On a more serious note, Gibson writes of the firing of Joe Paterno and his boss, Penn State President Graham Spanier:
Comparisons to the Catholic Church continue to work as the dominant explanation for how this could happen.
But Catholic parishioners tended not to riot in protest when, say, Cardinal Law is run out of Boston. PSU students, on the other hand, are not happy about Paterno’s ouster.
It’s true that Boston Catholics did not mount protests when Cardinal Law stole off to his gilded Roman cage. But the Boston Globe was in fact very concerned that there would be such. Previously, the Globe had caught considerable flak for what were considered assaults on the archdiocese, and the newspaper girded its loins for demonstrations outside its Dorchester home as it prepared to launch its investigative series in 2002.
To the surprise of the journalists and (to judge by their initial reactions to the series) of Law & Co. as well, that dog didn’t bark, much less bite. To the contrary, instead of attacking the messenger, parishioners turned on the institution that had betrayed their trust. It’s a commentary on how much more disaffected Boston Catholics had grown from their church than the Nittany Lions have from theirs.