Anti-catholic Bias in the Media

Hello, my name is Tally. I am currently writing, for school, a persuasive essay on whether or not anti-Catholic bias exists in the media. I am taking the position that it does. My thesis statement is:

**“Anti-Catholic bias is apparent in the media by a lack of positive outlook and a general obsession with the negative aspects of the Catholic Church.” **

I have the “general obesession with the negative aspects” part down. I think that is fairly easy to prove, actually. What I need is some examples of the media being suspiciously silent on the good things the Church does. :confused: Can anyone cite examples of the media “glorifying” the work of certain secular (or Christian, Non-Catholic) organizations (such as charity organizations), but never saying a word about a similar Catholic organization which has done as much as, if not more than, the “glorified”?

Any help you have to offer is greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time and whatever assistance you can provide.

~Sydney Angelle

Phillip Jenkins wrote a good book on this subject called Anti-Catholicism: the Last Acceptable Prejudice. He’s an ex-Catholic Anglican himself, if I’m not mistaken. You can get the book here:


You may want to compare and contrast two major relief organizations and research the criticisms, ethics and impact they have in national and international disasters: Catholic Relief Services (founded 1943) and the International Red Cross/Red Crescent movement (founded 1863). Both do very good works, but how often does the Red Cross get mention over CRS and other Catholic-sponsored groups that, collectively, form the largest charitable organization on the planet?

Good luck and God bless.

You might also mention the non-stop reporting of abuse by Catholic priests in the last few months. Most of the cases they’re reporting happened 20 or more years ago, some almost half a century. Yet, a child is 100 times more likely to be abused by a teacher than a priest. See the article at the following link:

If the media were really concerned about child abuse, then it would be reporting abuse by teachers 100 times more often than by priests. But they’re not. They’re focusing only on abuse within the Catholic Church. That’s anti-Catholic bias.

i wouldent recommend having other people do your research for you especially internet people.

  1. Bias, compared to what? Most of what the media reports is negative. That’s what they do. How do they treat evangelical and fundamentalist protestants? The only churches that get positive coverage are the political allies of liberalism.

  2. Mother Teresa was a darling of the media. She was competing with Princess Diana for their homage. Pope JPII got excellent coverage as he covered the world. He got especially good coverage during the period when he was instrumental in collapsing communism in Eastern Europe.

  3. When a new pope is elected the media falls all over itself waiting for white smoke from the Vatican. I have seen very little negative for these events.

  4. The reporting of abusive priests over the last few months is because 1) the Irish have demanded accountability from an organization that is no longer trusted. 2) legion of Christ abuse is becoming public as the vatican acknowledges it, 3) europeans are speaking out against abusive priests and bishops, contrary to many in the Chiurch who claimed the problem was limited to America and its media, and 4) Benedict is stepping forward and taking a more responsible position than past vatican leadership. Read the speech he gave today. Should that have been covered or ignored by the media?

Here is an article about the media treatment of sexual matters involving children compared to its treatment of the sex abuse in the Church.

I don’t think Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is comparable to Red Cross and Red Crescent. As the wiki article you linked to mentioned, there is no organization called International Red Cross and Red Crescent. Instead, each nation may have a national Red Cross or Red Crescent, and these organizations are concerned with disaster relief within their nation’s borders. Catholic Relief Services delivers aid, but also infrastructure building as well. And I think (may be wrong, of course) that they primarily deliver aid to underdeveloped countries, not first world nations. For example, CRS does have programs in the US, but I am not sure such activity is on the same level as the American Red Cross.

And, of course, there is the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), but it is a very different organization from Catholic Relief Services (and from the national Red Cross or Red Crescent organizations.) The ICRC gets the most press attention from its works with prisoners of war and political prisoners. CRS does something entirely different.

I dunno…the idea of comparing the press attention given to Catholic organizations engaged in assistance, vs secular organizations doing similar tasks might be a good one. But I don’t think Red Cross/Red Crescent/ICRC is the right comparison.

Hi, Sydney!

You might want to check out all the good work that Catholic Social Services do. Where were all the media reporting about all the Catholic aid to Haiti? Few ideas for you. Good luck and Pax!


I do my own research. I read through/about every source/article/book/event recommended me and choose that which I think is reliable or not, which I wish to quote or not, etc. I merely needed to get some sources in the first place. Thank you for the advice. Be assured that I am doing my own research. To do otherwise would be to cheat.

And thank you everyone else, for you help. I greatly appreciate it. :slight_smile:


Yes, the constant negative drumming is obvious.

Compared to the sexual scandals:

How much coverage do you hear of the Hindus problems of female infanticide?

That it’s actually Atheist leaders who are responsible for most of the deaths in the 20th century?

Etc. etc. I don’t want to get into a huge laundry list of everyone else’s problems, but there really is no balance whatsoever from the media. There IS an attack on Christianity and Catholicism in particular.

Here is a good resource:

God bless,

Start with how much the secular media loves big government for all the “social justice” activities it engages in (redistribution of wealth, food stamps, social security, unemployment, etc.), all at the hands of FORCED confiscation of people’s money. But the same media ignores the good works of the Church and Catholics, who do FAR more (the largest educator in the world, the largest health care provider in the world, etc.) and they do it with VOLUNTARY contributions.


That’s is an excellent example. Thank you!


Since The RCC is the direct descendent of Jesus and He warned us that the world will hate us we are in a sense to be complimented!..Passover plot,Last temptation of Jesus,DaVinci code nonsense etc etc. Also the so called history channel also casts doubt on our belief system,colleges have a field day at our expense…indeed I can attest to that with my days in various colleges becoming a teacher…it was horrible the smear campaign and one has to take it in order to pass the darn course!.As Catholic Christians we must be better then average,impecable in all we do and thus we neutralize this demonic campaign some what …once the public we come in contact with question the media and its slant,we then have a chance…but its all uphill and against the wind…Pas

First, you have to decide if there is bias, or whether the definition of news as the Catholic community defines it matches up with the definition others have.

Good suggestion…survey a weeks worth of articles in a newspaper and see how many article appear critical of the Church and how many are positive.

The Media should not have double standards.They have the right certainly to report sex abuse by the Catholic clergy but why only the Catholic clergy.There are other Christian and Jewish hierarchy who are also gulty of Sexual promiscuity and Abuse of the young and there is hardly a mention of this.Going one step further do the Media think that religous discrimination in India and Pakistan where Catholic churches are burnt and Catholic people killed do not deserve to be highlighted?.Which is the greater evil? The Western media has unfortunatly turned a blind eye to these astrocities and and these in their opinion do not even deserve to appear in small print.
The truth is that the Anti Catholic lobby has for reasons unknown got a stronghold of the Media.

I think there are a lot of people who really do not understand how newspapers and other media outlets actually function.

One problem is that the “facts” themselves can be controversial. For example, the Charol Shakshaft study cited above was quoted in bits and pieces by some, but was handicapped by an admitted definitional problem. It was a literature review, rather a study in itself, and so was limited by the literature to a definition which conflated sexual abuse with sexual harrassment. Since I have seen estimates of nearly 35 % for the latter, what one can really do with the results is limited, as apparently Prof. Shakeshaft readily admits. The fact that the study gives complex rather simple results makes it less likely to be the subject of a one or two minute report.

But the real issue may be one of perspective. Frankly, I have heard many news reports of sexual abusers being arrested after acts in area schools, and ususally the school was involved in the arrest and prosecution. So I don’t see an obvious bias in reporting on thios subject based on my own experiance. Are some people more sensative to those which affect their religion, and so they notice those more? In the priest abuse scandals what seemed to especially inflame the public was the role that the higher ups played in concealing the crime, and facillitating further crimes, though the priest’s crime was also considered greater than that of the secular abuser because of the additional levels of trust he invoked. The fact that Church authorities were at the same time insisting that laws for non-catholics should conform to the beliefs of the authorities did not help. All of those things make for a bigger story than one about an individual teacher being arrested.

Further, the media sometimes bends to pressure to limit a story, other times responds in reaction to attempts to quash a story. For example, I remember a story that arose from a church spokeperson trying to quash an abuse story by asking a reporter, " How could a good catholic even ask such a question?" The other reporters were not going to leave it alone after that, but I think that spokesman’s attitude is not uncommon among Catholics. And it is presumably why it took so long for many cases of abuse to become public.

The problem of the assignment is to devise a measure of bias that can be used. Since most reported news is of unusual or bad news, a mere count of negative or critical reports is insufficient to show bias.

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