Can you imagine what ended up being cut by Philly Mag’s lawyers? I’m sure it was a treasure trove of unverifiable truth. That’s the article the laity needs to read. The portrayals and facts related in this article mirror my own experiences and private conversations with a variety of sources. Huber and his editors showed tremendous restraint and respect.
An Archdiocesan response to any news outlet is complete hypocrisy for many reasons. But here’s one of my own. When I worked as a sections editor for The Catholic Standard & Times (the official “newspaper” of the archdiocese) any article that was even the slightest bit controversial was reviewed and edited by the Tierney Group – an expensive public relations firm hired by Cardinal Bevilacqua. That, my friends, is not a newspaper. It’s a giant press release. It’s about control and they couldn’t control Philly Mag. I’m buying a subscription!
Below is the response from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to Robert Huber’s article, “Catholics in Crisis: Sex and Deception in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia,” published in Philadelphia Magazine, July 2011.
“This is Donna Farrell, writing on behalf of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Unfortunately for Philadelphia magazine readers looking for honest, in-depth reporting, this piece is an agenda-driven travesty of salacious innuendo masquerading as journalism. It is built almost entirely on unsubstantiated comments recklessly offered by unattributed sources that Mr. Huber is all-too-ready to accept as fact.
In reality, “facts” are hard to come by in this article. Mr. Huber fails to accurately represent everything from the simplest of factual details to more intricate truths.
Regrettably, this 7,630-word piece, which is entirely one-sided, does not address the full story. It ignores fundamental and far-reaching changes Archdiocesan leaders have implemented and continue to implement in light of the 2005 and 2011 grand jury reports.
This inaccuracy is especially galling because the Archdiocese arranged meetings between Mr. Huber and Mary Achilles, the Archdiocesan victim services consultant, and Gina Maisto Smith, the veteran child abuse prosecutor hired by Cardinal Rigali. Despite these and other conversations about the significant steps taken by the Archdiocese to protect children, prevent child abuse, and assist victims, Mr. Huber chose to omit these perspectives from his piece — which left it sensational, wildly unfair, and incomplete.”