Not Quite Breaking News

The Tablet – Diocese of Brooklyn

January 22, 2020

By Jorge I. Dominguez-Lopez

The New York Post’s headline on Jan. 18, “Vatican Orders Cardinal Dolan to Probe Bishop DiMarzio Sex Abuse Allegation,” immediately caught my attention.

I spotted how the story was lacking context and omitted important facts that would give readers a clear picture of what is going on. Unfortunately, other news publications picked up the Post’s story, also leaving out the important details.

As you may have read on page six of this edition of The Tablet, Christopher White’s article adds clarity for Catholic readers. I don’t expect the secular press to have deep knowledge of every protocol and rule of the Catholic Church, but the facts are the facts. All too often, today’s media is too quick to report stories, without doing the necessary research and fact-checking.

The Post’s headline leads the reader to believe that the Vatican made a spontaneous decision to have Cardinal Dolan investigate an allegation against Bishop DiMarzio. That is not true. Under rules set forth by Pope Francis in his apostolic letter “Vos estis lux mundi” last May, metropolitan bishops are in charge of investigating allegations against bishops in their suffragan dioceses. What is taking place is part of a protocol that had already been established.

On the other hand, and to be fair, the Post article does include Bishop DiMarzio’s comments on the original allegation: “In my nearly 50-year ministry as a priest, I have never engaged in unlawful or inappropriate behavior and I categorically deny this allegation […] I am confident I will be fully vindicated.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.