Test your knowledge of current events by answering this question: Which organization remains stuck in deep cover-up mode?
A) The FBI
B) The Roman Catholic Church
C) Both of the above
D) Neither of the above
If you get your news only from The New York Times, you believe the correct answer is D, neither of the above. Other people know the correct answer is C because they see the leaders of both organizations acting as if the public can’t handle the truth.
It is not my intent to suggest the FBI and the Vatican are in all ways comparable. Far from it.
Yet they are in similar straits because each faces a crisis of public confidence. Those crises are severe because of internal decisions to parse, obscure and withhold important facts.
While a desire to protect historically valuable institutions from external harm is understandable, the goal cannot come at the expense of honesty and truth. When it does, the damage grows.