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.

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. Don Bosco says:

    Laurie Goodstein is a little disingenuous in her response regarding the Times’s coverage of the Vatican’s announcement of new structures for welcoming Anglicans into the Catholic church. First, Archbishop Dolan’s description of the article much better matches reality than Goodstein’s. The reporters’ diction is telling. The report reads more like a story about an amoral, rapacious corporate raider preying on a weak rival than an evenhanded account about religious affairs: “an extraordinary bid to lure” Anglicans; “a rare opportunity, audaciously executed”; an attempt “to capitalize on deep divisions”; the “Vatican had engineered it on its own.” The article speaks for itself, and it supports the archbishop’s take on the matter. Second, the article did not “clearly state” as fact that the Vatican’s announcement was the result of concerted requests from disaffected Anglicans. There is a brief reference in two sentences, buried deep in the article, reporting that Cardinal Levada said that was the case. But no attempt was made to give context or support for Levada’s comment. It certainly would have been easy to find the Anglicans who made such requests. They haven’t exactly been in hiding. But a reader (who didn’t completely miss those brief sentences) would be left to wonder if the reporters were suggesting that the veracity of Cardinal Levada’s assertion should be doubted. This article is typical of the Times’s coverage of Catholicism.

  2. J. Waldmann says:

    Archbishop Dolan, in his blog commenting on the New York Times article, pointed out that the Church has been accused of many abuses and that what makes it tough is that many of the accusations are true. He then correctly says that other groups have committed abuses too, in some cases, many more, but that these are passed over in the media but the Catholic Church is singled out. If a group of ministers or rabbis or imams or gym teachers misbehave, not much is said, but if a priest acts badly it makes the front page. The Archbishop says that this is simply persecution. But although prejudice does indeed exist, it is more than that. On some level, without being conscious of it, everyone outside the Church somehow knows that the Catholic Church is the true one and they expected better of it. They expected every priest to be a true representative of Jesus Christ and were disappointed. But with all of this the real fault for the scandal lies with all of us. If we, clergy and laity, were as holy as we should have been then the actions of these men would have been seen as an aberration, but since we were not what we ought to have been the abuses were seen as typical of the Church. While we all share in this, the primary fault does lie with the bishops. They have not provided the needed leadership … in holiness. They have become, in many cases, simply CEO’s and fund raisers, administrators and in some cases politicians, whereas what they and we are called to be are simply saints, with them leading the way. For the Church to provide social services is fine and part of a Christian life, but the first service it must provide is training is holiness. Without that along with the other services, then the Church becomes just another organization like the Red Cross or Goodwill industries. Each one of us, lay and clergy, must be another Christ, each in our own area of life, and must be seen to be so. If that were the case, then instead of complaints about the Church, it would be seen to be what it is supposed to be, a true shining light. Even though those who complain about the Church recite all sorts of arguments against it, at the heart of it all is some past bad experience with some one representative of the Church. And at the root of every conversion to the Church or vocation to the priesthood is some good example of some Christian who with all their necessary human faults, still was a visible example of one struggling for holiness.

  3. matt walsh says:

    this is total bull. i grew up catholic and i was an altar boy. i have never in my life been asked to sit in the back of the bus. the catholic church is probably the largest, most powerful, longest-lived organization of modern times. it’s a contradiction of terms for such an organization to ever portray itself as a victim. and who cares? what’s even the point? the only point i can see is that this is a political protest intended to rabble-rouse, a la tea party bull, in hopes of retaining the already-faithful. how about some real insight or real guidance? the lack of those is the real reason catholics are defecting in droves.

  4. kathleen yancey says:

    Its routine policy for the Times’ to direct responses into the genre of a letter, so their direction in this matter is not an act of discrimation, but rather routine practice.

  5. Elyse Hayes says:

    Predictably, the public editor at the Times merely defends the NYT in the Sunday paper today – he does not objectively examine whether or not they are anti-Catholic. But thank you for the blog entry, Archbishop – at least you started a conversation.

  6. Catie says:

    Great technique, Archbishop Dolan!

  7. Lois, Cardinal Dougherty '64 says:

    When I read Dowd’s column, I had a rush of recognition and sadness. From kindergarten to twelfth grade, sisters (of St. Joseph, mostly)made us memorize that the Catholic Church was the one true church, no doubts allowed. If our babies were not baptized, they would be suspended in limbo for eternity. If we died with a mortal sin on our souls, unless we made an act of perfect contrition, we would burn in hell for eternity. “Perfect” contrition–we worried that we could never meet that standard. The nuns had such power over our fragile, developing minds and hearts and they used it in unkind and punishing ways. We were their victims. As I read Dowd’s column, it occurred to me that the nuns were victims as well–then and now. It explains their loving and yet punitive approach to relationships with us. If it was difficult for us, how must it have been–must it be–for them, continuing victims of a church whose all-male authoritarian and dogmatic leadership (can you call it leadership?)still punishes more than it loves,still judges more than it accepts, and still oppresses more than it enlightens and lifts up. Things are rarely what they seem–the feelings that so many express about the Catholic Church are not “anti”–that’s too simple. They are feelings of hurt that even a jolly but combative fellow like you cannot keep from coming into the light.

  8. Joan L. Roccasalvo says:

    Bishop Tobin’s invitation to Representative Patrick Kennedy to debate his comments about the Catholic Church should encourage other members of the episcopacy to do likewise. Over this weekend, pro-abortion Catholics in the House of Representative expressed their anger with the Stupack amendment rejecting federal funds for abortion practices. At stake is the Robert Drinan, SJ school of thinking about separation of church and state. It was he who tutored these pro-abortion leaders who now virulently and publicly oppose the Church on social issues precisely because of Fr. Drinan’s ‘standard’ of separation of church and state. In the meantime, the Catholic in the pew asks about outright scandal.

  9. Frank Byrne says:

    Your Excellency, I emailed the NY Times public editor today asking him to give you an OpEd to answer the snarky Ms.Dowd. I told him that if the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers can have his OpEd surely the Archbishop of New York can have his say in the name of Freedom of Speech. Not to morally equate you with him. I told the editor that you have better reporters than the New York Times…Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Best wishes.

  10. DJ says:

    Your Excellency, I understand your outrage over what you perceive as an “anti-Catholic” bias on the part of the NY Times. But aside from some apparently unflattering stories, the Times has printed material that reflects positively on Catholics and the Church. Please take a deep breath, step back, and consider a salient point: The Roman Catholic Church is the single largest religious organization in the US, both in terms of organizational size (i.e. number of churches, other facilities, number of clergy and employees, etc.) and in terms of membership (something like 25% of the country is Catholic). This means the Catholic Church’s doings are going to tend to generate more news, than other religious groups will. All things being equal, it also means it will tend to generate more unflattering stories than other groups do. Overall there’s a strong tendency in the US for Christians … a constituency to which all Catholics, including yourself, belong … to view itself as being “under attack” by secularism. I suggest that at least some of this is merely an appearance, and not the reality. Yes, secularism is growing. It has been growing since the Enlightenment began. What has changed is that this trend has accelerated a bit in the last several decades. Nevertheless, this is but a part of a much-larger trend that has been a long time coming. It is not a sudden, drastic effort on the part of a malicious few to “destroy” Christianity or any single Christian organization. The fact is that, at one time, Christianity ran the show … and in most of Europe, that was what is now the Roman Catholic Church. For better or worse, though, times have changed. The Catholic Church no longer controls society as it once did, centuries ago. For that matter, it no longer speaks for all of Christendom, as it did before the Reformation. Nevertheless, and the appearance of being “under attack” aside … the Catholic Church in the US remains the single-largest segment of what remains the majority religion in this country. To perceive yourself and the rest of Catholicism as being “under attack” is, in essence, preposterous. As for the negative stories about the Catholic Church which have been in the mass media over the last several years, those are important, even if you might personally rather they not be reported. The reason is that Catholicism claims to be an arbiter of morality. Moral failings among those who say they should be able to dictate morals, are significant, and for that reason alone. To an extent, it’s possible for the Catholic Church to reduce the incidence of such stories, simply by improving its behavior and more stringently policing itself, and by being more transparent in how it operates. As for the issue of “fairness,” unfortunately that’s in the eye of the beholder. Most people in the US today, of all religious and ideological stripes, complain at some time or other about “bias” or “unfairness” in the media. What I have found is that, when they say things like this, what they actually mean is that a story did not happen to have been written in exactly the way they’d have written it themselves. This, however, does not actually constitute “bias” or “unfairness.” Lastly, I’d caution you, your Excellency — with all due respect — about holding up the example of child abuse among Orthodox Jews as somehow being evidence that the Times is maligning Catholicism unfairly. Anything that another religion does wrong, does not constitute permission for the Catholic Church to get away with the same behavior. That the stories were not written in the way you want them to have been written, does not take your Church off the hook for the abuse it committed. This is, essentially, “two wrongs make a right” thinking … and frankly, I’m astounded you would use it as a defense, much less claim it’s some kind of an attack on your Church. The truth of both of these matters, your Excellency, is that children were abused. That is something we should all be working against. And woe to those who would use such reporting when said about others, as a battle-flag under which to rally one’s troops.

  11. Deacon Tony Ferraiuolo says:

    Dear Archbishop Dolan, I have been excited about your presence in the Archdiocese of New York from day one, and each occasion that has brought you to the public eye has deepened my excitement and respect for you. Your cordial greeting of the procession of deacons at the ordination of deacons this spring and your willingness to stay until the bitter end to great all those who wanted to meet you when you visited the Orange County vicariate at Sacred Heart Church in Newburgh are only two small occasions where your love and cordiality shined through. Your attempted op-ed, taking a strong stand on a issue that has been relegated to whispers in hallways until now shows what a caring and brave spiritual leader you are. I thank God for you and am proud to be one of your deacons. God bless you.

  12. Jim Gallagher/Catholic Action Chair S.I. AOH says:

    You have put a revealing spin on “ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PRINT”.The NY Times has been getting away with bias and opinionated reporting for years. I think that the present economic conditions that are not very complimentry to the printed medias success, should be the papers reason for fair and unbiased reporting in order to keep their subscribtion base stable. It will be their own dimise if they are not careful.

  13. Mary Walsh says:

    Cradle Catholic, 14 siblings. Maureen Dowd was right, and spoke only the truth. If you would quit reacting, and LISTEN, you might just save the Church. It’s sexism is beyond tiresome, deeply rooted, and abhorrent. Christ would have listened to her. You are Off Base. We NEED this criticism of the abuses of power of our clergy, all the way to the top. She is PRO Catholic, and your regressive reaction to the truth is deeply saddening. The encouragement of hatred comes right down to the parish level. I see it in my own Parish Council. Appalling.

  14. Maryann Macdonald says:

    Nice to see the NYT’s Public Editor and Laurie Goodstein both on the defensive, even if the paper is too cowardly to print the archbishop’s remarks.

  15. Brian McBride says:

    Has the church granted women rights equal to men’s? Did I miss the announcement?

  16. Mike Drabik, Toledo, Ohio says:

    Dear Archbishop: I read Ms. Goodstein’s response to your charge that the N.Y. Times is guilty of anti-Catholicism. She made some very good points in her letter of the 11/04/09 and I think they merit a public response from you. Her comments on sexual abuse by members for the Catholic clergy are on the mark. In my own diocese of Toledo, the subtle kind of molestation directed at women (and men with same-sex proclivities) is common. I am sure it is the same throughout not only the U.S. but the world. I think it requires and honest look and open and real response. What most victims get though are platitudes; offers of cash settlements and arrogance. The abusers are shielded/protected and sent on leave for a while only to be reassigned to parishes where the whole process can begin again. Archbishop: the Catholic Church has been doing so much good for the world for centuries – even with terrible sinners in her midst. The willingness to be open and transparent can do nothing but help Her to be more Holy which is of course what Jesus ask of Her members living on Earth. Please reflect and pray and take the time to really respond to Ms. Goodstein; be the priest God made you to be forever – be honest and open – it may hurt, but in the long run it will heal all those who have been hurt and you too. I end, respectfully, as just another faithful Roman Catholic brother on the journey with you. May God bless and help you in your ministry.

  17. Amy R. Salerno, MD says:

    Through the faith and wisdom of Pope John Paul II, and now Pope Benedict XVI, Catholic women are finally being empowered to embrace our God-given attributes of femininity, hospitality, faithfulness etc. As a product of Vatican II, I witnessed the beautiful tradition of the chapel veil erased from my worship. I witnessed the “freeing up” of traditional sisters who often became militant, beligerent and New Age “mini-men” — no real role model for us womenof faith trying to find our way in an increasingly secular society. The likes of Maureen Dowd do not speak for the millions of ‘maternal feminists’ out here that have great devotion to Mother Church, and who are professional, educated, intellectual mothers!! Take a look at the hundreds of Catholic mom blogs on the internet, and one will see that, as women Catholics, we are pleased that Rome is finally calling us ‘home.’ Pax Christi Archbishop Dolan.

  18. Martin Hamburger says:

    A rare pat on the head is no comfort to the habitually abused. The Times will run the occasional story about the parish which loves its Kenyan curate. Such “generous” coverage cannot negate the distorted lens through which The Times views Catholicism. Foundational to the biases of contemporary media is a world view blurred by moral equivalence. I knew the press was in trouble when I first became aware of the attitude summed up in “Yes, but whose morality?” The Archbishop of New York has an answer to that question. And each human being has the answer implanted by the Holy Spirit in the soul. The campaign against conscience has become a conflagration. We need heroic fire fighters such as Archbishop Dolan.

  19. steve dzida says:

    Our Church need not fear anything the NY Times might print. Our Church is much more at risk from within! If Archbishop Dolan would REALLY protect our Church he would call on all bishops to join him in a public confession of their sins in covering up the sexual abuse scandal, intimidating victims, exposing children to repeated dangers by permitting predators to stay in active ministry and wasting away billions of dollars for settlements which could have been avoided had the bishops been willing to listen. He would then ask the bishops to join him in displaying a “firm purpose of amendment” by radically reforming the institutional culture and governance that made this tragedy possible. Finally he would ask the People of God for forgiveness and challenge us all to hold him and all our Church leaders accountable not just to each other but to the people they claim to serve.

  20. Fran says:

    It is neither right nor proper nor just to claim that the church is a victim of the sex abuse scandal. These crimes had real victims, children all. Moreover, the crimes committed by men with ungovernable compulsions were hidden by church officials. Men accused of such crimes or about whom rumors were flying were transferred from parish to parish. The perpetrators consequently did not receive the help they needed (which isn’t short-term rehab) but actually aided and abetted. Needless to say the children did not receive the attention they needed either. The abuse of children of necessity is a matter for the criminal justice system. For obvious reasons it cannot be left to the institution, family, or religious or civic organization. The major consideration of church officials in addressing these issues since it has been neither the well-being of the perpetrators nor of the children appears to be the church’s reputation and coffers. Otherwise, why not support the removal of a statute of limitations? Why would anyone be against a statute of limitations? The investigation of the sisters who do not wear medieval costumes in the United States is a tough sell. There they are day after day feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, teaching those who want to learn and even those who don’t, and nursing the sick. For all this, they claim no special privilege. Some are alleged to disagree with official church teaching. “Official” is often interpreted much more broadly than the smaller canon of what is binding, is it not? “Official” can mean anything from support Sarah Palin as it did locally to “attend the Eucharist on Sunday.” Official or not, one is not required to sacrifice their moral judgment or violate their own conscience. If anyone in officialdom is interested in the view from the pew, I have to say we love the sisters and appearing to attack them is what we see as a “foul ball.” The real issue is not what the New York Times did or didn’t say (and it is hard to argue with Clark Hoyt’s dispassionate analysis published on 9/8/09, the issue surely is how can we better live the beatitudes. They are the only game in town. The rest just doesn’t matter.

  21. Leon Garcia says:

    No es de extrañar que la Iglesia esté como tema de agenda editorial solamente si se trata de conflictos.

  22. Martin Hamburger says:

    A rare pat on the head is no comfort to the habitually abused. The Times will run the occasional story about the parish which loves its Kenyan curate. Such “generous” coverage cannot negate the distorted lens through which The Times views Catholicism. Foundational to the biases of contemporary media is a world view blurred by moral equivalence. I knew the press was in trouble when I first became aware of the attitude summed up in “Yes, but whose morality?” The Archbishop of New York has an answer to that question. And each human being has the answer implanted by the Holy Spirit in the soul. The campaign against conscience has become a conflagration. We need heroic fire fighters such as Archbishop Dolan.

  23. Thomas Cahill says:

    Thank you so much Archbishop for not standing by while the Times spews its rampant anti-Catholicism. Your strong defense makes me very proud and gives me courage. Anti-Catholicism really is the one form of bigotry that is completely accepted in today’s day and age. Thank you again. You are a true Shepherd of Christ. Pax tecum.

  24. Juan Ignacio Núñez says:

    Archibishop Dolan: Congratulations for this demostration of courage and moral integrity. May we have more shepherds in OUR Church who have the courage to defend our Faith and our dignity. Congratulations again, your Excellency, and may all remember that: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

  25. carlos a. casanova says:

    I would like to take the occasion of Goodstein’s response to the Archbishop to vent some truths concerning the liberal academia and the liberal culture in general of the USA. The first thing that needs to be remarked is that Goodstein and other liberals were able to publish their view on the blog of the Archbishops while the Archbishop was unable to publish his view on the NYT. That’s how things are working in general: there is a semblance of freedom of speech but some pressure groups actually control public opinion (not private opinions, but not all of these are able to become public). So, there is censorship and those who exert it accuse the Church of censorship. There is abuse of power and those who abuse it accuse the Church of being “hierarchical” and “dictatorial”. The case of the sexual abuse in the Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish community was reported. The Archbishop did not deny this. What he pointed out is the difference in the way in which this case was reported and the way in which the Catholic cases were. Goodstein justifies the difference with this argument: “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 [Note by Carlos Casanova: the Spanish clergy and the Mexican clergy were slandered by well known movies which came to light in the wake of the scandal in the USA, movies that have no basis in reality], more settlements, more years since the problem first became public, more legal and financial consequences and simply more people affected.” There are several problems with this reply: the story not only has been “bigger” but the press has tried to make the public believe that it is more than a tiny minority of the priest who have incurred in this crime. If you have a big population it is natural that you have greater numbers, but that does not imply greater proportion (children abusers/children care-givers) or greater gravity of the cases. However, I do not wish to enter into this aspect of the discussion. Instead, I want to point out that the NYT are trying to portray religious people of any kind (“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”, Goodstein dixit) as the main child abusers of the world, but still most of all Catholic clergy. This is a trend existing in all the liberal or “Enlightened” media, which is to say in most of the media. Here I find the main bias of the media: it is anti-religious in general, and anti-Catholic in particular. One can think, for example, how Dr. Kinsey has been portrayed by Hollywood as a hero, when a mere reading of his report shows that he was involved in sexual abuse of children. One can think how Judith Reisman findings on the matter were hidden from public opinion and remain almost unknown. One can think equally, how much Dr. Freud is promoted by liberals, a man for whom incest is the most basic human drive. Nobody seems to go to the roots of what is happening among different religious groups: the rottenness of the liberal culture is infiltrating those communities which are the only ones trying to resist such rottenness. The sexual liberation among the clergy in the 60s as well as the advice of Freudian psychologists at the Seminaries have a lot to do with the problems reported by the liberal media, which use the fruits of the corruption caused by the very culture which animates them to further attack their enemies. The greatest hypocrisy ever seen in history is the hypocrisy of the liberal culture (a) which promotes and propagates the sexual liberation in the style of Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse, Planned Parenthood, and Brave New World, and later cries “corruption!,” when a religious person or group falls victim of the very propaganda of such “liberation”; (b) which claps or is silent in the face of the Dutch associations of pedophiliacs, (c) which does not support the drawing of legal consequences of the greatest findings against the rings of child pornography (done recently by an Italian priest), for example. I am not impressed when Goodstein tells that she is receiving a prize from liberal academia. In liberal academia (which is most of the USA academia, with the exception of a minority of denominational colleges and universities, and includes many pseudo-denominational ones), and especially in religious studies the love for truth and the respect of the sources is disappearing in the USA. When a “scholar” can interpret St. Francis’ love for poverty as a “neurosis” triggered by money and then get rewarded for writing such non-sense with honors from prestigious universities one knows that academia is no longer the place to search for wisdom. In order to find wisdom, we need to look precisely in those groups that are persecuted in a veiled way by the NYT and the rest of the liberal media.

  26. Dawn says:

    I have read this article. I have read the blog statements. I am dismayed. The truth is that sometimes the Church — whether Catholic or Protestant, or some other denomination, is a triage unit for sinners, and nothing less. That means our importance must lie in following TRUTH, not worries about scandal, or the defense of it. When a priest messes up it is always the same, and everyone gets looked down upon. It just so happens it has been with the Church I defend daily by my actions, right now. Whether the mess up is with a minor or an adult in regards to employment — whether priest, nun, or a lay person it doesn’t matter. There is a need for accountability: whether they are accusers first — to deflect blame and tell lies for self-protection, — or just runners from consequences. The fact is that no single human being is perfect. We all have to be held accountable for our actions at some point in our lives. That means the men and women who are better at leading the flock need commendation, and the men and women who should find other work should find other work. Either way we need to be thankful of those who lead well, and thankful as well for the media when they ask for accountability, if it can be done without making sweeping judgments about the whole group, under attack. Thanks for the article, and Thanks Bishop Dolan, for working so hard!

  27. JV says:

    A smart, intelligent woman who is unafraid of speaking truth to power, gives me much hope. When I read Ms. Dowd’s articles, I know I am witnessing the elegant mind of an Irish-American woman in full force. Brava, Maureen Dowd! I believe in the teachings of Jesus, but I do not believe in the institution of the Church. The Church is an institution bent on maintaining it’s wealth and power, something so far from teachings of Jesus Christ.

  28. Stefano Novati says:

    Un caloroso abbraccio dall’Italia, Sua Eminenza. Congratulazioni per l’articolo, per crucem ad lucem! un abbraccio fraterno, Stefano Novati

  29. EAMarchak says:

    I would think the Catholic Church would be deeply embarrassed by this FOUL BALL! blog posting. It is a self-absorbed, poorly constructed diatribe that shows how irrelevant and out-of-touch the archbishop is. Anti-Catholic sentiment? Tell that to the Muslim community. Tell that to those of Jewish faith who lost millions of their own during WWII which, by the way, the Catholic Church chose to largely ignore. Children in public schools are abused too. Does that make it OK? The public schools are not the home of God, which is supposed to be a safe haven. The outrage, which the archbishop doesn’t seem to understand, it that the Catholic Church chose to cover up and/or ignore thousands of instances of abuse across generations. And it spirited Boston’s Cardinal Law to Rome for safekeeping. MoDo can and should criticize the Catholic Church and her colleagues can and should write stories about the church’s failings because their job is to inform, not take sides, educate, not patronize. Remember, the Catholic Church doesn’t believe it is accountable to its flock, so it would rather not have its transgressions on page 1. There is, however, lots of merit in all the stories but let me focus on the story about the Franciscan priest: Under current laws, the son probably won’t be able to get insurance if/when the church’s coverage ceases because he has a preexisting condition – cancer. And the Catholic Church opposes health care reform for millions of people, thousands of whom could die without medical coverage because a handful might want an abortion.

  30. P.J. says:

    His Excellency, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan: The following seriously warrants your immediate attention: On Sunday evening 10/25/09 a popular sitcom(CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM)on cable channel HBO aired a segment in which the Jewish lead character/writer/producer urinates on a picture of Jesus Christ hanging on the wall of a bathroom in a Catholic home. If this had been done to a picture of the Grand Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a Mezuzah, Menorah, Yarmulke, Star of David, or a picture of Mecca, Muhammad, the results would be catastrophic….the Jews would yell anti-Semite and the Muslims would order a fatwah and kill the offender. Yet the Catholic Church and the Christians sit back and tolerate it. Please do something about this! Thank you.

  31. Peggy Warren says:

    Laurie Goodstein’s article regarding the priest and the adult woman is relevant, not only because the son is dying of cancer but because presently more and more women are finding their voice and speaking out against sexual exploitation by clergy. Clergy exploiting adults is a CRIME in several states and several more states have bills on their legislative agendas making this behavior a crime. A ‘man of God’, like a Catholic priest, that is supposed to be a Catholic’s guide to salvation, crossing the boundaries and having sexual relations with a parishioner is devastating beyond words. More often than not the parishioner is a married woman, leaving not only her faith and life in shambles but her spouse and children’s lives. Slowly but surely more and more diocese are realizing the trauma that this type of exploitation creates and are ridding themselves of these predatory priests.

  32. Robert Wiggers says:

    So the New Times is anti-Catholic because it wants “release of names of abusers, rollback of statute of limitations, external investigations, release of all records, and total transparency”? But the people most active in seeking those actions are, like Maureen Dowd, themselves Catholic! And, as a Catholic myself, I see nothing anti-Catholic about it. As terrible as the breach of trust by the priests has been, what I find truly horrifying was what appears to be an almost universal cover-up and sometimes even enabling by many members of the hierarchy. The fact that much of the publicity is being channeled through secular media like the Times should come as no surprise. The Catholic Church and the hierarchy are seen as a powerful and secretive organization in our national life, not an other-worldly entity, and the public is obviously interested in it. Any response to that interest should be on the merits, not ad hominem attacks on the publishers as “anti-Catholic.”

  33. Father Francis Colamaria says:

    Deo Gratias! Your excellency, Thanks! You are not only filling the shoes of the fisherman with joy you are filling the shoes of another New Yorker whom we loved so well…. Cardinal O’Connor. Keep smiling. And keep preaching the truth!

  34. david j. ritchie says:

    Here is an e-mail I just sent to the Public Editor of the NY Times on his “acquittal” of the NY Times on charges of anti-Catholicism:

    Dear Public Editor,

    As to your acquittal of the NY Times of charges of Anti-Catholicism: “I don’t buy it” (to use your phrase in the 11/7 NY Times). Archbishop Dolan has not been around for long in NYC, but he has already picked up on the NY Times’s anti-Catholicism. I have seen it for 40 years or so.

    The coverage of Catholicism was relatively okay in the Early Sixties, but as the Sixties turned into the Seventies, the NY Times’s anti-Catholicism got more marked.

    One of the baldest examples of its anti-Catholicism was the NY Times’s editorial when a third Catholic nominee was named to the Supreme Court within the past decade or two. Catholics represent 25% of Americans, and if inactive Catholics are included, more like 35%. Yet, the very NY Times that is in favor of remedying past discrimination with corrective appointments objected because a mere third of the USSC would be Catholic. Similar articles and concerns about Catholicism are now routine at the NY Times when a new Catholic rises to the USSC, at least if their political background is not where the NY Times wants it to be.

    And it is an “anti-Catholic thing.” I did not see any similar concern with “over-representation” when the Jewish Stephen Breyer joined the Jewish Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the USSC to give the Jewish community a “representation” of 2/9. Clearly, Mr. Justice Breyer’s appointment resulted in Jews (perhaps 2% of the US population) being far more heavily “represented” (22.22% for 2%) than was the case with the third Catholic (33.33% for 25-35%) or even with a sixth Catholic (66.67% for 25-35%)! What is it about Catholics that drives the NY Times to outright discrimination against them in particular?

    David J. Ritchie

  35. S. C. Eklund says:

    As I am about to leave for work, I haven’t time to cite the sort of examples Archbishop Dolan pinpoints in his denied Op-Ed piece. Suffice it to say, that although my work requires me to examine “The New York Times” on a daily basis, I am now extremely careful to keep that examination as succinct as possible, clicking on as few tabs as possible, seeking most of my news and all of my editorials elsewhere. It has been clear for at least the past decade that the “Times” is on a crusade against Catholicism in general and the Catholic hierarchy in particular. It is stupifying that this newspaper could feign surprise at being – at last – called on it by New York’s courageous new archbishop. I haven’t been successful in persuading two of my family members to drop your print edition, but, with God’s grace they’ll get the message this time.

    Praise the Lord and pass “The Wall Street Journal!”

  36. S. C. Eklund says:

    The above is a comment I was unsuccessful in being able to email to the public editor at the NYTimes…figures.

  37. […] (Archdiocese of New York) The Gospel In the Digital Age – October 29, 2009 […]

  38. C.F. says:

    As further proof of the inclinations of the Times, this independent report compares the lengths the Times went to not to criticize radical Islam after the incident at Fort Hood, with the way the Times reported on persecution of Mormons after Proposition 8 in California.

  39. mvd says:

    J. Waldmann, That was so well-said, especially the last line.

  40. Gene B NJ says:

    Another “cheap shot” by the NY Times against the Catholic Church was the book review of Oct. 25, 2009, where the reviewer blandly states that the Catholic Church “…for a time in the 1940s, sponsored public burnings of comics at parochial schools… .” [page 17 of Book Review]. Would the Times editors allow such drivel if similar generalized allegations were made against other organized religions?

  41. Firmin DeBrabander says:

    The Catholic Church has bigger fish to fry than taking on the New York Times- Look into your own house! Has our church dealt with this mortifying and horrifying pedophilia case fairly? Absolutely not! As a practice and mortified Catholic, the New York Times cannot call this scandal to our attention ENOUGH! It MUST NOT HAPPEN AGAIN! And if it does, we must deal with it honorably, not in cowardly and authoritative fashion like Cardinal Law. Don’t throw stones at the NY TImes- get your own house in order Archbishop. And as for Maureen Dowd- I concur with Mr. McBride above: indeed, has the Catholic Church ensured and announced complete equality of men and women? Give me a break- M. Dowd said nothing contrary, and everybody knows it.
    I concur with other comments above: the Church must listen to its critics in and outside the church- Ms. Dowd’s criticisms are coming from plenty of Catholics. Listen to the people- This pedophilia crisis is prime example of NOT listening, and acting authoritatively, going it on your own. Obviously, not a good idea. Please make me proud to be a Catholic again- the behavior of the Church, and then its off the mark reactions, make that very hard at times!!!

  42. Chiara G. says:

    On October 27th, I cancelled my 20 year daily subscription to the NYTimes after reading the NY Times blog by Randy Cohen “Can We Talk About Religion Please?”. It was the last straw following Laurie Goodstein’s front page article about the Franciscan priest who had fathered a child, her article with Rachel Donadio about the Pope’s announcement about the Anglicans reception into the Catholic Church, and Maureen Dowd’s screed against all things Catholic. When the customer service representative asked me why I was cancelling my NY Times subscription, I explained that I would no longer pay to have such anti-Catholicism in my home.

    God bless Archbishop Dolan for the courage to stand up to the NY Times.

  43. Gene Giordano says:

    Welcome to New York Archbishop! The land of loud fans and loud critics! Keep up the good work, you have the strength and personality to fit right in, but most importantly the faith for such an important role.

  44. I added your blog to bookmarks. And i’ll read your articles more often!

  45. Osvaldo Vallone says:

    Congratulations Your Excellency on your bravery and clarity! From Buenos Aires, Argentina, here’s my support to you. Our Lord Jesus and His Most Blessed Mother guard you in these difficult times.

  46. Christina says:

    Thank you so much for defending the church against the Times. Have a blessed Triduum and know that I am praying for you.

  47. Annina from Italy says:


  48. David says:

    Your Grace,

    GOD BLESS YOU for coming to the aid of Our Dear Holy Father! This Holy Father as Pope John Paul II, is a great inspiration to all the Catholic/Christian Faithful! The NY Times and the secular media are driven by Satan, we all know that, and ther is a hidden Agenda.
    Funny no one says a word about the Filth on TV and what the news media promotes.

    May GOD BLESS YOU and OUR LADY keep YOU Her Care.

    Bouno Pasqua!


  49. […] Does this mean that the Times is anti-Catholic? New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan thinks it is—he said so last October in response to an earlier series of stories on clergy abuse. Whatever one thinks of […]