Saturday, October 1, 2011


Reporter Tom Breen:

"You might consider Associated Press reporter Tom Breen to be the anti-William Lobdell. Breen recently told me he eventually became a weekly Mass attendee after educating himself on the Catholic abuse scandals for his journalism job. His story is quite the opposite from Lobdell, whose work on the religion beat at the Los Angeles Times caused him to drop his faith and write Losing My Religion."


My Comment:

Tom Breen writes: "After college, I was working at the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, Mass., at the time the most recent sex abuse scandals began to break in Boston. Partly because I had some Catholic bric-a-brac on my desk, my editor assumed I actually knew something about the church, and so I was assigned to cover a few local stories related to the scandal.

I quickly realized that I didn’t know anything about Catholicism, and so to avoid embarrassing myself and the paper I resolved to learn what I could. In addition to reading everything I could get my hands on, I started pitching stories on religious topics that had nothing to do with the abuse scandal, hoping to bring myself up to speed."

The thing that I appreciated most about this reporter was that he realized that he needed to understand the Catholic Church before he reported on the scandal in order not to embarrass himself and his newspaper. So many reporters could learn a great lesson from this reporter in terms of knowing and understand Catholicism before they write stories on it!


Anonymous said...

Great story with resonance as I converted right when the abuse media feeding-frenzy was at its height.

I quickly realized that I didn’t know anything about Catholicism

Amazing how humility begets wisdom. Contrast that with the apostate. 99.8% of them begin with "I was born and raised Catholic..." and then what follows is a stunning display of abysmal ignorance of even the most basic of Catholic teachings and practices.

Robert Kumpel said...

Beginning in 1999, I began writing for an "alternative" (read: "Not sponsored by the diocese") Catholic newspaper. Many of the stories we covered were positive stories, but many were also stories that most diocesan papers would not touch. Among the topics I covered were liturgical abuses, bullying by diocesan administrators, abusive priests (and there are a lot of other kinds of abuse besides sexual abuse), church architecture, unnecessary renovations and other controversial topics that our bishop and chancery would have preferred to keep swept up under the rug. However, my faith as a Catholic was never in question. I knew there were bad priests before I got involved in this kind of reporting. I knew there was corruption in the Church. I knew things were not right in many quarters and Vatican II was often mis-cited and mis-interpreted to justify a lot of schemes ranging from manipulating the laity to serious malfeasance. It didn't matter then. It doesn't matter now. In spite of the disappointment I often feel, I know that the Catholic Church is God's Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against Her. Where else could I possibly go? If we think WE have it bad as Catholics, just look at the Protestant Churches and their all-too-often underreported problems. I doubt that I could ever do this kind of work if I did not have the Catholic Church to sustain me.

pinanv525 said...

Well, I have never much worried about church administrator or clerical abusers...I could always out abuse them. Never invite me to pull out all the stops...LOL!