It's impossible to step into the sickening whirlpool of that Pennsylvania grand-jury report, covering seven decades of Catholic priestly sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses, without feeling angry.
Right now, anger is the element of this story that I think will be the hardest for journalists to handle and to cover accurately and fairly.
First and foremost, there is the anger and grief of the victims and their families. That's a story.
Then, we also need to admit that journalists who have been on the beat for a decade or more face anger issues of their own. In many cases, reporters are facing a tough reality today -- they now know that they were often manipulated by bishops and diocesan staffs that were hiding hellish crimes.
Now they are seeing some bishops produce updated websites and public statements that -- let's face it -- look a lot like the PR campaigns of the past. Is this a story?
Also, what about the all-to-familiar flashes of anger and the sense of betrayal that many priests and bishops have to be feeling today? Imagine what it must feel like to be going about your work right now while wearing a Roman collar.that
Years ago, a friend of mine -- when he was ordained as an Episcopal priest -- said that he was shocked at how many people gave him looks of disgust when he walked the streets in black clerical clothing, thinking he was a Catholic priest. Having even one person spit at your feet is a shattering experience.
This is a story for many, many valid reasons, not the least of which is how these horrors will continue to shape efforts to handle the growing shortage of Catholic priests in parts of the world, including America.
With that in mind, read (hat tip to Rod "Benedict Option" Dreher) this remarkable set of tweets from a priest whose entire ministry has been surrounded by headlines about priests abusing children and teens: