NEW YORK (NY)
November 30, 2018
By Richard Ostling
A #ChurchToo parallel first burst into the news 33 years ago with pioneering National Catholic Reporter coverage of child molestation by priests. Now, Pope Francis’ Feb. 21-24 emergency meeting about this unending problem is a must-cover item on newsroom calendars.
But North American journalism should be giving more attention to Protestants’ degradation on this and related issues. There’s no good data about such variegated churches, but by every indication misconduct is far more widespread than parishioners would like to admit.
A handy way to assess matters in Protestantism’s large evangelical sector occurs Dec. 13, a “summit” meeting on sexual violence and harassment at Wheaton College, outside of Chicago. The event will be live-streamed in case reporters cannot attend in person. Speakers include luminaries Eugene Cho, Max Lucado, Beth Moore and the host, Ed Stetzer, a trend-watcher who directs Wheaton’s Billy Graham Center (email@example.com, 630–752-5918).
Stetzer’s urgent summit summons stated that “trust has been broken, power has been abused” and, most important, there are the “deeply wounded” victims – “more than we’d ever want to count.” So “it is past time all church leaders deal with it.” The scandals “are many, and the damage is real. … Turning a blind eye is simply not an option. … Something’s got to change, and soon.”
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