Talk about your slanted reporting. I wrote earlier that the local media were hot on the trail of a rumor that the Archdiocese of Boston might move the chancery offices from its longtime campus in the Brighton neighborhood of the city to one of the suburbs. Those were fairly straightforward reports.
Not so for the most slanted wire service on the planet, Al-Reuters. Here is their headline: “Scandal-hit Boston Archdiocese eyes property sale”. They put “scandal-hit” right up front to create the impression that this is a direct result of a current or new scandal.
The lede does no better:
The cash-strapped Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston may sell its 90-year-old headquarters to free up money after paying millions of dollars in settlements linked to a 2002 scandal over pedophile priests.[…]
The Boston Archdiocese, faced with a $93 million bill to settle cases involving about 1,000 sex-abuse victims, has shut more than 60 churches in Massachusetts to raise money since the scandal erupted in Boston in 2002 and spread nationwide.
All those words in red are slanted coverage. Otherwise the story is a fairly straightforward rehash of the Globe article. The potential sale of the property was mentioned several years ago when the original deal with Boston College was struck. The settlements have already been paid out of insurance and the money already brought in from BC from the sale of the cardinal’s residence.
Also, the parishes were not closed to raise money because of the scandal. They were closed because people don’t live where they used to, because many (mostly urban and poor) parishes can’t afford to fix their aging infrastructure and need help, and because people are giving less overall because of the Scandal. the way Reuters writes this article it makes it sound like the archdiocese is in desperate straits when, in fact, it raised the most in its annual appeal last year since before the Scandal hit.
Look, I have not been shy about pointing out problems in the archdiocese, but what I can’t stand is when hacks take a swipe at the Church with anti-religion bias just because they can. It is the Truth that serves the Church in her efforts at reform, not self-serving attempts to undermine her.
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