June 8th 2010. By Greg Eriandson.
It would probably be too much to ask that Time magazine run a cover story on the bold statements and concrete actions that Pope Benedict has taken to address the clergy sexual abuse crisis. No self-respecting journalistic enterprise wants to be separated from the pack when it comes to covering a controversial news story, which means it must always follow the herd, even when the evidence points elsewhere.
But the Time magazine June 7 cover story is a particularly frustrating example of a media enterprise playing to prejudices with half-truths even to the point of severely misrepresenting the story.
“Why Being Pope Means Never having To Say You’re Sorry: The sex abuse scandal and the limits of atonement” is the provocative headline splashed across the cover of Time and over an image of the back of Pope Benedict’s mitered head.
Lest we have any doubts where this is heading, the lead sentence of the story manages to drag in the Inquisition: “How do you atone for something terrible, like the Inquisition?”