Tuesday, July 11, 2006

W-B paper breaking the balls of the Scranton diocese

The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader is going after the Scranton diocese big time. Coincidentally, The Scranton Times and the Lynett family has always had a reputation as apologists for the diocese. The series seems to imply that the diocese has gotten a free pass up in Scranton. The series also takes pains to point out that TL editor Matt Golas and publisher Pat McHugh are Catholics. Read the stories and post what you think.

  • Read the TL stories

    Tom Carten said...

    Not only is the TL beating a dead horse, but they had to dig it up in order to beat it.

    We're talking history here, in almost all cases. If something happened to a dead priest 19 years ago, it's time for the newspaper to move on; if a priest had a consensual affair 30 --thirty!-- years ago, it's long past the time to deal with something a whole lot more recent.

    Priests are held to impossibly high standards, far higher than those who accuse them. You can't fart in public without someone saying, "I'll never consider you a priest again."

    When you remember that one of our local tv stations (and we all know which one) had a "reputation" some years back, you wonder why the media only shoots fish in a barrel. Anyone else porks a girl, it's on page 5; Father got some action 20-30 years ago, it leads.


    Anonymous said...

    The stories were well done, but no new ground was broken here. I hope the other pieces in the series actually have something new in them.

    The current bishop of the Scranton Diocese is not media friendly. Timlin is a nice guy. Unfortunately, he was asleep at the switch a lot of the time.

    Anonymous said...

    The "apologists" at the Times did this story 2 years ago, and at that time it was almost old.

    Anonymous said...

    The most disgusting display came from the TL publisher who was seen taking part in the mass for the first time on Sunday at his catholic church. How tasteless on the same day the the bashing of the catholic church was published. Typical.

    Anonymous said...

    Hey ANONYMOUS 8:40AM:

    So what!

    Above and beyond anyone's role at any media outlet is their faith. Who are you to be clucking in some far off chuch pew about who is doing what within the Mass.

    I don't even know this publisher guy, but your comments were enough to annoy the hell out of me.

    I happen to work for the church. Church leaders in other places understand the need for their diocese or archdiocese to come clean. That really hasn't caught on in this aea yet!

    Bishop Joe Martino is very anti-media. But can you blame hime? His predecessor was asleep at the wheel. Martino has had the impossible job of restructuring this diocese and disclosing information about the abuse scandal.

    He's had to transition this diocese into the 21st century. Your former bishop left him a terrible and a broken-down machine. Too many parishes and not enough (1) priests (2) money and most importantly (3) not nearly enough parishioners to even justify keeping them up and running.

    I don't think the TL is beating a dead horse. I think it is staying on top of a story of supreme importance to many of its readers. I, for one, want to know what's going on in my church.

    To Tom Carten:

    For years, priests were put on pedestals... raised above the flock. Just 20 years aog, cops wouldn't even arrest under probable cause. Now, devout and loyal parishioners are shocked at the stunning allegations of this abuse scandal and more troubled at how court documents show church leaders shuttled dozens of priests around while under suspicion of severe sexual wrongdoings... it hurts being a catholic. But they tried to get away with it. I want them to face the music. Yeah, priests aren't perfect, but tell that to my immigrant grandparents 60 years ago. That mentality rubbed off on me... but the church is in a different light and must come forward.

    Tom Carten said...

    12:03: To my remarks, agreed. But for a newspaper to dig up, drag out and Page One an issue that has been faced in the past (i.e., old news) strikes me as not much more than paper-selling.

    The Dioceses had to go thru old files and actively search for anything they could find --no matter how old-- to dump priests. We're not talking peds here; we're talking adult consensuals, 17 y/o consensuals, and we're talking 30 and 40 and 50 and (I'm telling you the truth now) fifty-nine years ago in another diocese.

    ZT, aside from peds, is NOT the way to go. Neither is digging up old cases and lumping them all together. Guys who did something 20-30-more years ago and have had an excellent ministry since then deserve a lot better than being kicked onto the street.

    btw: Sign your name. I did.

    Jim Thorpe, All American said...

    Old hat: a mixture of decades-old cases, consensual sex, charges against dead guys, etc.
    To boil it down:
    1) The Scranton diocese applied pretty much the same discredited policies as every other diocese in America, as reported ad infinitum for the past four years.
    2) A lower percentage of Scranton-diocese priests were accused compared to their brethren nationwide.
    3) The suits only cost them $800,000 -- which seems like chump change for an operation like Catholic Church Inc.

    And if the Scranton Times gave them a pass until two years ago -- well, so did every paper in America. Nobody dug consistently for these priest cases until the Boston Globe broke their cases, and good for them.

    Anyway, this TL package would have been a big deal in 2001. Now, just seems ho-hum

    Anonymous said...

    jim thorpe all american...

    Well said. I'm author 12:03 from above. But I still have to trust the continued coverage will only better suit the church as a whole.

    I must add that many more newspapers had substantial coverage by 2002. However, the Phila. Inquirer had very damaging information against the Archdiocese and its leaders, thanks to the scathing results of a 18-month-long grand jury investigation. All records pertinent to the case were barred from inspection until the report was in--- trust me on that.

    The episcopacy and rank of the church have to reinvent trust with the people who so dearly care for it.

    The paper may have slammed church leaders in one sense, but for me, it read "please tell me the truth, I'm a forgiving catholic and only want the truth."

    To Tom Carten:

    I'd like to disclose my name, but I fear retaliation, not only from my outlet, but from my own parish as well. Apologies-- but all of my comments are made in good faith and will.

    Anonymous said...

    That is Sooo Middle Ages ..fearing retaliation from your Parrish?...

    What are they gonna do ... slap you on the wrist with a ruler?

    Tom Carten said...

    2:55amTo Tom Carten: I'd like to disclose my name, but I fear retaliation, not only from my outlet, but from my own parish as well. Apologies-- but all of my comments are made in good faith and will.

    Then send it to me via e-mail. If you know me, you know I am a nice guy and will respect your chosen public anonymity. If you don't know me, I am sure there are other people here who do and will testify to me.

    If I send you a message at your work address, will you confirm it? We will still be friends. :)

    2:55 AM

    Anonymous said...

    Tom Carten is not only a priest, but a columnist for the TL rival, the Citizens' Voice. Anything he may write is obviously biased.

    Tom Carten said...

    I think my work at the Voice has been made rather clear on this site since I began posting. Forgot to add it this time (partially thinking everyone knows me, partially because I simply forgot). My columns at the Voice, btw, are about the Big Bands and, this week, about the late June Allyson. Good reading; don't miss it.

    My first post, up top, was pretty much echoed by "Jim Thorpe," further down.

    As far as being biased, I don't think you will find any in this thread. You will find, perhaps, an opposing opinion, or a further exploration of the topic. Fair game in an arena such as this.

    And all my posts, dear 4:33, are signed.

    Anonymous said...

    Good for you padre, but the fact that you are a priest shades your view. This is not to say you are not entitled to your opinion, though.
    I might add that the church has really dropped the ball on a number of issues. I know a priest who broke down at the pulpit a few weeks ago and derided diocesan officials for concentrating on raising money and ignoring the plight of the religious.


    Tom Carten said...

    The fact that you are a priest shades your view.

    I don't know about that...nah. People assume I'm on the dioceses' side, or such like. If you've heard me preach on these things, you'd know I'm on your side.

    Yeah, the church dropped the ball in many areas; sometimes it took the best actions that were known at the time; some heads should roll and some already have (nationally).

    btw: If the individual posts are not job-threatening, how about putting your IRL names on them, huh? I can see if identifying yourself on a hot issue would put you out on the street, but dealing with me and my issues ain't gonna do it. And, further btw, I am not immune from getting my wrists slapped and jewels kneed from Those Above Me for posting both here and at Beale's. I gotta watch what I say, too. I work for a place.

    Anonymous said...

    Yes, I understand what you are saying. What I tell other Catholics is that the message is still the same no matter who runs the church. The church is an institution run by man, and as a result is susceptible (sic?) to mistakes. Still, I see the hand of God in its affairs. The church will weather its storms.


    Anonymous said...

    to the person who had no problem with the publisher's faith and contribution to mass last SundayI say this.... If the man has always acted in a christian way then fine, but he is a complete hypocrit and coward who hides in the corner of the church every sunday. Why now did he decide to stand up and be noticed at his parish? If his faith was that important to him, he would have gotten involved in his church long ago, but clearly he has an agenda and that is why he waited until last sunday. That is what is sickening.

    Anonymous said...

    Tom, being a member of an order, you are not under the thumb of the local ordinary, so it seems to me that you are immune to some extent, which is fine by me. And I know this isn't the forum for discussing c(C)hurch matters, but two things...

    1) Celibacy has to go. Either go completely, or become an option; you want to be celibate, fine, but it's not a condition of Holy Orders. Polish National priests are as validly ordained as you are, they marry. Same with all orthodox priests, and still to this day, many Eastern Rite priests in Europe. RC demands of celibacy are nonsense.

    2) The ordination of women has to happen. There is no scriptual foundation for denying women the fullness of the priesthood, just as there is no biblical underpinnings for celibacy.

    Turn to your Episcopal/Anglican brothers and sisters - they have more ordained priests than they need; male, female, married, single. And please don't bring the gay issue into this, especially considering the RC abuses and shameful neglect we've heard so much about for years on end.

    Tom Carten said...

    9:04 said: Tom, being a member of an order, you are not under the thumb of the local ordinary, so it seems to me that you are immune to some extent, which is fine by me.

    Well, sort of, to a little extent. You know of which you speak, but not all bishops are alike.

    Those who know me might think I am also "9:04," but such is not the case.

    Anonymous said...

    Those who know me might think I am also "9:04," but such is not the case.

    No, I'm 9:04, but that doesn't help much, does it? Anonymity is a wonderful thing. I doubt, however, I said anything that would reflect poorly on you, Tom. The only addition I might want to make to my original comments is this; Anglican/Episcopal Orders are likewise considered valid by most theologians.

    Tom Carten said...

    I didn't mean anything bad; I meant your ideas are so much like mine, people might think I was posting anonymously. :)