The Red Herring Award of the month is a doozey:
Earlier this week, this op-ed appeared in the Port Huron MI Times Herald. The author, Mike Stechschulte, says that the media and the public need “perspective” about the clergy abuse crisis. He cites “huge improvements in policies,” low numbers of recent clergy sex abuse cases, and a recent problematic abuse allegation made against St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt (currently being investigated) as proof that we need to focus our attentions elsewhere.
But a single allegation against the Archbishop is NOT why there is a scandal in St. Paul. It’s a big, fat red herring and Stechschulte hopes that low-information citizens will fall in step.
Stechschulte is wrong. There is a huge scandal in St. Paul, and the media and public must maintain razor sharp focus. It’s not about a recent allegation; it’s about the COVER-UP.
Here’s what Stechschulte “forgot” to tell the folks in Port Huron:
– The fact that just this month, the Archdiocese was forced by the courts to make public the names of credibly accused priests. When church officials “suddenly” decided to review their own files on these men, two priests were put on leave. Why didn’t the Archbishop put them on leave when the credible accusations were made and verified? Why didn’t church leaders warn parishioners and protect kids? THAT’S a scandal.
– He “forgot” to mention the Curtis Wehmeyer case, the child porn cache in the Archdiocese basement, and the whistleblower who blew the lid off of the cover-up just this past autumn. Yeah, you got it: THAT’S a scandal.
– Oh wait, there’s something else: Stechschulte and the editors of the Times Herald also didn’t mention the fact that the fact that Stechschulte is currently managing editor at The Michigan Catholic, the official paper of the Archdiocese of Detroit. C’mon. That’s lame. By not coming clean about Stechschulte’s job and bias, the editors risked their credibility in ALL aspects of the paper. Scandalous? Yeah.
Stechschulte can keep his red herrings. The rest of us will wait for justice and accountability.