NY Times Interviews Attorney General who Prosecuted Church
The headline: “Meet Josh Shapiro, the Man Behind the Bombshell Investigation of Clergy Sexual Abuse.” He didn’t start the investigation, but he made great efforts to keep it going. He is also cooperating with federal efforts to jump on the bandwagon. I thought that two points were especially notable.
First, while Shapiro was negotiating in good faith with Pennsylvania’s bishops, they were doing everything they could to obstruct and kill the investigation. Needless to say, this is contrary to everything Pope Francis has been telling the public for five years. I think it is a safe bet that Pope Francis and the Vatican were aware of the investigation. (After the Church lost the trial and tried to suppress the report, Shapiro wrote a personal letter to Pope Francis requesting his assistance in getting it released. Pope Francis never responded.)
Second, there were major attacks against Shapiro and the investigation on the social media, including a raft of anti-Semitic slurs. I am sure that many devout Catholics use social media. But who would be so passionate about defending child rapists and the cover-up of their crimes? I suspect this was not a grass-root effort. The Church invented the term ‘propaganda,’ and it is one of their greatest strengths. They pour enormous resources into propaganda, including near-obsolete media like Vatican radio. I suspect the institutional Catholic Church played a large role in these social media attacks. They may not be as good as the Russians, but they are at least as zealous, and probably better funded.