Before the Rolling Stone Rape Debacle, Reporter Was Blasted for Erroneous Philly Catholic Abuse Story

December 8th, 2014 8:45 AM

"[F]or sheer maliciousness, it is hard to top the piece in Rolling Stone. The factual errors, the stereotypes, the grand omissions, and the melodramatic language make for an incredible read. Make no mistake about it, the author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, has secured her place in the annals of yellow journalism."

No, that is not just another comment about the explosive new media revelation that a highly celebrated article weeks ago by Erdely in Rolling Stone magazine about gang rape by a fraternity at the University of Virginia (UVA) was completely bogus.

The words are from Dr. Bill Donohue of The Catholic League over three years ago – in September 2011 – about a piece Erdely wrote about alleged sex abuse and cover-up in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Donohue uncovered numerous errors and misleading passages in Erdely's article.

In her 2011 article, Erdely, among many other salacious tales, relayed the bizarre claims of "Billy" – whom readers of this site know to be Florida resident Dan Gallagher – who has wildly claimed to have been somehow raped, molested, and sodomized by three different men years ago as an altar boy in Philly in the late 1990s.
And as we have repeatedly chronicled here, veteran journalist Ralph Cipriano at has doggedly uncovered information after eye-opening information leading many to conclude that Gallagher's madcap stories were most certainly fabricated. The lives of innocent men have been simply shattered. (Check out the latest from Cipriano.)

Now that the mainstream media has come around to concluding that Erdely's tale of ceremonial gang rape at UVA was false, we hope that it will revisit her preposterous 2011 story about abuse in the Catholic Church in Philadelphia.

We then hope the mainstream media will begin to question the prevailing media narrative about sex abuse in the Catholic Church that has gone completely unchallenged for decades now. Most stories are now simply retreads of stories of abuse from many decades ago often filled with gross exaggeration, sensationalism, and hysteria. The truth has been lost somewhere.

We won't hold our breath, however.