Remember Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who gave us the phony U-Va rape scandal, the one that nearly destroyed so many innocent fraternities? Well, it looks like Sabrina Erdely has a habit of putting fake rape stories in the news, and it wasn’t just a one-off. She has been subjected to a blistering expose in Newsweek showing that she published an obviously false case that ruined the lives of two innocent Priests as well as a teacher.
Men’s Rights Activists will be unsurprised she’s gotten away with this before, and we should rightly wonder if there are other men rotting in jail or dead because of disgusting trash reporters like Sabrina Rubin Ederly. We might also wonder why we think every joke about Catholic priests and child abuse is all that funny, because as we know, with every rape allegation there is a victim 100% of the time: either a person was raped or a person was falsely accused.
Catholic Priests and Bishops are all men of course. Which also means every Priest you ever heard abused a kid was a man. And thus, so was every falsely accused Priest. And those falsely accused men have been the other side of the “Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal” that no one talks about: men who did no wrong, or far less wrong than they were accused of.
Those of us who’ve followed the Catholic Church’s Sex Abuse scandal going all the way back to the 1980s or so know there’s always been another side of this. Throughout the years, as you would read about cases, any number of them seemed dicey. Not all of them by any means; many in the Church did a whole lot wrong and many families never really saw justice. On the other hand, an independent study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice commissioned by the US College of Catholic Bishops uncovered in breathtaking detail and thorough depth how much had been hidden from public view going back as far as 1950–but also found a significant number of reports with no credible basis. As others have documented, there’s reason to believe that some of the reports deemed “credible” were never proven and hardly unquestionable. In some cases, the accused men never even had a chance to defend themselves before dying.
No, they weren’t all innocent of course. But again, were they all guilty?
There is a tendency to smirk, or become outraged, and say that every report deemed credible by authorities simply must have been true. But with what we know of the criminal justice system, who wants to take that bet? As we all should know by now, every time there’s a rape allegation there’s always a victim: either the accuser or the accused.
And we know for a fact that in some cases, perhaps more than people want to believe, there were completely innocent men whose lives were destroyed because people thought they saw a soft target in a Priest.
Take for example the case of Father Charles J. Murphy, whose life was turned upside down when someone accused him of raping a little girl 25 years earlier. How good could the evidence have been after 25 years? Not very. He was eventually vindicated, and the allegations deemed without merit. Then a second allegation came, this from 40 years previous, with the flimsiest of evidence and an accuser with zero credibility. But all who knew him agreed: the allegations and the prison time eventually took their toll, and he died of a broken heart.
This is not the only case like this. There have been many other cases where Catholic priests were falsely accused or where the cases were highly questionable. Not just in the distant past, but quite recently. Once you see how fast society is to presume men guilty, and you recognize that culturally everybody seems to think it’s OK to bag on Catholic Priests as child molesters, you have to ask yourself: how many other innocent man were accused, or still do get accused, solely because someone sees a way to get a fast insurance settlement?
This question does not just go to Catholic priests of course. Men have been declining as a percentage of teachers for decades with little end in sight, and it’s hard not to think that part of that is that these days they’ll be treated like a sex predator if they’re around young children.
But for many years it has been shown that Catholic priests are no more likely to abuse sexually than Protestant ministers (despite what you may have heard, the real scandal was the apparent coverup attempts) and in recent years it’s been shown that Catholic Priests and Protestant Ministers are both less likely to sexually abuse than the average man. Meaning that these days, if you pick on Catholic priests, you’re probably picking on men who have been repeatedly shown to be less likely to molest a child than you are.
In fact, some of us begin to wonder, as the press now begins telling stories of how Protestant ministers have a sex abuse scandal to deal with if we won’t at some point have to write an article about how Protestant ministers were persecuted and hounded by people who presumed them guilty–even though we already know these men are less likely to offend than the average male population.
In the meantime, do you know what the biggest sex scandals are? The ones no one talks about: public school teachers are wildly more likely to rape kids than Priests or ministers. So are female prison guards.
But still, we live in an era where “listen and believe” are the words that can destroy any man’s life on a whim.
And we have to wonder how many other victims, religious or non-, Sabrina Rubin Erdely has yet to account for in her journalism. And how many other Sabrina Rubin Erdelys are currently working in the press that we don’t even know about. Whether it’s religious men or not that they’re accusing.