In NH, Rick Santorum Takes Exception To Priest Sex Abuse Question

By Jon Keller, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – It wasn’t all cheering on Rick Santorum’s first full day back in New Hampshire. The candidate got into a testy exchange with students over gay marriage.

And then there was his conversation with WBZ political analyst Jon Keller. Santorum took exception to a question Jon asked him about his views on the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, which broke wide open ten years ago this week.

It was the capper to a day that reminded Santorum, if he needed reminding, that he isn’t in Iowa anymore.

WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller Is At Large

Arch-conservative Iowa Republicans just loved Rick Santorum.

But New Hampshire is not Iowa, as Santorum discovered when he equated gay marriage with polygamy before a college crowd in Concord Thursday.

Not too many new supporters won over here, it seems.

Later, before a friendlier crowd in Windham, Santorum felt comfortable mocking the notion that he’s too far right for the locals.

But we wondered: What would New Hampshire think of Santorum’s decade-old claim that Boston-style liberalism, “lies at the center of the Catholic priest sex-abuse scandal?”

“I’ve already answered this question a hundred times,” said Santorum. “Come on, what games are you guys playing? I’ve answered that question a hundred times.”

And sure enough, he has recently reaffirmed that position, without explaining how the 14 priests from the Manchester, New Hampshire diocese accused of abuse were also infected with that alleged liberal poison.

In his original comments, Santorum argued that priests are not immune to popular culture, that seminaries had been contaminated by cultural permissiveness, and that, “when the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected.” Some of New Hampshire’s 300,000 plus Catholics, even conservative ones, may well wonder why he’s said so little about the role arch-conservative church leaders like Boston’s Cardinal Law played in enabling the abuse.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. tsalnew says:

    Ugh – I head him – his position upsets me on so many levels. As one woman said our government was based on the fact that “All men are created equal” He claims to be very religious yet apparently doesn’t see in that religion that it is not up to man to judge.

    And isn’t he elected to represent all?? Apparently he feels he can simply represent those he approves of. Do I understand that he believes the only priests that were abusive were liberals? I have to read that again. I hope that isn’t what he means.

    Once again it’s back to rallying behind anyone but Romney and anyone who is tea party approved. So far it’s worked very well???

    1. tsalnew says:

      that’s I “heard” him

  2. Stephen Stein says:

    Wow. Talk about a guy who can dish it out but can’t take it. He’ll make all sorts of wild accusations and spout fiery rhetoric about gays, but the moment he gets any heat, he folds like a cheap suit.

    Newt may be crazy, and Mitt might be a world-class panderer, but at least they’ll stand toe-to-toe with you.

    Santorum is just weak.

  3. Chris says:

    You are right that it is not up to man to judge. God will take care of that quite nicely. All truth is God’s truth, and it ends at the top. It is not Rick Santorum’s responsibility to address human failure in his or any other church. He didn’t make any decisions about sex abuse in the Catholic church, and I don’t know many Catholics who are not quite disgusted with the church’s position on this sin.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” The Declaration reminds us that it is the Creator who give us our unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. God sets the rules as Creator and Sustainer; we creatures obey them out of love and thanksgiving, and trust in God’s provision.

    Rick Santorum humbly defers to these truths, and I find that to be wonderfully refreshing in a morally-relativistic society that deludes itself into thinking that each individual can operate under his or her own moral code, defined in their own mind. That is a recipe for the chaos we now see in America. Santorum would be an excellent president.

    1. tsalnew says:

      The words were written by a man who was strongly opposed to the Catholic religion and was a deist. He was also a slave owner which Adams questioned. Fortunately most of us have moved past prejudice to understand that, in fact, all men are created equal.

      Santorum promotes family values – as long as those values match his. Revolting IMHO. How can he govern when he only respects people who fit in his narrow little idea of what is right and what is not? He takes an oath to represent all.

    2. Nad says:

      Take another sip of the kool-aid Chris, Santorum’s analogy of homosexuality to polygamy demonstrates his ignorance and blind faith. Somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the population is gay. It’s hard-wired in their DNA. It’s not a choice like a hair cut. They deserve the same rights as everyone else. We not talking about the creepy husbands on Sister Wives. Just deal with it.

    3. BostonIrish says:

      Chris, umm… the moral code allows for personal freedoms and relationships that are important to individuals and doesn’t require that all agree. Individual views and feelings are fine. But to claim that Santorum’s attempt to compare homosexual unions with plural marriages is a big step into a pretty defining area that if you’re not a man and a woman, you can’t have same-sex commitments. I am against plural marriages. But I don’t have an issue with same-sex marriages. And I do defend their rights to do so.

      1. Chris says:

        Well, in reply all I can say is when you find two men or two women with complementary plumbing that enables them to multiply and fill the earth, I will re-evaluate my position that marriage is clearly a union of one man and one woman. That said, Santorum walked away from questions that reside within the Catholic church. It is not in his power to do anything about what the church does.

      2. Ataberk says:

        Can you trust a man Can you trust a man who thinks Joseph Smith was a saint and a peprhot? Even Ron Paul is not that naive. Can a man who’s greed is only satisfied at $250 million really give a about anybody but himself? Was this answer helpful?

      3. Joseph says:

        Obama inherited one of the worst cisers since the great depression of the thirties. The economic one combined with a global political one thwt was deepened by 10 years of Bushism.There has been a historical trend where the gap between the rich and poor countries has been widening. The USA with 6 percent of the world’s population consumes 25 percent of the world’s resources. The USA because of the way credit operates has been living on potential future earnings. beyond their means.The structure of the global economy has become addicted to overconsumption by some countries the USA being the prime one. If the consumption levels fall it spell disaster.The gap between the rich and the poor in the USA has been widening. Real wages of the workers have been falling over the years. A huge percentage of the newly created wealth went to one percent of the population. Eighty percent of the population got only a small percentage. I am not stating what the percentages are for you would find it unbelievable.The problem is that utilizing the legal person “the Company” the shareholders are insulated. They get their dividends over the years and if the company gets into problems it declares bankruptcy or as is happening the state chips in with tax payers’ money to bail them out to save jobs. The big share holders still have their dividends in their private bank account.Because of the structured shift in wealth the vast majority do not have the money to buy what is in the bonds though they need it. The rich with a disproportionate amount of the wealth cannot consume what is in the bond and so we have a particular form of over production which prevents profits from being realized. Because of this form of overproduction workers are laid off. This further reduces demand.The over 200 poor third world countries cannot buy from the developed countries because they do not have the income.The states intervention to own and control is objected to on ideological grounds, as the press and the publishing houses are controlled by about five major corporations that control over 60 percent of the world’s wealth. Their control over the minds of people is understood.A lot of education is necessary. We must attempt to relook at the situation. Our expectation must be reigned in. We must relook at the idea of state ownership even though we have been conditioned to reject this. The performance of the private sector has feft a lot to be desired and shows how inefficient it can be. Unbridled private sector does not equate to democracy. They are necessary but can we allow them to have such a disproportionate control over our resources and our lives.We have been taught by the corporate media that state ownership will always be inefficient. We must debate this with an open mind.It is the vast majority of workers who are suffering and we must enter and enhance this debate.The solution is not easy. It may call for structural changes that would be opposed by even those who would possibly benefit because of the way they have been socialized/educated.Obama needs support, not criticism. We may all have contributed to the problem. Wall Street certainly did are we to continue trusting them to take care of the future.

    1. Agay says:

      Dan, can you offer any specifics as to why you made this gahnce? Easier to manage the templates? I do think the new site looks cleaner. I created a WordPress blog ages ago but didn’t do anything with it. It’s moribund like most blogs. Feels like a good time to resurrect it.Ah, no comment preview, as Al noticed. Unprotected commenting! I usually have to fix my comments repeatedly as I don’t spel so good.

  4. Janet Swanborn says:

    If Santorum were right, then there would be no Catholic-clergy load to the sexual abuse. There would be parallel scandals in other religiona. The problem is the church’s CONSERVATISM. Their insistence on a “celibate” clergy is a magnet for people whose sex lives are shady. Nobody wonders why s priest isn’t married.

  5. Jim says:

    The sex abuse in Boston has more to do with Boston than it does Rick Santorum, a Catholic from PA. Why should he answer that? How about this political hack from Boston taking responsibility for it?

  6. megan bailey says:

    I left the Hub at 17, and in the years since, I’ve often thought that there should be a special exchange student program for NY and New England kids that would place them somewhere in the South or Midwest so that they wouldn’t grow up, like Mr. Keller, with completely ridiculous, ignorant and parochial notions about their fellow Americans. “Arch-conservative Iowa”, for example, sends Tom Harkin to the Senate every 6 years.

    1. BostonIrish says:

      megan, Jon didn’t say they were bad arch-conservatives. Everyone needs a label. I have lived in Arizona and enjoyed the republican slant after so much Kennedy liberalism here in Mass. I understand your point, but I don’t see Jon as a completely ridiculous, ignorant and parochial person as you so eloquently put it. I’m an independent, and I wouldn’t vote for Tom Harkin or Barack Obama. Label me obstinate and a contrarian. I accept that.

  7. Joe D says:

    Jon-I am a fan but your agenda and cheesy questioning reminded me of the tabloid station to the left of your dial. How disappointing. You are better than this….or maybe not?

    1. Artur says:

      You know, I thought Santorum was Catholic, but then I ddcieed I had confused him with Sam Brownback. Should have trusted my instincts. Good to know that Bill Keller is stepping down as editor so I can write more of this dreck.

  8. blake beverly says:

    Nice hit piece Keller. You’re a petty and pathetic little man.

  9. Bill M says:

    “Arch conservative”? Some reporter you are. When do you start at MMFA or CAP?

  10. Tom Dewick says:

    Jon Keller—you are nothing but an angry little turd. I hope your hemorrhoids get hemorrhoids.

  11. Catherine says:

    How many times have you (Keller) asked the Kennedy’s about the priest abuse scandal? Is it only “real” Catholics that you feel the need to badger as if every Catholic who practices their faith is also a child abuser? The liberal “Catholics In Name Only” get a pass from the anti-Catholic media.

  12. TracyD says:

    “In his original comments, Santorum argued that priests are not immune to popular culture, that seminaries had been contaminated by cultural permissiveness, and that, “when the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected.”

    Exactly what the pope said a few months or so ago. He caught a lot of heat for it, but it’s not necessarily inaccurate.

  13. Mick says:

    The truth is that the growing liberalism of Boston is what ENDED the Church sex scandal, because victims had gained the social and emotional strength — and the support of society — to out the perps.

    In a closed, conservative society, victims of sex abuse keep quiet — and that’s the world Santorum and his ilk want back. No way.

  14. Mick says:

    It’s no coincidence that the Church sexual abuse thrived in the decades when Boston was known as one of the most socially conservative cities in America.

    In conservative societies — here and around the world — victims of abuse don’t dare tell their stories. That was the case here for decades: whenever early victims of sexual abuse from priests tried to tell their stories, they were shouted down by people claiming “the Jewish press”was trying to “get”the Catholic Church. Don’t tell me they didn’t, I lived through it. Some are still claiming that, albeit under their breath.

    Only when New England society had grown to be among the most enlightened and liberal in America did the stories of the victims get treated seriously, instead of being shouted down by an angry mob.

    Open, educated, and free minds, unwilling to be cowed or bullied into silence: THAT’S the legacy of liberalism in Boston.

    As he does in everything else, Rick Santorum has reality in this story exactly backwards.

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