Holding Bishop Blair to the record

A great value of the National Catholic Reporter is its independent reporting. It’s what makes us distinctive; it's the purpose for which the paper was established nearly 50 years ago.

Because NCR has kept a pretty close track of what is happening in the church, we have a pretty good idea when someone blatantly misrepresents the facts.

One of our unwished for editorial efforts over the past quarter century has been accumulating a sad record of the still unfolding sex abuse crisis. It is that record that Tom Roberts dipped into in writing a commentary, "More than a hint of hypocrisy,"on this NCR blog yesterday.

In that commentary Roberts was reacting to what he heard in Bishop Leonard Blair’s answers last week to interviewer Terry Gross’s questions about the Catholic hierarchy’s role and reactions to this church scandal. Blair's presentation just didn’t square with the abundant record that exists in our clip files, and with documentation contained elsewhere in thousands upon thousands of pages of court documents.

The record matters.

Reaction to Roberts’ column has been widespread and mostly favorable. Using the record NCR has gathered over the past quarter century, he lays out a case that better reflects reality as well as the experiences of many troubled Catholics.

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