Thursday, August 07, 2003

Editorial or Prejudice?
Rev. Raymond Larger resigned as a Roman Catholic Priest after he was convicted of public indecency, involving a police officer working a sting operation. The police officer was a man. The Dayton Daily News ran this headline in their regular story: "Priest resigns in indecency case." In the Enquirer they ran an editorial with this headline: "Gay priest removed." In the editorial they also indicated the following:
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati took swift action against a west side pastor convicted of soliciting an undercover male police officer for sex at a Dayton park.
Now was he convicted of solicitation or indecency or both? The Post's headline on its story read: "Priest resigns after sex charge." The Enquirer's news report read as follows: "Priest resigns after verdict."

Where does the prejudice come in? Well one could argue the implication of the Enquirer's editorial is that they are happy the Archdiocese of Cincinnati took quick action on a "wayward" priest. This quote links this action to the child sex abuse scandals
Decisive action is exactly what's needed to put wayward clergy out of commission, and it was sorely missing in recent years in such scandal-plagued dioceses as Louisville, Boston and Los Angeles.
This case is linked in the sense of the priest is not living up to his convictions, but lumping him with child molesters is unfair, and add the headline and the implication is that "gay" priests are the real problem with all of these sex scandals. This is the opinion of many conservatives, but is this what the Enquirer is intending to portray? If so, I think their bigot meter just went up a few bars. The Post story more directly linked this case to the child sex scandals by listing the widely known cases recently resolved or still pending of priests who sexually abused children. The implications of the Post story is just as unfair, but the only difference was those cases were buried at the end of the story, and not in the headline.

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