The leaders of CNSNews.com -- specifically, editor in chief Terry Jeffrey and managing editor Michael W. Chapman -- are so Catholic, they feel they can use the "news" operation they run to lecture the pope on religious priniciples. So when a grand jury report was released last week detailing sexual abuse cases involving Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania, you'd thinkg that Jeffrey and Chapman -- being the double-plus-good Catholics they are -- would want to treat this report seriously and report on it journalistically (or, at least, what passes for that at CNS).
Well, not so much. The report was released on Aug. 14; for three days, CNS reported nothing whatsoever about it -- and, to date, it has yet to run a "news" article about the report.
The first mention of the report of any kind at CNS was three long days later, when it published a lengthy screed by its favorite Catholic, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League (on whose board of advisors Jeffrey and Chapman's boss, Brent Bozell, sits), purporting to "debunk many of the myths, and indeed lies, that mar the report and/or interpretations of it" and insist that "it's been a homosexual scandal all along."
Donohue also desperately repeated his fallacious attacks on the John Jay College report for previously shutting down his anti-gay argument by pointing out the fact that even though many of the priests' victims were boys and young men, that does not equate to the priests being gay since one does not need a homosexualidentity to commit homosexual acts:
It won't help to say that the John Jay report did not conclude that homosexuals committed most of the offenses, even though their own data undercut their interpretation. The professors played the self-identity game: they said that many of the men who had sex with adolescent males did not identify as gay. So what?
If a straight priest who abused a teenage girl said he thinks of himself as gay, would the researchers list him as such? Self-identification that does not square with the truth is a lie. I recently spoke to a person in the media about this. I told him that I consider myself to be a Chinese dwarf—even though it is obvious that I am a big Irishman—and asked if he would describe me that way in his story. He got my point.
Donohue is playing a game as well, and it's called homophobia.
The only other article CNS has run regarding the scandal is a blog post by Chapman the same day featuring Cardinal Raymond Burke -- a right-wing cleric who was removed by Pope Francis as the head of the Vatican's high court -- attacking the "homosexual culture" in the church that purportedly led to the scandal and repeating Donohue's talking points about blaming gays for it.
There are other things CNS hasn't done besides not run an fair and objective "news" article on the scandal despite the fact that it calls itself a "news" operation. It has not published a voice on the scandal that is not right-wing and anti-gay, let alone allow that voice to rebut the homophobia of Donohue and Burke. It did not disclose in Donohue's post that Bozell is on the board of the organization Donohue runs. violating conflict-of-interest guidelines. It did not mention that the pope removed Burked from a Vatican post.
And the same day CNS published Dononue's screed, his Catholic League issued a wildly insensitive tweet attacking "conservative Catholics" (isn't that what Donohue is?) for allegedly being "singularly incapable of making a cogent argument, so all they do is vent like little boys." CNS hasn't said a thing about that.