In my post below, I linked to some reactions to Pope Benedict's letter to Ireland; as I said, I plan to update the post with more as they come in.
However, I won't be linking to any of the typical mainstream media stories about the letter--not from antipathy toward the MSM (though I have that from time to time) but because all these stories fit a predictable media template.
In fact, to save you time, I'm putting up the template below. That way, you can just read this post instead of reading the New York Times, CNN's website, the AP, or any of the other news factories whose weekend reporters will be filing a report on the pope's letter.
All Purpose Template for the Media to Report on Clergy Sex Abuse Matters:
Rome--Pope Benedict XVI today [released a letter, issued a statement, discussed, etc.] the growing problem of clergy sex abuse, which has tainted bishops and begun to cast shadows on his papacy, leading for calls by victims groups for [the pope to resign, bishops to resign, women to be ordained priests, lay people to govern the Church, married men to be ordained priests, the Church to change its teachings on sex, especially homosexuality, and so forth].
Although the pope [apologized to victims, prescribed both spiritual and legal remedies, promised greater efforts, etc.] victims' groups expressed dismay. [Insert quotes from victims' groups accusing the Church of actually encouraging clerical sex crimes while actively covering them up, and demanding that the pope resign and civil authorities be given blanket permission to rifle through decades of files on priests and lay employees.]
Despite the pope's [words, letter, speech, etc.], critics say that the Church has yet to institute proper transparency and accountability [N.B.: Never attempt to define either of these terms]. Many find that the pope's latest efforts to address the matter fall woefully short of what is needed to move forward towards a solution [again, defined as women priests, married priests, a lay-run Church, and the immediate change of Church teachings on sexuality such that all sex is good and everybody should be engaging in condom-clad versions of it all the time with everybody else, so long as children are off limits until they're old enough for school sex-ed, at which point they're still off limits to adults, but not to each other].
Optional template ending one: create a final paragraph using words like "crisis of confidence," "hemorrhaging of members," and "institutional corruption."
Optional template ending two: add a quote from a liberal nun who thinks women should be running things. Extra points if she refers to God as "she" or talks about women popes.
Optional template ending three: insinuate that the clergy sex abuse problem is unique to Catholicism, deplore (while snickering in your journalistic sleeve) the loss of the Church's moral authority, and refer to the pope as "elderly." Extra points if you manage to tie in the split among America Catholics over abortion in health care to the whole article.
There! That should save you a whole bunch of time this weekend. :)