USA Today, in reporting about sexual abuse of young boys at Penn State University, takes the cheapest of shots at the Catholic Church in their featured story.

Here’s the headline:

Catholic bishops’ lesson for Penn State: Call the cops!

Mind you, this is a story that has NOTHING to do with the Catholic Church but they drag the Church into it for no apparent reason, other than it was an easy opportunity to Church bash.

Reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman even then includes the Church in the lede.

A trusted adult, respected by the community, offers special programs for vulnerable boys — then sexually abuses them. Word travels up to higher authorities but no one calls the police. They handle it within…

Sound familiar? It’s the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal rewritten on a university campus.

So far, you’ve got the Catholic Church indicted in the headline and in the lede of a news story that, once again, has nothing to do with the Catholic Church.

Catholic bishops’ lesson for Penn State: Call the cops!

It gets better. (Or worse.) The photo that runs with the story is described as

David Clohessy, head of a sex abuse survivors group, held a photo of a victim of abuse by a priest, Eric Patterson of Conway Springs, Kan., who killed himself. Clohessy addressed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ meeting in Dallas in 2002 when bishops confronted the explosive national abuse scandal.

What? They couldn’t find any pictures of Penn State head coach Joe Paterno or assistant Jerry Sandusky?

So to sum up, the headline, the lede, and the photo all indict the Catholic Church in a story that had nothing to do with the Catholic Church.

This kind of thing is just plain ol’ Catholic bashing and furthers the media meme that sexual abuse is a Catholic problem.

As the Catholic League points out, you could only get the idea that sexual abuse is a Catholic problem if you believe the media.

One of the nation’s foremost authorities on the subject of the sexual abuse of minors in public schools is Hofstra University professor Charol Shakeshaft. In 1994, Shakeshaft and Audrey Cohan did a study of 225 cases of educator sexual abuse in New York City. Their findings are astounding.

All of the accused admitted sexual abuse of a student, but none of the abusers was reported to the authorities, and only 1 percent lost their license to teach. Only 35 percent suffered negative consequences of any kind, and 39 percent chose to leave their school district, most with positive recommendations. Some were even given an early retirement package.

Moving molesting teachers from school district to school district is a common phenomenon. And in only 1 percent of the cases do superintendents notify the new school district. According to Diana Jean Schemo, the term “passing the trash” is the preferred jargon among educators.

Shakeshaft has also determined that 15 percent of all students have experienced some kind of sexual misconduct by a teacher between kindergarten and 12th grade; the behaviors range from touching to forced penetration.[xxxvi] She and Cohan also found that up to 5 percent of teachers sexually abuse children.

But I’m not waiting on that to be highlighted by the media. Why report facts when Catholic bashing is so much easier?