Bill Nemitz: Church ignores scandal in ‘welcome home’ ads

Maine Sunday Telegram

If ever there was a window into the state of the modern-day Roman Catholic Church, it’s my inbox.

Over the past few days, I’ve received three emails having to do with the faith in which I grew up back when daily Mass attracted a crowd, all five Sunday Masses were packed and a nun in full habit presided over every classroom.

“Just Hours to Go: Give Now to Hold Bishops Accountable in 2012,” implored in its end-of-the-year appeal for a tax deductible donation. Fifty dollars, it promised, will help “obtain and post 250 pages of once-secret church abuse files and other crucial documents” for all the world to see.

“One More Day,” echoed Voice of the Faithful in its request for money to help work toward optional celibacy for priests, deaconships for women and eternal protection for children from sexual abuse by priests, to name but a few of their causes.

And then there was this from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine: “Media Campaign Welcomes Catholics Home.”

The first two messages, truth be told, have appeared regularly in the decade since revelations of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests scorched parishes from Maine to California and, more recently, around the world.

But the “Media Campaign Welcomes Catholics Home”? In these parts, as diocese communication director Sue Bernard noted in her news release, that’s a “first-time ever television event.”

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