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Roasted Pope for Easter: The New York Times makes a fool of itself.

April 2, 2010

Roasted Pope for Easter: The New York Times makes a fool of itself.

It must be an annual event. Every year at around Easter time (sometimes Christmas) we get a barrage of so called faith shaking revelations. One year it was the bones of Jesus; another year it was the Dan Brown saga; another it was another scandal. This year it is an all out campaign against the current Pope Benedict. The accusation is ringing throughout the media that directly accuse the current pope of covering up child abuse. Suddenly we are being bombarded with accusation after accusation that this current pope is more evil than Hitler and Stalin combined. Where is all coming from?

We do have the usual voices of anti catholic rhetoric such as Chris Hitchens demanding to know why the pope is still allowed to travel freely through Europe. We also have the one hit wonder Sinead O’Connor coming out to again condemn the pope. We also have people like Maureen Dowd asking for an inquisition of the pope. Yet the main contributor to this whole episode has been none other than the New York Times. The opinions from people like Dowd, O’Connor and Hitchens can be easily discounted because of their persistent hostility to anything catholic. For them this is just as good as getting high on drugs and after so many years of banging away with spiteful rhetoric now they are claiming legitimacy for their cause. (Good luck with that line of false hope.) Yet the New York Times is a bigger fish to fry and therefore harder to discount.  This is because it is not a single entity but a collective of journalists and editors. Thus it can lay claim to some kind of balance in its reporting. So when a sensational story comes from the New York Times there is a  presumption that the story is credible, supported by evidence and balanced in its analysis.

Unfortunately for the New York Times this has not been the case. Instead they have run beat-up based upon innuendo and questionable research. These are not just my words but have also been echoed by the New York Daily News in their article called: Fairness for the Pope: Pontiff not at fault in Wisconsin pedophile priest case


To charges that the pope in his previous position as a cardinal had acted inappropriately they call the New York Times’ accusation as false:

Pope Benedict enabled a pedophile priest to do enormous harm. This is false.

Also when referring to an editorial written by Maureen Dowd:

“Now we learn the sickening news that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, … ignored repeated warnings and looked away in the case of the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, a Wisconsin priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys.”

Again, and with certainty: This is false.

This position is unusual in so far as it is indirectly accusing the New York Times of running smear campaign based upon false information.

If the New York Daily News was rough then the UK paper The Telegraph was merciless in it condemnation of the New York Times. Religious Reporter Damian Thomson has highlighted some blaring holes in the way the NYT reported the story. In an article titled: “The Pope, the judge, the paedophile priest and The New York Times” Damian writes:

“Fr Thomas Brundage, the former Archdiocese of Milwaukee Judicial Vicar who presided over the canonical criminal case of the Wisconsin child abuser Fr Lawrence Murphy, has broken his silence to give a devastating account of the scandal – and of the behaviour of The New York Times, which resurrected the story.”

Damian further adds that the NYT’s were in so much of a hurry to blame the pope that no one from the news agency bothered to
contacted Fr Brundage. “As a result, crucial details were unreported.”

Fr Brundage wrote a piece for the Catholic Anchor titled: “Setting the record straight in the case of abusive Milwaukee priest Father Lawrence Murphy.”


” The fact that I presided over this trial and have never once been contacted by any news organization for comment speaks for itself.” Writes Fr Brundage.

He then goes on to report a different version of how the case proceeded than the one that the NYT’s would have us believe. He goes into detailed about how the case was handled and explains the enormous leaps of logic and assumptions that are being used to falsely accuse the current pope. Who in his words : “… with regard to the role of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), in this matter, I have no reason to believe that he was involved at all. Placing this matter at his doorstep is a huge leap of logic and information.”

Fr Brunfage latter writes: “….He(the current pope) has been most reactive and proactive of any international church official in history with regard to the scourge of clergy sexual abuse of minors. Instead of blaming him for inaction on these matters, he has truly been a strong and effective leader on these issues.”

Damian Thomas followed up on the 30th of March 2010 with piece titled: “The New York Times has seriously screwed up its coverage of the Pope and the child abuse scandals.”

Damian was scathing in his assessment of the lack of professionalism and blind hate that he sees as emanating from the New York Times agenda. He concludes his article with this assessment: “I don’t normally wish unemployment on fellow journalists – even snooty and snarling PC ones from the Big Apple – but if the paper folded tomorrow I reckon I could contain my grief. Couldn’t you?”

Finally we have a response to Maureen Dowds’ article in the NYT’s written by the newly appointed archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan.

You would think that any legitimate paper that launches an editorial attack would not merely allow an editorial response but would welcome it. Instead the New York Times refused to publish a response from Archbishop Dolan citing their policy of only allowing letters to the editor responses.

Here is an excerpt from the article written by Arch Dolan that the NWT refused to publish:

“Finally, the most combustible example of all came Sunday with an intemperate and scurrilous piece by Maureen Dowd on the opinion pages of 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.”

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