Anti-Catholicism

The following article was submitted in a slightly shorter form to the New York Times as an op-ed article. The Times declined to publish it. I thought you might be interested in reading it.

FOUL BALL!
By Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York

October is the month we relish the highpoint of our national pastime, especially when one of our own New York teams is in the World Series!

Sadly, America has another national pastime, this one not pleasant at all: anti-catholicism.

It is not hyperbole to call prejudice against the Catholic Church a national pastime. Scholars such as Arthur Schlesinger Sr. referred to it as “the deepest bias in the history of the American people,” while John Higham described it as “the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history.” “The anti-semitism of the left,” is how Paul Viereck reads it, and Professor Philip Jenkins sub-titles his book on the topic “the last acceptable prejudice.”

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:

  • 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. Instead, an attorney is quoted urging law enforcement officials to recognize “religious sensitivities,” and no criticism was offered of the DA’s office for allowing Orthodox rabbis to settle these cases “internally.” Given the Catholic Church’s own recent horrible experience, I am hardly in any position to criticize our Orthodox Jewish neighbors, and have no wish to do so . . . but I can criticize this kind of “selective outrage.”

Of course, this selective outrage probably should not surprise us at all, as we have seen many other examples of the phenomenon in recent years when it comes to the issue of sexual abuse. 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.

  • On October 16, Laurie Goodstein of the Times offered a front page, above-the-fold story on the sad episode of 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.
  • Five days later, October 21, the Times gave its major headline to the decision by the Vatican to welcome Anglicans who had requested union with Rome. Fair enough. Unfair, though, was the article’s observation that the Holy See lured and bid for the Anglicans. Of course, the reality is simply that for years thousands of Anglicans have been asking Rome to be accepted into the Catholic Church with a special sensitivity for their own tradition. As Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s chief ecumenist, observed, “We are not fishing in the Anglican pond.” Not enough for the Times; for them, this was another case of the conniving Vatican luring and bidding unsuspecting, good people, greedily capitalizing on the current internal tensions in Anglicanism.
  • 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.

I do not mean to suggest that anti-catholicism is confined to the pages New York Times. Unfortunately, abundant examples can be found in many different venues. 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. Elsewhere, last week, Representative Patrick Kennedy made some incredibly inaccurate and uncalled-for remarks concerning the Catholic bishops, as mentioned in this blog on Monday. Also, the New York State Legislature has levied a special payroll tax to help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority fund its deficit. This legislation calls for the public schools to be reimbursed the cost of the tax; Catholic schools, and other private schools, will not receive the reimbursement, costing each of the schools thousands – in some cases tens of thousands – of dollars, money that the parents and schools can hardly afford. (Nor can the archdiocese, which already underwrites the schools by $30 million annually.) Is it not an issue of basic fairness for ALL school-children and their parents to be treated equally?

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.

I guess my own background in American history should caution me not to hold my breath.

Then again, yesterday was the Feast of Saint Jude, the patron saint of impossible causes.

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304 Responses to “Anti-Catholicism”

  1. Guillermo Rostom Maderna says:

    Your Excelency: I write you from Buenos Aires. I saw your assumption on TV (EWTN) and I want to express my congratulations for your ministery, your courage and your leadership. Thank you for your service to the Church and the people. Father Guillermo Rostom Maderna

  2. John Wachman says:

    Archbishop Dolan: Well done & spot on! Please continue to speak out and lead on this issue. We need the church leadership to call the media to task for the obvious lack of respect and fairness for the Catholic Church and its faithful. God bless you and keep you strong!

  3. Mandelay says:

    Bravo! Thank you for standing up for us.

  4. Edward Wlson says:

    Archbishop Dolan appears to confuse 19th century nativism, which involved native-born Protestants’ prejudice directed at a largely immigrant Catholic population, with a more recent phenomenon. The recent situation involves the descendants of those 19th century immigrants who are now well-educated, mostly in Catholic institutions. These educated lay Catholics, along with a fair number of priests and a significant number of nuns, are expressing their resentment over their hierarchy’s insularity, secretiveness, and arrogance as exhibited in the cover-up of clerical sexual abuse until this scandal was exposed by the secular press in 2002. Our bishops’ handling of this issue has been spotty ever since. It has also become increasingly apparent that our bishops’ handling of church finances has been far from adequate. For example, the Archdiocese of New York has not published financial statements for well over 20 years. Another example is the expenditure by the Diocese of Portland, Maine of over $600,000 to defeat a current gay-marriage referendum in that state. The best defense against media criticism of the Catholic Church would be meaningful lay participation in the affairs of our church as urged by organizations such as Voice of the Faithful. It is interesting, however, that Archbishop Dolan appears to have serious concerns, as do many lay persons, about the current Vatican visitation and investigation of American nuns. This visitation is being conducted in secrecy and the report may never be revealed. Moreover, those assisting in the investigation are limited to persons who will sign an extensive loyalty oath. Archbishop Dolan and his fellow American bishops are in the best position to do something to head off or civilize this apparent inquisition. If they are doing anything, they are doing so in secret. American lay Catholics are entitled to know what is going on. Edward N. Wilson Brooklyn

  5. MAC GROUP says:

    I found this yesterday on AOL or Yahoo news but it has since disappeared. I now find it at: Archdiocese of New York – blog – The gospel in the digital age. Finally our Bishops are beginning to fight back at the slanted news against Catholics. Then I find that the NY Times didn’t print this. Not surprising.

  6. Bob Murphy says:

    I see the time has come. Go get ‘em Archbishop. We love you and pray for you. You are our Shepherd – Defend Your Flock!!

  7. Larry Phillips says:

    Archbishop’s Dolan’s claim that criticism of Catholicism is largely based on anti-Catholic prejudice is extraordinarily misguided. News about abuse by Catholic priests is newsworthy not because of prejudice, but because it is further evidence of the enormity of these crimes – their duration and world-wide scope, especially since these crimes have been committed by men who claim to be transformed by Christ’s love. It is often pointed out only a small fraction of priests engaged in this behavior, and that is true. However, the important fact is the entire hierarchy of the church, at all levels, conspired to cover up these crimes over a period of decades, and steps were taken to stop the abuse only when it was forced on them by the revelations of some of the victims. The Ryan Report, which was released this year, and which documented 50 years of priest abuse in Ireland, stated in its summary that “Abuse was not a failure of the system. It was the system.” I am a non-religious person, and harbor no particular bias toward Catholicism. When I look at the facts however, I can only see this scandal as a shocking case of institutionalized evil. For the church to try to cast itself as a victim of prejudice, and to say that other groups also committed crimes, is highly disrespectful of the Church’s thousands of victims, and it only deepens the moral abyss it has fallen into. The Catholic Church desperately needs to find a better answer when the truth of their failings is pointed out.

  8. Associate says:

    If Archbishop Doyle were in touch with the people he would easily see that Maureen Dowd speaks the truth. Hers was an excellent article presenting facts of the investigation in progress of some of the American Sisters. These days the hierarchy is more into lies and cover ups, so it is perfectly natural to understand why the archbishop did not recognize the truth when he saw it. It is reasonable to believe that most of the congratulatory messages on this blog come from people who have not been inside a convent for years, if ever, or have they had a serious, in-depth discussion with a Sister recently. This would also apply to much of the hierarchy. Investigating is so much simpler than cultivating a relationship with the person or group being investigated. Who knows? The Holy Spirit might have even entered into the process and real understanding might have taken place.

  9. John Reagan says:

    Dear Archbishop: I understand your anger and frustration at the frequency with which the Catholic Church is routinely attacked. But I am surprised that you would expect anything else. When I was being raised as a Catholic child, I was taught that the Church would always be under assault—it was to be expected and even desired. You may differ with me on that. But what I am most disappointed to see is the comparison of anti-Catholic comment with anti-Semitism. There has been and never will be any Kristallnacht directed against Catholics in this country. It is offensive to to make a comparison between criticism of Catholicism with anti-Semitism.

  10. Grant A. Rice says:

    Your Excellency – Thank you for putting in to words what many Catholics experience in person everyday in our city and across our nation. Your clear and concise approach and willingness to speak openly about anti-Catholicism can only aid in bringing this long held bias to the forefront for open and honest discussion. Your forthrightness and willingness to speak out against such things makes me proud to be a member of this Archdiocese and even prouder to call you my Bishop.

  11. Elg SChlubach says:

    I write from Italy as italian reading also german news. The “Spiegel” is another anticatholic paper. When they can they point their fingers about some flaws in the Church which they never do with islamics or other faith. I was thinking about it and found that we should rejoice. Truth has been always controversial in the news.Sad is that the young are influenced and I have to discuss with my grandchildren who dont know much about history but a los about the inquisition, mostly in the wrong ,not historic way. We should get used to it and start to pray together through the blog for” thruth and justice in the news”

  12. Mary says:

    Thank you, Archbishop Doland and PLEASE keep talking about this.

  13. Florentius says:

    Thank you so much for speaking out. We are in such desperate need of strong voices like yours to speak the truth to power. I pray that God will continue to give you the strength and courage to do so.Our prayers are with you!

  14. Karen Brauer says:

    The NYT is passe, shrinking, a vestige of its former self. So, Archbishop Dolan, who cares if they would not publish your well composed reply to Maureen. We are linking it up all over the internet and adding supportive commentary.

  15. Dan Lapinski says:

    I am sending this to our MAC group. I found it in the AOL or Yahoo news Monday but it disappeared soon. I was happy that FINALLY our bishops came to the defense of us in the Catholic bashing that is so popular. As he says anti-catholicism is the only prejudice that is acceptable today. Hope you are well. Jim

  16. Jim Barrett says:

    I am a Catholic from Chicago. I found your op-ed piece on AOL or Yahoo news Monday only to find that it disappeared quickly. I wonder why? FINALLY our Bishops spoke out against the anti-Catholic media bias we are constantly facing. Then I saw that your comments were not published. If the facts disprove your position, just ignore them, right? Please keep up the good work. We need you

  17. ugl1820 says:

    Your Excellency,I am writing from Spain, and I totally agree with your point of view. Here, in the old Europe, things are even worse. Today, the Strasbourg Court has given the reason to an Italian mother in her demand, asking the government to eliminate crucifixes in schools.It is a shame that we, western people, forget our origins, and despise the roots of our socity.I pray to God to guide you in knowing the difficult task of proclaiming the Gospel in the midst of relativism. Good bless you.

  18. Jim G says:

    Interesting Article

  19. Veronica Scaglione says:

    Thank you Archbishop Dolan for defending our great Catholic faith. You are a wonderful leader!

  20. Henry C. Malon says:

    Bravo! It’s about time our shepherds recognized the seriousness of this problem and the damage it has been causing to the Church in recent years! Too many of its members have relied on the secular media for their news and accepted as accurate and truthful the many falsehoods and misrepresentations about the Church which have been promoted by the media with a consequent loss of faith. Turning the other cheek does not require silence. Nor does the spirit of ecumenism. Why are so many of our other bishops so silent on this problem?

  21. Virgniia Williams says:

    Mr. Wilson of Brooklyn (see below) should know that according to MSNBC.com, gay marriage has now been defeated in every single state (31, to be exact) in which it has been put to a POPULAR vote. The same website reports that gay rights activists in Maine mounted a “well-financed” campaign. Thus if it’s true that the Diocese of Portland spent over half a million dollars on a campaign to repeal the state law, I have no problem with it. In any case, the state legislature is out of touch with the people it purports to represent, as is the case in some 30 other states, where the voters refuse to be brainwished into abandoning their moral values.

  22. Caroline Niesley says:

    Excellency, Thank you for your wisdom and leadership in response to media bias. Ms. Dowd’s ignorant drivel was maddening to read. Apart from prayer, what can we do for Catholics who have spiritually left the Church but seem bent on destroying it from within using disinformation? Fr. Groeschel said he’s going to read the Wall Street Journal now and so am I.

  23. Michael Hoban says:

    Me parece muy importante y muy acertado el articulo escrito por Monseñor Dolan. Mi pregunta es ¿se publica el blog en español para los cientos de miles de católicos de habla hispana de la Arquidiócesis? Fr. Michael Hoban, Santiago de Chile

  24. Laurie Goodstein says:

    I am the national religion correspondent at The New York Times, and sent this letter to Archbishop Dolan yesterday. I would like to share it with the readers of his blog. Dear Archbishop Dolan, I was very disturbed to read your blog post about The New York Times, and about my work and that of my colleagues as “anti-Catholic.” You write as though the Catholic Church is some sort of special target, when in fact any institution that is accused of wrongdoing receives critical coverage and commentary. As you know, the Catholic Church is the largest religious institution in the world, and a quarter of Americans are adherents. The Catholic Church is a hierarchical church with a clear chain of accountability. It is only natural that it receives such scrutiny. As you acknowledged in your blog, there are recent developments in the Church that are “well-worth discussing and hardly exempt from legitimate questioning.” So when a newspaper undertakes this kind of coverage, it should not be seen as anti-Catholic. If so, we could equally be accused of being anti-Every religious group that we have called to task, and there are many. You cite Paul Vitello’s front page story about sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community as evidence that the Times is anti-Catholic. Paul and I find it a hard argument to understand. The Times has written about the sexual abuse of minors by clergy of many faiths: Jews, Southern Baptists, mainline Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Orthodox Christians, evangelicals. But the abuse story has been bigger for the Catholic Church simply because of the quantitative facts: there are more priests accused, more alleged victims, more countries involved, more settlements, more years since the problem first became public, more legal and financial consequences and simply more people affected. In mentioning my piece about a priest who had an affair with an adult woman, you imply that there was no reason to run a story now that is 20 years old. You neglected to acknowledge that this piece was written now because the priest’s son is dying of brain cancer, he believes the church and the priest have failed him, and because the priest was still serving in a parish where neither his parishioners nor his bishop had knowledge of his philandering until I began reporting. One of the women he was involved with was allegedly a minor, and at one point the priest suggested that a pregnancy he was responsible for be terminated by an abortion. I wrote the story because church officials have said privately to me over the years that priests who violate their vows with adult women are far more common than priests who sexually abuse minors. Also, I have also been contacted over the years by adult women in similar situations. I wrote about this woman because she was willing to go public with her experience and had the legal documentation and photographs to prove that this was more than a case of he said/she said. You claim that the Times ran this story instead of covering Afghanistan, health care and the Sudan, but as you know the Times is regularly full of stories about all these issues. And finally, you cite as “anti-Catholic” the coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s new structure for welcoming traditionalist Anglicans into the Catholic Church. The Times’ story did state clearly, as you pointed out, that the arrangement was a response to requests from some Anglicans. Certainly, the Vatican is “welcoming” these Anglicans, but many other Anglicans feel as if the church were making a bid for their allegiances. Our story used language reflecting these various points of view. Our coverage did not differ much from most of the media coverage, except that we were far more tempered than some. Archbishop Dolan, you and I have known one another since we first met in Rome in 1998 when you were rector at the North American College. We met again years later when I was doing a story about you and several others whom I dubbed “Healer Bishops” who were trying to help the church recover from the scandal over sexual abuse by priests. I am pained that your blog selectively overlooked all the articles in the Times that you and other bishops in the church have praised over the years because you found them fair, and there are many (including some about your appointment to the Archdiocese of New York). This is why I cannot accept your characterization of the Times as “anti-Catholic.” This weekend, I am going to the conference of the American Academy of Religion, the largest society of religion scholars, to receive their top journalism award for a three-part series I did last year on the Catholic Church. The subject was international priests serving in the church, and the series included stories about a Kenyan priest beloved by his Kentucky parishioners, an American vicar who selects foreign priests to serve in his diocese, and why so many young Indians choose vocations in the Catholic Church. To do these pieces, I spent many weeks in American parishes and a week living in a seminary in India. If the Times were “anti-Catholic,” why would it devote the reporting time and three consecutive front page stories to a fair and affectionate look at the contemporary Catholic Church? Sincerely, Laurie Goodstein National Religion Correspondent The New York Times

  25. Manuel says:

    Arzobispo Dolan, le escribo desde España, comparto su opinión sobre la crítica injustificada y desmedida hacia el católicismo, en realidad a todo el cristianismo. Los católicos tenemos que aceptar nuestros graves errores, pedir perdón e intentar que no se vuelvan a producir. Sin embargo, la lucha entre el laicismo y el cristianismo (quizás la única religión que se desarrolla en sociedades democráticas, plurales, libres, tecnológicamente avanzadas) se está haciendo cada vez más dura. Algo parecido ha pasado en su país con el anterior presidente y el actual, parece que su gran error ha sido demostrar publicamente su fe en Cristo. En fin, que la Esperanza no nos abandone nunca. Paz con todos.

  26. Enrique Soros says:

    Bishop Dolan: FIRST: you publish Laurie Goodstein’s letter, from NY Times. Does the Times publish your letter??? SECOND: She does not answer to your main concerns, namely: “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.” CONGRATULATIONS BISHOP DOLAN!! Don’t ever expect the NY Times to be fair with the Catholic Church, don’t expect that from the media at all!!

  27. Dr. Thomas B. Lucente says:

    It would seem we have read two different articles! The Bishop did not criticize your coverage of the 20 year old story of the Franciscan priest but its prominence on the front page. Nor did he accuse the NYT for not covering the various “war” stories etc. Citing so called good stories that have been printed by the NYT does nothing to excuse the obvious anti Catholic,,,,no,,,anti Christian sentiment of your paper. I have stopped reading it years ago….You seemed to have skipped right over the most obvious fact…the Church is seen as having deep pockets. In this litigous society this is a fact that should not be overlooked. The Bishop objected to your paper’s acceptance of the Chief Rabbis dealing with their internal problems without an insistence of the same kind of legitimate scrutiny given to abuse in the Catholic clergy…..The number is not important…even one case of sexual abuse should not be tolerated. I don’t think any Catholic objects to the coverage of what we all believe to be an abomination. I suspect we all are asking for fair reporting. To point out a few postivie articles does nothing to excuse the pervasive anti Catholic tone of most of the news. It reminds me of the bigot who proclaims…some of my best friends are black or Jewish or Latino. Protest as you will, the Bishop is right on target. Let me remind you, he is not justifying a sinful, sick act in any way. I believe the tone of his article was honest and fair.It should have been printed by the NYT.

  28. Noreen and Hank Dalpiaz says:

    Thank you, Archbishop Dolan!!! It is refreshing to have someone with conviction speak up on behalf of Catholics. It is a fact that it is socially acceptable nowadays to bash Catholics and we all need to be outspoken against this prejudice.

  29. Mike Perigo says:

    It doesn’t take a NY Times staffer to know that anti-Catholicism is rampant in our increasingly post-Christian American society. As a grad student at an Indiana Catholic seminary, I talk with fellow students (some who are Protestant) from across the US, and especially here in the Midwest. All have experienced institutional anti-Catholic bigotry of some kind or another. Especially on secular college campuses and in the secular media, the Catholic Church is targeted, yes, “targeted”, for special treatment, ridicule and loathing. God bless you, Archbishop Dolan, for your plain talk.

  30. Jane says:

    Dear Archbishop, I was chagrined to see Ms. Goodstein’s rambling and strident response to your blog post. Ms. Goldstein’s reporting is one of the reasons I cancelled my subscription to the New York Times. It has struck me as strange that the Times assigns a non-Catholic to report on Catholic issues, yet other religions are afforded coverage by a reporter of the same faith. Similarly, I have been struck by the prominence the Times gives–front page, above the fold– to controversial and sensational pieces about Catholics and certain ethnic groups, and yet buries pieces about others elsewhere in the newspaper. For many years, I relished subscribing to the Times as I genuinely felt it provided thorough, unbiased reporting and informed editorials and op-ed pieces, but sadly that is no longer so–and it has not been so for at least the past few years.

  31. Maricruz says:

    Congratulations, Archbishop Dolan. I´m writing from Central America proud to find on the web an Archbishop who speaks out on the defense of our beloved Church. Please, have no doubt that you´ll be on our prayers. God bless you and thanks.

  32. Kell Brigan says:

    Is it appropriate to send Archbishops fan letters? : ) (Personally, I think Archbishop Dolan should not list “Banned by the New York Times” up front and center on his c.v.)

  33. Pat Hill says:

    As I do every morning driving in to work, I was listing to the Catholic Channel on Sirus XM radio and heard Gus Lloyd talking about this article. I can not thank you enough for speaking out. May God continue to bless you!

  34. Matthew says:

    Archbishop Dolan, Your article is spot on. I am not Catholic but I am disgusted by the way the mainstream media gets a free pass when criticizing Catholicism and other mainstream Christian faiths. Such criticism of other world religions would illicit cries of racism of bigotry. Thank you for your leadership and desire to keep the media honest.

  35. Curt says:

    St. Louis misses you Archbishop Dolan.

  36. Carolyn Disco says:

    I find Laurie Goodstein’s response far more persuasive than Dolan’s post. It is far too easy to fall back on charges of anti-Catholicism when the coverage hits home. As an advocate for clergy abuse survivors, I found the NYTimes very difficult to engage compared to other publications. The emotional outpouring of Catholics here supporting Dolan speaks more to fatigue with the scandal than the facts. In that light it is a barometer of misplaced discontent. But blaming the messenger is no excuse. I had expected better from Dolan. But it is undeniably a good PR move from his stance: play on people’s fatigue and maybe forestall more unpleasant coverage. Smart approach.

  37. The Rev. David Terwilliger says:

    Thank you Archbishop Dolan for your article. The funny thing about dealing with the NY Times is that – as with any such entity – the harder they suppress the truth, the more the truth will get out if Christians are faithful in witnessing to it. Of course, our Lord Jesus Christ has something to say about the beatitude of those who are persecuted and have uttered against them falsehoods for His name-sake. It is precisely there where we see Christ at work in the world today and with the cross of Jesus as our calling, our haven, and glory. I am Anglican priest who is deeply saddened by the past and current anti-Catholic attitudes and actions in North America. It is the duty of every Christian – one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism – to exhibit fraternal love for each other (by this Jesus said, “they” – the world – “will know they you are my disciples.”). Thank you once again for your article and God’s Peace be upon you.

  38. Michael Carlon says:

    As a cradle Catholic who was insulated in a blanket of Catholicism for most of his youth, I never experienced anti-Catholic bias. I went to Catholic schools, my neighbors were Catholic, my parents friends were Catholic and I did not know any differently. Then I left home, went to a public university, and felt like the odd man out. It was only after being in “the world” that I saw evidence of anti-Catholic bias all around me. Now that my eyes have been opened to such a bias, it is hard not to see. We are not perfect, our halos are all busted, but do we deserve such treatment? The New York Times is certainly one culprit, but our own local paper in Stamford CT has the church in its crosshairs on a regular basis. Our local Knights of Columbus find it extremely difficult to get local city editors interested in works of charity. I have never seen an article touting our Bishop’s appeal and the fact that money collected from this appeal makes the Catholic church the single largest provider of social welfare services in the state. Rather, the paper prints articles in support of planned parenthood. Recently, there was an article – in our LOCAL paper – showing a statistic suggesting that 70,000 women die every year due to “back alley” abortions in countries where this practice of murder is still illegal. Note, I don’t think their pencil is sharp enough…if that is true, the figure should read at least 140,000 PEOPLE die from such a practice but I digress. Their answer, make abortion legal. How do we get zero people to die from unsafe abortions, DON’T HAVE AN ABORTION. ABSTAIN FROM SEX. Now, the paper is bringing up a matter which was settled a decade ago – clergy sexual abuse by priests in the diocese of Bridgeport. An inexcusable act, but why are they interested in bringing it up again? Because taking on the Church means selling more newspapers. My thanks go to Archbishop Dolan and his eloquent letter for giving those of us in “the silent majority” a voice in this fight. That said, we as a Church need to be equally proactive. Write letters to the editor of your local papers in support of the Faith. Let us all become soldiers of Christ and make our voices heard.

  39. Frank says:

    Thank you Archbishop Dolan. After years of purchasing my daily New York Times I have discontinued reading there onesided opinions. I will add the cost to my weekly offering. The Church deserves it much more than the Times…after all did they start any education system, social service networks, or take the lead in music and art. I am proud to be Catholic and by the way I am a liberal. The truth is the truth; and if the Times can give their opinion but not respect the opinions of others it is not worth reading.

  40. Mary Ellen Cherry says:

    Your Excellency,we just cancelled our subscription to the NY Times, looks like the Grey Lady can do without our Catholic dollars/

  41. Antoni Monserrat says:

    Thank you, Archbishop Dolan, for the clear messages you are giving. We need this kind of guidance.

  42. Holy spirit prep says:

    Hello from D-Period class at Holy Spirit Prep school in Atlanta, GA! We love your blog! Dolan we <3 u!

  43. Fr. Ray Suriani says:

    Archbishop, You continue to be an inspiration and a great “coach” to us priests, as well as to those preparing for ministry.

  44. Crystal says:

    Thank you, Archbishop Dolan, for your eloquently candid remarks. I pray that your brother bishops courageously and charitably critique the media as you have done. We, lay Catholics, need the moral support of the heirarchy. We are the church militant and as such the foot soldiers of our church leaders. Thank you for sounding a clear and loud battle cry.

  45. Jeff Frievalt says:

    We have always known what a treasure you were while you led the church in SE Wisconsin. New York is blessed to have you. Terrific artical!

  46. Lulubelle says:

    I am a female who grew up in NYC and was raised attending catholic schools and church all my life. In the 1970s, I watched the Church “uncloister” the nuns and direct them to go into the world, find jobs and apartments and support themselves, because the church could no longer do so. The church did this to the nuns despite the fact that many of their families and friends gave huge donations to the order (the church) when the nuns entered, in consideration of the lifelong care that the church was to give to the nuns. During the 70s, the church lost a great deal of nuns and, since that time, has had a “recruitment” problem with respect to nuns and priests. The acts of the church in the 70s was viewed by me and many as a “doublecross” and a betrayal. Now, the nuns who stayed in the order find themselves elderly and must solicit (beg) for donations so they can receive the basic nursing and other care they need. The church seems to have abandoned them once again–a triple cross. During this 40-50-year time span, the nuns never had a vote or voice in any church matter. More dedicated, devout people I have never seen. Their treatment by the church has been a disgrace–just as big a disgrace as the church’s handling of pedophile priests over the same time span (hide them and move them and silence them). Women who have grown up in the catholic church and remain faithful to the tenets of the religion have grown to despise the treatment of nuns by the church and the church’s treatment of women generally, just as they despise the manner in which the church has handled its pedophile priests. This sentiment is NOT “anti-catholic” as you characterize them; instead, it is VERY CATHOLIC as it is rooted in a love of god, the tenets of the religion, a deep concern over the the church and concepts of right and wrong. Maureen Dowd cares, I care and millions of women care about these issues but, of course, the church does not allow women a voice. I hope you and the rest of the church hierarchy, all male, stop “pigeon-holing” the criticism of your actions as “anti-catholic” and, instead, start reflecting on providing women in the church with a voice and vote so their concerns and needs are adequately met by the church. I would like to see that in my lifetime.

  47. Gary Aguilar says:

    Criticizing odious policies of The Church, as Maureen Doud has, is no more anti-Catholic than criticizing the odious policies of Israel is anti-Semitic. Let’s not forget that the early critics of the Church’s abysmal handling of its pedophile problem were similarly denounced and ignored on grounds they were “anti-Catholic.” Archbishop Dolan’s conflating the two – the Church itself with its questionable practices/policies – is cynically strategic; it’s dishonest and it’s shameful. We have a right to expect more from our archbishops than that.

  48. Irene Baldwin says:

    The Archbishop threw a pretty harsh criticism of the NY Times out over the internet. As expected, this criticism generated a tremendous reaction from the blogs and from the mainstream press. Much of the ensuing conversation doesn’t seem very constructive. (And some of it sounds absolutely un-Christian). I think the Archbishop, since he started this fire, now has a responsibility to put it out.

  49. Bob Wilkinson says:

    was Milwaukee’s loss. During his tenure here, Archbishop Dolan was our much-beloved shepherd. He came to us after a scandal involving his predecessor, and brought healing and joy to us when we desperately needed it. Now the Holy Spirit has moved him to a higher calling, and I’m heartened to see that he has the fire necessary to be a true defender of the faith. It is sometimes said that in times of national emergency, we have had the “right person” come forward. At a time when Catholicism faces dire challenges, we are fortunate to have Archbishop Dolan as a leader. (from Milwaukee, WI)

  50. Rex Sinquefield says:

    It is time for all Catholics and intellectually honest readers to cancel their subscription to the NY Times.