WASHINGTON DC, USA, August 2 (CNA) - Pennsylvania’s Senator Rick Santorum blasted Massachusetts Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry Sunday for “doing nothing” about the priestly sexual abuse scandal which centered around Boston in 2002.
In an interview on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopolous Sunday, Santorum said that during the scandal, the height of which seemed to hit Boston around 2002, ''The senators from Massachusetts did nothing. They spoke nothing. They sat by and let this happen."
A front page headline from the May 6th, 2002 issue of the Boston Globe read, The Boston Globe on May 6, 2002, said that ''the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has generated a startlingly unusual reaction: dead silence."
Santorum’s comments come in the wake of a recent article he wrote decrying the senators--both professed Catholics--and the negative political and cultural atmosphere which he says pervades Boston.
Following the article, observers say that Kennedy, Kerry and many of their supporters tried to twist Santorum’s words to make him sound like a “religious extremist.”
Deal Hudson, a Catholic analyst and former editor of Crisis magazine said recently that, “If Senator Kennedy is trying to say that Boston’s liberal environment does not influence culture and values, he’s ignoring the evidence of the many Catholic members of the Massachusetts legislature who spoke publicly in support of gay marriage and legalized the creation of human clones for scientific experimentation.”
A spokeswoman for Kerry responded to the remarks saying that, ''Senator Santorum's partisan, hate-filled comments do a disservice to the victims of abuse…He's never failed to inject politics into these deeply personal and trying issues for Catholics everywhere. He owes an apology to the families of abuse victims and to the faithful who fill the pews of Massachusetts churches every Sunday."
Hudson however, said that, “Santorum’s point is neither extreme nor fanatical: Culture affects values and influences action. His mention of Boston, almost in passing, could have been replaced by any number of cities, and perhaps American culture as a whole.”