Unsettling revelations

In a rejoinder to those who view the media as inimical to religion, and to the church in particular, the Providence Journal-Bulletin has been running a lavish--and largely positive--serieson Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence. At the same time, however, court documents sought by BishopAccountability.org have revealed that the diocese apparently hadtwice as many clerical abusers (125) than the diocese accounted for in the John Jay survey, in which it reported 56 priest-abusers over the past decades. In an Oct. 19 report in the Journal-Bulletinthe diocese put the disparity down to "a difference in reporting criteria and methodology."That does not seem to explain it all, however.

David Gibson is a national reporter for Religion News Service and author of The Coming Catholic Church (HarperOne) and The Rule of Benedict (HarperOne). He blogs at dotCommonweal.

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