“The Media and the Regensburg Affair: Two Weights Two Measures,” is the title of L’Osservatore Romano’s editorial of July 22, 2017, signed by Lucetta Scaraffia, who criticizes the media’s treatment of the report, published recently, on the scandal of abuses suffered by the young singers of the “Regensburg Choir” (Germany).
In the daily, the Italian historian recalls the story published recently by an Italian newspaper of a man abused in the ‘80s within a barracks. Not an isolated case, she notes, which did not elicit “any collective indignation, any call for the denunciation of the rapists or of blame of the army with the opening of an investigation.”
On the other hand, Lucetta Scaraffia is astonished by “the attention the media accorded the sad affair of the young singers of Regensburg, which was very different: ample space and large headlines denouncing 547 cases of violence, often implying that it was about almost 600 rapes, when the cases of sexual abuse . . . were 67.”
Hence, “it is necessary to reflect further to understand that it is about deplorable abusive interventions — but less grave than rape – on the part of teachers . . . And especially to understand that it is not a scoop, but the result of a rigorous investigation willed by the bishop of the diocese, hence by the Church herself,” determined to shed light on this “scandal.”
“There is no doubt, stressed the columnist, that it was about ignoble and shameful acts, which should be punished and above all prevented, but the level of media manipulation of the case and the different perception of public opinion . . . are striking: on one hand tolerance vis-a-vis military life . . . on the other extreme severity vis-a-vis the ecclesiastic institution.”
“The habit of showing the Catholic Church as the source of all evils is now part of daily experience,” said Lucetta Scaraffia. And to denounce “the old scheme of having the Church bear the fault of all.”
“The Church is certainly a special institution of which absolute exemplarity is exacted, but that constant recourse to these two weights two measures to judge her conduct and to attribute responsibilities to her does not profit anyone. It is not beneficial to the clarity of the issues, and it is not beneficial particularly when one tries to eliminate injustices, to punish the culpable of violence, and to impede their being repeated.”