April 29, 2005

A radical claim

Concord Monitor

Monitor editorial

April 29. 2005 8:00AM

If Dorothy Rabinowitz is right, everything you think you know about sexual abuse by Catholic priests is suspect.

Who is Dorothy Rabinowitz? Well, she's no amateur. She is a distinguished member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, having won, among other awards, the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Her winning entries included columns about Violet, Cheryl and Gerald Amirault, the Malden, Mass., day care center operators convicted in the 1980s of raping and molesting children in their care.

Rabinowitz called the case against the Amiraults "a sham built on accusations coaxed from children drilled in stories about a bad clown and a magic room." It was too convenient by half, she suggested, that the acts the Amiraults supposedly had committed were "identical to those of most of the other renowned prosecutions of child care workers" at the time.

Readers of a two-part commentary written by Rabinowitz this week will notice a similar theme. This time her focus is the prosecution of Roman Catholic priests, a group that she allows includes "true predators." That said, she is certain the clergy sex abuse scandals, "their nonstop press coverage, and the irresistible pressure on the Church to show proof of cleansing resulted in a system that rewarded false claims along with the true."

Posted by kshaw at April 29, 2005 01:51 PM