Criterion needs to get real

Dateline: Tue 09 Feb 2010

Friday's newspaper devoted to news about the Indianapolis archdiocese, the Criterion, was waiting for me when I returned from Chicago.

Now we know who to blame for the Colts' loss.

A front-page story featured a Colts-lovin' nun who writes bad poetry about Peyton Manning and the Superbowl; she's so "famous" she's been on Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and CNN with her Superbowl forecasts.

Naturally, she predicted the Colts would win. Then, in her poetry, she envisioned a tad of violence being done to various Saiints players from New Orleans. Not nice.

This was big "news" but there has not been one mention of the lawsuit currently faced by the archdiocese, alleging a former Cathoolic priest here abused numerous boys, even as he was being transferred from parish to parish. In the case of John Doe who is suing, recovered memories are being used in testimony -- a move allowed by a judge, which I believe is precedent-setting in Indiana.. Very interesting story with lots of components. I would think Catholic readers might be curious.

Instead, we get the nun afflicted with hubris who vain-gloriously and incorrectly predicted a Colts victory. Sad, at so many levels....


Jeff [unverified] said:

Why should the Criterion be any different than every other news organization in Indianapolis that ignored real news in favor of way over the top coverage of the Colts and the Super Bowl?

2010-02-09 09:10:11

Seneca [unverified] said:

Am I the only person in Indiana who didn't watch the Super Bowl?

I watched Puppy Bowl VI on Animal Planet.

2010-02-09 09:22:06

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Hey, Seneca! I didn't watch it either.

But I had a great time at last night's basketball matchup between Butler and Loyola. The dawgs came from behind to win decisively.

Good game from guys who aren't over paid entertainers....

2010-02-09 09:50:40

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

The Star will now experience an acute drop in revenue since they no longer have those bloated daily "special" Colts editions to see to advertisers.

I have never seen so much printed -- or broadcast--about so little of consequence. Our "national popular culture" is seriously out of whack.

And on that topic, Carrie Underwood can't sing and proved it with her rendition of the national anthem; Queen Latifah murdered America; and The Who demonstrated why they ceased touring years ago. Man, the music was awful! Helluva a light show, tho.
The game was lackluster but at least not a blowout and over by the half.

There were many network promos during the broadcast, each pointing to an unsold time slot.

I am feeling snarky about popular culture and the dumbing of America because my son leaves for a year in scenic Kabul next Tuesday.

2010-02-09 10:16:58

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Yep, the Colts were good for Mr. Milz's newspaper.

I went to the Butler game too, Cynical. They started kinda slow, but tell me this:

What beats a come-from-behind victory in a storied old college arena?

The walls almost talk...the history. The coach is a fellow parionsher, and the whole "ah shucks" attitude is genuine.

The whole nun-poet thing is kinda creepy, Ruthie. But I guess they can write whatever they want in their house organ. I didn't expect a front-page apology over decades of priest abuse of boys.

But I happen to know one past litigant, who asked for nothing more than exactly that: a public front-page-type out-loud public apology. That is all he wanted at age 43.

Instead, after nine years of litigation and very painful denials and depositions, he got his attorney fees covered and $20,000. His therapy bills alone are more than that. They (church's lawyers and insurers) just wore him down.

At the time of his litigation, the Lafayette diocese along had 100 such complaints.

That's a lot of Hail Marys, footballish or real.

Every day, I try to remember those victims in my prayers. Their lot in life is damaged, at the very least. There are over a dozen known suicides among their ranks in Indiana alone.

God bless every one of them.

2010-02-09 10:57:54

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

My Lord, what a miracle! And it has nothing to do with the Virgin Mary showing up on a window in South Dakota.

I agree with all of the previous posts. This blog reponse is like an oasis of sanity in the midst of professional sports psychosis.

I watched the Puppy Bowl (loved the hamsters flying in the blimp and the rabbit "cheerleaders") and an old Spencer Tracy movie. I couldn't have cared less who won the "Corporate Bowl." I don't care who wins any professional sports event. One sports corporation contending against another.

I love the Butler Bulldogs and I like to go to a couple U. of Indy football games during the fall when you see real student/athletes playing for the enjoyment of the sport - not for $45,000 an interview (this was reported in print) like the sainted superstar of our local NFL team.

These church-related magazines: I've never found much actual journalism in them. They're mouthpieces for whatever denominations they represent.

Years ago, I applied for a job with one down in Kentucky and they told me I would have to change my church denomination to theirs if I wanted to be considered for the job. The thing is and I told the guy: I wasn't in any denomination. Don't believe in 'em.

2010-02-09 12:48:22

Ellen McKinney [unverified] said:

what i've always wondered in cases of abuse by clergy (of all denominations), or by teachers, for that matter, is why -- when it's proved that higher-ups KNEW of the abuse and did nothing or worse, "passed the trash," the higher-ups aren't charged with failure to report the abuse.

i am a volunteer tutor, and as part of our training, we are told that if we ever see suspicious bruises, etc., on "our" kids, we must report this to the school official in charge of the tutoring program so it can be reported to the authorities.

in the case of the now-grown victims, i suspect the statute of limitations applies, but i often read of pastors and teachers being prosecuted for either sexual abuse or physical mistreatment of children, but not of higher-ups prosecuted for failing to report it, despite state laws requiring them to do so.

as for apologizing to victims? that would be tantamount to admitting liability. better to stonewall and hope to buy the victim's silence or drive him/her to suicide. much cheaper that way.

assuming that those in church hierarchies believe what they preach, do they really expect to escape hell if they've covered up for those who make a child's life hell on earth?

2010-02-09 12:50:29

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Ellen, sicne at least 1990, and perhaps before, it is a crime in this state, to withhold suspected child abuse information. Yes, you are required by law to report suspisions. Indiana law takes this attitude: the kids are too important...we'll sort out the nutso complaints.

One of the onyl things for which I ever admired Steve Goldsmith was a tricky case against a northside elementary principal many years ago. Seems the principal, a nice enough fellow, knew of child abuse allegations and failed to report them to officials. He tried to quietly "fix it in-house."

The subsequent investigation led to the principal's early retirement, I beleive as part of a plea agreement. It was a tough life lesson for all involved. Goldsmith lost votes because of it because this principal was beloved.

If only our incumbent governor viewed kids' well-being as prudently. Instead, he appointed an incompetent juvenile judge to run the state's FSSA child division.

And allowed a politicla cronie's last employer to gobble up a (virtually) no-bid contract to outsource FSSA caseload management.

If kids are involved, we have an obligation to report first, ask questions later.

Professionals can sort out bitter parents and other miscues.

2010-02-09 14:05:09

StarStruck [unverified] said:

While I abhor any child abuse in any situation, remember that people are innocent until proven guilty. I know of a case where a child accused a priest of molestation and the priest did NOT do it. There was no evidence of it, there were no other reports against this priest and it was a complicated family situation that led to the accusation. The kid was set up to lie. So now a man's livelihood and reputation are ruined because, hey, you always believe the child, right?

It's easy to jump on the priest-molestation bandwagon if they know churches will pay money to make a situation go away. Think it doesn't happen? Think again.

2010-02-09 14:25:13

hendy [Member] said:

I'm sure there are those that are falsely accused. It's abhorrent but not unknown. And there are cases never reported. Not to say that one balances the other.

The Criterion is a house organ. House organs don't bet against the house. Ever. No news there.

What is news that the Catholic Church in some areas is owning up to the problem. Seems there might be some gay priests. I know of gay parishoners. The Episcopalians figured it out already. Gay bishops might be ok in some parts, too. Fancy that. If you told me that this might happen 40 years ago, I'd have thought you completely crazy and full of beans. But it's what's happened.

I love how this forum just wanders around like a drunken cat. Go Colts, Dawgs, etc. Hilarious.

2010-02-09 18:48:06

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Veering back towards child abuse, I was horrified to learn that Martha Coakley was involved in that terrible miscarriage of justice in Massachusetts when the Amiraults were falsely convicted of child abuse.

You're right, StarStruck: the charges are not always true.

2010-02-09 23:02:33

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Well, Starstruck, as a good friend of someone who was abused by a priest, here's the startling truth:

The basis for truth in that case, and hundreds of others, was the diocese's own records. The Lafayette diocese, for instance, had a bishop, I believe named Schweier, who kept long and presumably-accurate hand-written note sin priests' files. My friend's lawyer found the records only late ink the process--the diocese fought their release for eight years. The diocese kept the records--without destroying them--and I think they still have them.

Your case of a wrongly-accused priest is horrid. It his personnel file reflects suspicion or even similar charges, it'd be a different matter.

It seems some bishops are prolific note-takers. Lots of smoke, lots of fire.

In cases like your citation, Star, I guess it would behoove the state or plaintiffs to promptly look into similar accusations and records. Without some pretty prompt corroboration, the priest ought to be believed .

Witch hunts aren't popular or accurate.

2010-02-10 05:40:31

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