The paper analyzes the apologia of Catholic leaders as they responded to accusations that surfaced in 2002 regarding priestly sex abuse in the United States. A study of the apologetic techniques used is offered, noting particularly bolstering, transcendence, and differentiation. Though it was Catholic leaders themselves who used the differentiation approach in their apologia, in their reaction to that rhetoric the audience members may have been influenced by the media and/or the leaders’ peers. Thus, rhetorical efforts by those two sources also are studied. The investigation concentrates primarily on the four-month period beginning January 9 when coverage was most intense, with some attention devoted to the remaining months of 2002.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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