Sunday, March 12, 2006

A twist in the Bishop Skylstad case?

On Thursday the news broke that the current President of the US Bishops' Conference, William Skylstad of Spokane, is being accused of sexually abusing a woman some 40+ years ago.

Over at Commonweal's great new blog, Grant Gallicho asks an interesting question:
Take a look at the post below, "A bishop accused." In that post, I quoted one of the more intriguing elements of the AP story about the accusation of abuse against Skylstad, which noted that Stephen Rubino was hired by the woman's legal team to investigate the claim. He's the same lawyer who represented the man who accused Cardinal Bernardin of abuse, but later admitted he made it up. Here's what I excerpted from the March 9 version of the story, as it ran on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Web site:
Rubino represented a man who claimed in the early 1990s that he was sexually abused by the late Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. The case was dropped in 1994 when the man recanted.
Read the current verion of the article. This excerpt is gone. On March 9, I read the story as it was picked up in several news outlets, and was dismayed to find that some had edited out this section. The Post-Dispatch hadn't, which is why I linked to their version. Of course, it's not unusual for newspapers to rewrite wire stories--there lots of good reasons to do so (space often being primary). But the Rubino thread in this story isn't a trivial one. So why would the Post-Dispatch remove it from later verions of the article? Or was it the AP itself?
The paragraph about Rubino is preserved in the Fox News story I just linked ... As we all know, in the celebrated Cardinal Bernardin case, Rubino made the story up. This is definitely not trivial.

May the truth be out.

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