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When we speak of the desert our thoughts are naturally borne to such places as the Sahara, a great sandy waste, incapable of vegetation, impossible as a dwelling-place for men, and where no human being is found except when hurrying through as quickly as he can.
No such ideas are attached to the Hebrew words for desert.
It is from the root dabar , "to lead" (cattle to pasture) [cf. Hence midbar among its other meanings has that of tracts of pasturage for flocks.
The Hebrew words translated in the Douay Version of the Bible by "desert" or "wilderness", and usually rendered by the Vulgate desertum , "solitude", or occasionally eremus , have not the same shade of meaning as the English word desert.
The word wilderness , which is more frequently used than desert of the region of the Exodus, more nearly approaches the meaning of the Hebrew, though not quite expressing it.
Members of the Church's hierarchy have argued that media coverage was excessive and disproportionate, and they have also argued that such abuse also takes place in other religions and institutions.
A critical investigation by The Boston Globe in 2002 led to widespread media coverage of the issue in the United States, which was later dramatized in Tom Mc Carthy's film Spotlight in 2015.