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Thursday, April 3, 2014
NewsBusters' Pierre Still Whitewashing Catholic Church Abuse
Topic: NewsBusters

Dave Pierre is the Media Research Center's official whitewasher of sexual abuse allegations against Catholic clergy, desperate to mislead in order to divert attention away from the longstanding scandal.

Pierre strikes again in an April 1 NewsBusters post trying to obfuscate things, starting with a claim that a new audit of abuse in the church was issued by "independent experts." In fact, the report was issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is arguably less than independent. Pierre also conveniently ignores the limitations of the audit -- namely, that it depends heavily on self-reporting and that most Catholic dioceses refused to let the USCCB's independent auditor, a company called StoneBridge, conduct its own parish-level audits:

In 2013, as in 2011 and 2012, most dioceses and all eparchies opted not to have StoneBridge conduct parish audits. Some dioceses countered that they perform their own audits and elected to opt out of having StoneBridge also audit them. Parishes and schools represent the front lines in any diocese’s or eparchy’s Charter compliance efforts. If a diocese or eparchy does not conduct some form of audit of its parishes and schools—whether by diocesan/eparchial representative or external auditor such as StoneBridge—the bishop or eparch cannot be sure that Charter-related policies and procedures are clearly communicated and effectively carried out. At the chancery or pastoral center, our auditors may review certain Charter implementation policies, and observe related back office procedures, but without observing the same procedures at the parish/school level, we are unable to verify that parishes and schools are complying with the Charter.

Nevertheless, Pierre is in full spin mode, declaring that "there were only ten contemporaneous abuse allegations made against priests even deemed 'credible' in all of 2013" and that "bogus accusations against Catholic priests are rampant." Of course, Pierre's low number for "contemporaneous abuse allegations" is not a reflection of reality, since many allegations of abuse come years after the fact.

Pierre huffed that Only a mere 14.6% of all 2013 cases were even deemed "substantiated" by the liberal standards of review boards" without mentioning that the review boards in question are operated by the dioceses or explaining how its standards are supposedly "liberal." Pierre also portrays the audit's claim that "90% of all abuse accusations last year allege incidents from at least 25 years ago" as something to be proud of instead of the ongoing source of concern it actually is.

So, yes, Pierre is still an apologist for the church, trying to pretend sexual abuse never was a real problem.

P.S. While NewsBusters published this, neither it nor any other MRC outlet has yet to acknowledge Catholic activist Austin Ruse's assertion that liberal professors should be shot.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:57 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 3, 2014 4:15 PM EDT

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