New York Times Refuses to Publish Archbishop Dolan’s Op-Ed

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

The New York Times declined to publish a blistering op-ed by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York calling the paper to task for its strong anti-Catholic bias, so the Archbishop decided to publish it himself on his new blog.

After referencing America’s favorite pastime – watching the World Series –  the Archbishop refers to another national pastime, but one that is not so pleasant – anti-catholicism.
”If you want recent evidence of this unfairness against the Catholic Church, look no further than a few of these following examples of occurrences over the last couple weeks,” he writes:
“On October 14, in the pages of the New York Times, reporter Paul Vitello exposed the sad extent of child sexual abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community. According to the article, there were forty cases of such abuse in this tiny community last year alone. Yet the Times did not demand what it has called for incessantly when addressing the same kind of abuse by a tiny minority of priests: release of names of abusers, rollback of statute of limitations, external investigations, release of all records, and total transparency.”

After criticizing the Times’ “selective outrage,” he goes on to cite other examples of it, such as recent studies of sexual abuse in other institutions that was nearly ignored by the mainstream media.
“To cite but two: In 2004, Professor Carol Shakeshaft documented the wide-spread problem of sexual abuse of minors in our nation’s public schools (the study can be found here). In 2007, the Associated Press issued a series of investigative reports that also showed the numerous examples of sexual abuse by educators against public school students. Both the Shakeshaft study and the AP reports were essentially ignored, as papers such as the New York Times only seem to have priests in their crosshairs.”

The Archbishop also points out an Oct. 16 Times article that appeared on the front page, above the fold, about a Franciscan priest who had fathered a child.  

“Even taking into account that the relationship with the mother was consensual and between two adults, and that the Franciscans have attempted to deal justly with the errant priest’s responsibilities to his son, this action is still sinful, scandalous, and indefensible. However, one still has to wonder why a quarter-century old story of a sin by a priest is now suddenly more pressing and newsworthy than the war in Afghanistan, health care, and starvation–genocide in Sudan. No other cleric from religions other than Catholic ever seems to merit such attention.”

He cites Maureen Dowd’s recent screed in support of dissident Catholic nuns as the most “combustible” example of recent anti-Catholic bias in the Times.

“In a diatribe that rightly never would have passed muster with the editors had it so criticized an Islamic, Jewish, or African-American religious issue, she digs deep into the nativist handbook to use every anti-Catholic caricature possible, from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, condoms, obsession with sex, pedophile priests, and oppression of women, all the while slashing Pope Benedict XVI for his shoes, his forced conscription — along with every other German teenage boy — into the German army, his outreach to former Catholics, and his recent welcome to Anglicans.

“True enough, the matter that triggered her spasm — the current visitation of women religious by Vatican representatives — is well-worth discussing, and hardly exempt from legitimate questioning. But her prejudice, while maybe appropriate for the Know-Nothing newspaper of the 1850’s, the Menace, has no place in a major publication today.”

Finally, he mentions the abundant other examples that can be found in various media outlets, which are so many, “I will not even begin to try and list the many cases of anti-catholicism in the so-called entertainment media, as they are so prevalent they sometimes seem almost routine and obligatory.”

He concludes: “The Catholic Church is not above criticism. We Catholics do a fair amount of it ourselves. We welcome and expect it. All we ask is that such critique be fair, rational, and accurate, what we would expect for anybody.

“The suspicion and bias against the Church is a national pastime that should be ‘rained out’ for good.”
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