Are Legal Obligations Enough? Did Penn State’s Joe Paterno Fail a Moral Test? What’s His Culpability?
by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
The Patriot-News editorial board has issued a stinging condemnation of the moral and ethical responsibility of Penn State officials, including the university’s legendary head football coach, Joe Paterno. How are you thinking through this mess and the moral and ethical responsibilities of Paterno about these alleged crimes against children?
When your only female character exists to be bartered and abused, that is lazy writing. When you raise the stakes by threatening a woman with rape, that is lazy writing. When you demonstrate the ‘seriousness’ of a situation by describing a brutal rape, that is lazy writing. When you inject emotion into a flagging scene by making the man throw the woman against the wall, that is lazy writing. Not only is it lazy writing, but when rape is used lightly and cheaply as a convenient narrative device, it hurts people.
—Monica Byrne, from the Durham-based playwright’s blog post, “The use of rape in narrative”
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor
I don’t practice as a Catholic anymore. It’s so hard to reconcile what the men at the top do with what Jesus preached.
—Marie Collins, a 64-year-old Dubliner who was abused by a hospital chaplain, Rev. Paul McGennis, when she was 13, as quoted in The New York Times Magazine article “The Irish Affliction.”
Two decades later, she confided in another parish priest about what happened. He suggested it was her fault because she may have tempted McGennis, but that he would forgive her. And then ten years later, she wrote to the archbishop of Dublin, now a cardinal in the Vatican, who told her McGennis was a good priest and she should not “ruin his life.”
by Nancy Rosenbaum, producer
But I still pretty much think the same thing that I sometimes said to Kathie back when we were being raped. I can’t quite get over it. If there is a God, how could he let this thing happen to us? We didn’t deserve it.
This series from The Wichita Eagle will make you question everything about humanity, family, love, neighbors, forgiveness, God. “Promise Not To Tell” documents the perpetual rape of Kellie and Kathie Henderson by their father and two brothers since they were small children, the grace of a Christian family who rescued them and later baptized the assaulting brother in prison, and the shattered worlds these two women are trying to living into and emerge from. A courageous story we’re obligated to read and remember.
by Trent Gilliss, senior producer