We've had occasion more than once (like here, here, here, here and here) to write about unfair reporting by The New York Times and other U.S. news outlets on the clerical sex abuse scandal and particularly about the mischaracterization of Pope Benedict XVI's role in handling it.
For instance, he notes this gem by The Independent columnist Johann Hari, who wrote: “It is now an indisputable fact that the Catholic Church systematically covered up the rape of children across the globe, and knowingly, consciously put pedophiles in charge of more kids. Joseph Ratzinger – who claims to be 'infallible' – was at the heart of this policy for decades.”
He's not the only one. The online journal spiked hosted a commentary by a teacher of politics and government warning of the danger of the censoriousness being displayed toward the Catholic Church now in England. Kevin Rooney said he was no big fan of the Church or its teachings, he condemned three trends in modern anti-Catholicism.
First, Rooney said, it is "censorious." "Slamming the Catholic Church is fine, as is dismissing it as irrelevant, but proscribing it from entering debate, as many now do, is a form of censorship."
Second, the Church's critics have a "they're all at it" attitude, willing to believe the worst about Catholic clerics without the normal standard of proof. "As with the right to free speech, it seems the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty does not extend to the Catholic Church."
Third, there's a general acceptance of criticism of the Catholic Church even when it is based on ignorance or unintelligent analysis. "Otherwise intelligent people [citing Christopher Hitchens as one example] seem to have carte blanche to be ignorant and prejudiced when it comes to Catholicism."