An editorial in the November 13 edition of the Washington Post claimed that “high-level sexual misconduct and coverup in France shattered illusions of progress by the church toward establishing a culture of transparency and accountability in its hierarchy.”
The evidence? A retired cardinal and archbishop in France admitted to sexual misconduct with a teenage girl 35 years ago. Oh, yes, it was recently disclosed that allegations of abuse extending back decades were made about another French bishop; he was removed from his post.
There are over 5,000 bishops in the world and the Washington Post found two of them who were involved in sexual misconduct decades ago. The paper argues that this shatters “illusions of progress.”
What it really shattered is the credibility of its editorial board.
As I recounted in The Truth about Clergy Sexual Abuse, no institution has made greater progress in combating sexual misconduct than the Catholic Church.
In 2018, Jeff Fager of 60 Minutes was fired after CBS learned that the executive producer was a sexual predator. He would have been fired sooner had Washington Post editor Marty Baron not killed a story about his behavior.
The paper’s reporter, Irin Carmon, wrote about this in New York magazine. “The close relationship between the paper and 60 Minutes had something to do with it,” he said.
Prior to this, Carmon and Amy Brittain, the Post’s investigative reporter, spent four months doing a story on Fager, detailing how several women alleged that he sexually abused them. But Baron kept delaying the story and refused to speak with them.
Thus, it is galling to read the Washington Post accusing the Catholic Church of lacking transparency and accountability.
Sexual abuse should always be condemned, but when those doing the condemnation come to the table with dirty hands, they ought to shut their mouth.