Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Traveling from Rome to Washington on his first papal journey to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI, April 15, 2008.
On April 7, while filling in for Mark Belling on WISN, I asked listeners if they thought there was a serious sex scandal today in the Catholic Church and to rate the seriousness on a scale of 0-10.
Some callers thought a problem remains, but more thought the problem is being addressed by the Church as it attempts to settle with victims. Many felt the crisis isn’t as rampant as it was in the past.
I then quoted a March 31 news release by Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League. Donohue correctly predicted that with the Pope set to visit the United States, “Some will try to slam the pope for the sex abuse scandal, as if he somehow approved it (he actually used some of the most condemnatory language of anyone when he called molesting priests ‘filth’).”
Donohue then fired this shot:
“What will not be reported is the fact that for the year 2007, .01 percent of the more than 40,000 priests in the U.S. had an allegation made against them for violating someone under the age of 18 (want to compare that with public school teachers anyone?).”
I decided to take Donohue up on his invitation to compare. I found this, from Worldnetdaily.com:
“An estimated 5 million students in United States schools have been assaulted sexually by teachers, according to a congressional report. But no one is calling for investigations or law enforcement crackdowns, there have been no campaigns to ban the offenders from schools, and in many states there aren't even any requirements such predator attacks be reported to education licensing agencies.
Terri Miller, who runs probably the only organization in the nation that focuses specifically on assaults by educators on students, (said) ‘This is an epidemic.’
She said the problem easily could be many times larger than the scandals involving Catholic Church priests molesting children, and the hundreds of millions of dollars in civil liabilities already determined in those cases.”
All practicing Catholics decry the sins of priests who’ve assaulted, However, the overwhelming majority of Catholic priests are good, decent men who should not be unfairly judged or painted with a wide brush just because the Pope has landed.