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Reporting on Catholic Church sex scandals continues as reporters gain experience and knowhow

As more stories of clergy committing sexual abuse surface, reporters are finding out how best to cover these difficult stories often decades old and obscured by layers of evasion. Gaining the trust  of victims has led reporters to go beyond normal procedures. Reporters may now warn victims that their stories are running and even allow them to see stories to make sure they are comfortable with the exposure. Reporters also have maintained close contact with inside sources who give them vital information, informing them of progress on the story lest they feel used and abandoned.  (The Poynter Institute, November 27 2018, by Tiffany Stevens)

Reporters need to go beyond gathering reaction quotes from church-going Catholics and consider how they build on the report that Pope Francis recently forced former Washington, D.C. Archbishop Theodore McCarrick from the College of  Cardinals after allegations emerged that he had abused seminarians and a teen-ager. Story ideas include an inquiry into why grand juries have not been convened to investigate the scandal; a followup on the statement signed by parishioners around the country calling for bishops to resign to acknowledge their complicity in the crisis; and a look at how dioceses are dealing with the 2002 U.S. Conference of Bishops’ Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. (The Poynter Institute, August 23, 22018, by Bill Mitchell)

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