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The atmosphere of the reporting on the scandals, and the reaction to that reporting, has been much in my mind .

So what am I to make of this? Over at the CNN website, there’s a sad news story about the murder of an American priest, Fr. Esteban Woods, in Venezuela. And though the story contains no real information about any possible motive, the very first comment on the article relates it to the molestation cases.

Is that the lesson to be learned here—that any story which even mentions priests or Catholicism must trigger such echoes?

But, then, as of 10:30 this morning, nearly every other comment on the story takes to task that first commenter. Is that how things now are? The public having reached a kind of exhaustion and willingness to be more fair?

I ask these questions sincerely. I just can’t quite put my finger on the pulse of American feeling about Catholicism right now.

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