A senior Vatican priest last week compared outrage at Pope Benedict's handling of sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church to the persecution of the Jews. Church leaders disavowed the comments, but went on to complain about a "vile," anti-Vatican media campaign aimed at weakening the papacy and its authority
Is the news media being fair to the pope? Is the media biased against the Catholic Church or its hierarchy? How would you advise the pope?
Sally Quinn and Jon Meacham on April 5, 2010 2:10 PM
The bias in the media is not against the Catholic Church. That is little more than face-saving defensiveness. The bias is against the abuse of children and young people by priests. The bias is against a systematic cover-up on every level of the Catholic hierarchy.
Posted by John Shelby Spong, on April 7, 2010 10:32 AM
The press is not being unfair to the pope, nor to the Catholic Church. The pope and all the clergy who have done in secret that which is now being brought to light are being unfair to the Catholic Church they say they love and the people they have maligned.
Posted by Susan K. Smith, on April 6, 2010 8:26 PM
To own his rightful place as the moral leader of the Catholic Church, the Pope needs to stop running away from this conversation and join the dialogue that will allow the Holy Spirit to heal the crisis in his church.
Giving preferential treatment to churches is not fair. Holding church officials to the same ethical and legal standards as the rest of society is fair. "Thank God," so to speak, that the media is finally doing its job and accepting some responsibility for guarding the hen houses.
Posted by Herb Silverman, on April 6, 2010 9:34 AM
The focus should not be on the media. The media took no vow. If they are biased, they are biased. The church should be honestly and completely investigating itself and proclaiming its shame and regret from the rooftops.
The more the Vatican fails to place the well-being of children at the center of its concern, and the more it tries to deflect criticism of its mishandling of child sexual abuse cases, the more the moral authority of the church erodes.
Posted by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, on April 5, 2010 4:57 PM
The Vatican has long been accustomed to deferential, even fawning treatment by most mainstream media outlets, especially on the searing-hot topic of clergy sex abuse. Fairness is unfamiliar -- and stinging.