Hours Before John Paul II's Canonization, Networks Hype Priest Sex Abuse Scandal

April 28, 2014 - 7:49 PM

ABC, CBS, and NBC all spotlighted the issue of child sex abuse by priests on their morning and evening newscasts on 26 April 2014 – twenty-four hours or less before the Catholic Church canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. CBS and NBC both uncritically turned to the president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, but didn't mention her controversial affiliations with prominent anti-Catholics.

CBS and ABC also hyped how "some of the faithful have complained the canonization process was fast-tracked." ABC's Terry Moran even included some slanted labeling of the Catholic practice of venerating the relics of saints on Saturday's World News, and wondered if modern people could relate to the Church's examples of holiness:

TERRY MORAN (voice-over): ...Catholics believe the relics vividly bring the faithful closer to the saints. and they'll be in an essential part of this canonization ceremony – John Paul's blood taken in the final days of his life; John XXIII's flesh when his body was re-buried in St. Peter's in 2001. It might seem medieval to some – and it is – but to Catholics like Ana Navarro, this day matters.

MORAN (on-camera): Are saints still relevant in the modern world?

ANA NAVARRO, ABC NEWS CONSULTANT: You bet they are. This is a tough world. This is a tough life to get through. You got to have some faith. You got to have somebody – something to pray to.