Priestly Pedophilia: Will Good PR Fix It?

June 2002

Did you know that the pedophilia scandals among the clergy are basically a matter of image and public relations?

Writing in his regular column in Our Sunday Visitor (Feb. 24), Msgr. Owen F. Campion, who is Associate Publisher of the Visitor and Editor of the Visitor’s sister periodical The Priest, informs us that PR is really what it’s all about. The Monsignor tells how in American history the clergy and nuns gave the children of immigrants the means, via Catholic education, to achieve “success,” and that “the sad stories of child abuse by priests of the past 20 years have robbed us of a once-splendid image” (italics added).

Monsignors and priests, you see, have an image to protect. More about that later.

Are the pedophilia stories “sad”? Of course. But aren’t they more than sad? Campion also allows that they’re “most disturbing” and a “dreadful problem.” Yes. But aren’t they also more than that?

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New Oxford Notes: June 2002

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