More Philly Stuff
To further clarify the record, the transcript of the relevant exchange between Justin Rigali and Inky religion writer David O'Reilly was published in this morning's paper:
O'Reilly: Do you think parishiponers ought to read it? Would it be of any value for the people to be reading this?Elsewhere in the pages, political consultants are asked about the value of the archdiocese's message-strategy
Rigali: KYW radio mentioned yesterday that it's very graphic in its description.
We think that the report gives a slanted view. As I mentioned, it would have neen so useful if what the archdiocese has done in order to face the future, the efforts of the archdiocese in regard to the education of teachers and in regard to the education of children -- all of that could have been explained, publicized. What a contribution it could have been.
But in view of the fact that there are so many limitations to the report, and all of these prolonged explanations of the sexual abuses, I don't think it is of value to families to be reading this report. It is very important that everybody knows that the terrible examples of sexual abuse exist and that this is a societal problem, not a Catholic issue. This transcends all societty, and, unfortunately, is found in so many families, and that this is a problem that needs to be faced in the various organizations and denominations.
On another note, Rigali's giving a lecture at Villanova Monday night on "Catholic Higher Education and the Church in the World of the Future" in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Gaudium et Spes.
"It's right out of the textbook," Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic media consultant from New York, said of the archdiocesan approach.
"In crisis management, it is always better to have one of the major actors be a conciliatory figure or someone people have sympathy for, and another [actor] aggressively defending," Sheinkopf said.
Last year, advisers to former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, including Sheinkopf, pursued a similar strategy when a former aide threatened a lawsuit over an alleged homosexual affair. McGreevey resigned and took the high road - announcing his homosexuality and apologizing for mistakes in judgment - as his lawyers and political allies savaged the former aide in the media as an extortionist and worse.
Look for those vaunted Conciliar colors to come out.