding specific child molestation cases," Teresa Kettelkamp, executive director of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection for the USCCB, has reported. "By 1983, 157 dioceses had policies in place."

These policies formulated the bishops' "Five Principles" in dealing with allegations of abuse. Bishops first articulated them in 1987 and then publicly pronounced them in 1992.

And since 2002, the USCCB has been conducting and publishing annual audits to ensure that dioceses have complied with safeguarding and reporting policies.

In the end, even though abuse has soiled every organization that works with children, no other organization on the planet even comes close in its efforts to rectify its past and prevent future abuse. Nash concludes (emphasis added):

"Rezendes is guilty of libel, and as a journalist I don't use the term lightly. The U.S. Supreme Court landmark decision in NY Times vs. Sullivan, issued in 1964, established the modern standard for libel of public figures: 'knowing falsity' or 'reckless disregard of the truth.' While Church leaders in Rome presumably won't bring a lawsuit against Rezendes and the Globe, a case could be made …

"[I]t is at least reckless for Rezendes not to know about and report on canon 1395, given the extensive reporting he has also done on priests' fathering children. For an accomplished investigative reporter, there's simply no excuse for the statements Rezendes made to CBS."

Rezendes' bigotry

Indeed, if there were any question as to whether Rezendes' falsehoods were intentional, a recent appearance should put the matter to rest. On a June 29, 2017, appearance on local Boston TV show "Greater Boston," Rezendes recklessly asserted, "The Church has not dealt with this problem, and until the Church deals with the problem head on, we're going to see scandal after scandal after scandal … The Church can't come to grips with this … This is a systemic problem within the Church."

Without a doubt, Rezendes is not only completely unhinged but a professional anti-Catholic bigot if ever there were one.

[See also: "Five Fast Facts About the Media's Catholic Church Sex Abuse Narrative"]

[And: "'This has quietly turned into a MAJOR CRISIS': Turmoil and major production problems at the Boston Globe persist"]


  1. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on JR’s of the 9th at 920PM:

    There is no basis for JR’s mere assertion that “the majority of victims got nothing”. As best as can be seen, just about anyone with a story got something if they got themselves a tortie.

    And having banked the check, JR then claims that the Church “benefitted by paying far far less than it should [have]” – which requires a presumption that there are those untold myriads out there.

    And since the Church wasn’t behind SNAP – and JR has shown utterly nothing that demonstrates otherwise – then the Church is not responsible for SNAP’s actions or “inaction”, whatever that was supposed to have been.

    JR’s not pleased: his ‘theories’ aren’t being given the acceptance he is insists they deserve. The only conclusion that occurs to him is that he’s being victimized. There are, clearly, other possibilities, but he – like ‘Dan’ – can’t consider them or his head would explode.

  2. Publion says:

    On then to JR’s of the 9th at 950PM:

    If anyone can make any sense of his first 3 sentences they are welcome to share that insight here: He quit in 2003; he didn’t try a palace coup until 2007 or 2008 (he can’t remember even that?); they couldn’t kick him out in 2007-8 because he had quit in 2003.

    If he was no longer a member in 2007-8, how did he expect to get ‘elected’ to anything? And there’s still the question as to whether the by-laws included elections.

    In fact, now, any reader who can make sense of the entire first paragraph of the comment is welcome to share that insight here.

    And add the second paragraph as well.

  3. Publion says:

    On then to JR’s of the 10th at 1200AM:

    Here JR lustily dons his favorite Wig, that of Outraged Dignity and Victimization: “how dare” I compare him to a … murderer?”.

    I compared the mentation: it’s the same in both JR and Whitey. It’s a form of entitled rationalization. Victimism provided a more socially acceptable form of it: one was victimized (and one’s claim must be accepted without question), therefore one was entitled.

    And then – marvelously – JR goes on to reveal a vengeful disposition and declamation about as similar to Whitey’s as similar can be.

    A real mature and adult charmer JR is. And he still cawn’t think why people might neither believe nor trust him. Or why he might need to be “controlled”, as he likes to say.