John Jay on what the critics got wrong

"The lead researcher of last month’s Causes and Context report on the child sexual abuse scandals that have shaken the Catholic Church speaks out on the controversy surrounding the study, and explains why it lays out a roadmap for the future," reads the precede to a commentary by Karen J. Terry, who views most of the criticism of the report as misguided based on misunderstandings caused by -- no surprise here -- "the media" and a "spin" that had only a "tangential" relationship to the real stuff in the report.

The first misconception she refers to is the media's understanding of the report's blaming the permissive era of the '60s and '70s as one of the major causes of priest's errant behavior. Read the entire article here.

If the press got that incorrect so did a lot of bishops who have been out almost gloating over that very interpretation of the cause of the crisis. The report has given them considerable language with which to deflect attention away from their own role in the scandal.

On the plus side of things, a point that has been made repeatedly, the report and the continuing discussion of it is valuable on that basis alone. There is, indeed, lots to talk about.

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