Bishop Ronald Gainer

New bishop in Harrisburg: One story, one side, one problem

OK, gentle readers, once again I need to stress that the following post on a recent story in The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) focuses on a journalism issue in this story, not the tensions centering on the appointment of a particular Catholic bishop to a particular post in the American hierarchy. This post is also not a commentary on what Catholic leaders have or have not done about the decades of sexual abuse of children and teen-agers by clergy or the cover-up of some of these crimes. I mean, my views on this issue are clear. No, this is a post about the construction of a particular new report. In many ways, this post is an example of one of the most disturbing trends that your GetReligionistas have seen in religion-news coverage over the past decade.

The headline hints at the central problem: “Victims advocate: Appointment of Bishop Ronald Gainer the most distressing promotion yet from Pope Francis.”

The top official for a national group that advocates on behalf of people who have been abused by Catholic priests on Friday denounced the appointment of the new bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese.

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