Considering that leaders of the Catholic Church made the decisive difference in the reelection of Pres. George W. Bush; after coming close to denying Americans
affordable health insurance, theirs is the power and money obstructing
women’s health care; and, having failed to stop same-sex marriage in this country, are going global to persecute gays (NOM is Opus Dei); one would think more would be concerned about the absence of critical information about the institution and its leader. But like its secular counterpart, the Catholic media have yielded to idolatrous obsequiousness towards Pope Francis.
Because Catholic insiders are the most dependable source of accurate reports about the institution and its leaders, the loss of reliable and accurate data has been sorely missed in the 18 months since his election. Befuddled Catholics can only surmise that previously neutral publications such as Commonweal and National Catholic Reporter have bowed to restrictions imposed by their advertisers. Oh, it’s alright to report on problems in the Church, they just can’t be attributable to the absolute monarch who is maintaining the status quo. To be fair, since Francis’ election, NCR has published a handful of articles with some factually negative information, but 99% of papal coverage is adulation. Even the comments section is edited.
There is only one source which presents “news and analysts of every position and persuasion” – Abuse Tracker. It has no advertisers. Begun in March 2002 “to help reporters keep up with fast-breaking coverage of the [Catholic] sexual abuse crisis,” the website has expanded to include news about the sexual torture of children around the world and in other denominations and religions as well.
Here we find that priests are still raping and sodomizing children, bishops are still aiding and abetting these criminals, and the perpetrators are still escaping justice by fleeing to other countries; and that almost every U.S. prelate appointed and promoted by Pope Francis has a poor record in this area. A year before the New York Times reported on the alleged sexual abuse of poor boys in the Dominican Republic by papal ambassador Archbishop Joseph Wesolowski, Abuse Tracker had the first-hand reports from that country. The reactions of their own national press to Cardinal Pell’s testimony before a government commission, the horrendous fates of the girls and women, their babies and children, in Irish homes run by religious women, the Catholic institutional sexual and physical violence against children in a multitude of countries are made available.
Abuse Tracker has expanded further and fills in the reporting gaps about the Catholic Church with news and opinion (including mine) concerning the pope and his men from numerous sources in other areas such as finance as well as other ecclesial events and opinion from around the world.
The website is sponsored by BishopAccountability.com which keeps a “full ‘account’ of the bishops’ responsibility for the sexual abuse crisis, both individually and collectively,” on every American bishop and Pope Francis when he was an Argentine prelate. They are expanding their documentation globally.
Since the beginning, the editor has been Kathy Shaw, a retired award-winning religion reporter and now a freelance writer. “Her work, along with efforts of reporter George Griffin, led to extradition in 1994 of Father Fredette back to Worcester to face trial” for sexually molesting boys in a youth home after the priest had fled to Canada. “In 2003, she helped bring some measure of protection to reporters in Massachusetts” by resisting attempts by the Worcester diocese to compel her to testify and divulge her notes when an auxiliary bishop was sued for sexually abusing a minor. The judge ruled that she did not have to reveal that information. The subpoena was quashed.
Kathy was the reporter who, in 2003, uncovered and wrote the first story about the 1962 document called Crimen Sollicitationis in which the Vatican instructed bishops throughout the world on how they would handle allegations of sexual abuse made against priests. The document was to remain so secret that bishops were never to admit its existence and it was the first Vatican document to surface that would show the Vatican intended that allegations of clergy sexual misconduct should be kept under wraps.
In other words, Kathy Shaw did the type of investigative reporting likely to be found only on Abuse Tracker.
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