It’s hardly good news for any Catholic that so many revelations of child abuse are tumbling out of the closets these days. One thing is good, though: the Church has finally got round to pointing out that there are media people who are less concerned for victims of abuse and more concerned to put the boot into the Church. The media of course deny this: I heard the Irish Times’ Patsy McGarry on radio this morning, disproving any such claim by pointing out that specific documents show a link to the Pope, so claims of media bias or invention can’t be true. Sorry, Patsy. There’s a difference between saying that the whole question of child abuse is a media invention and saying that some media elements are using the scandal to put the boot into the Catholic Church. There are probably lots of historical and psychological reasons for it but there are indeed people in the media, particularly the Irish media, whose natural or learned reflex is to lash out at the Catholic Church and its clergy in any given situation. I’d be more than slow to say the Irish clergy have always been a gentle and Christian body of men, but that’s different from carrying a festering hatred of the Catholic Church and imagining that it makes me look informed and sophisticated.
When you see how sparingly reason is used in presenting the child abuse scandal, the notion of the fourth estate as a bulwark against tyranny begins to look laughable.