To Whom Shall We Go?

In some ways, Holy Week is hardly the time I would choose to make the following comments.  Still, the matter is so pressing that I feel compelled to address it.

Last week I asked for some fairness in the seemingly unappeasable criticism of the Church over the catastrophe of clergy sexual abuse.

Not to my surprise, if anything, it has only gotten worse, especially in the interminable headlines about the Pope himself.

Last fall I wrote in this blog about anti-Catholicism in the New York Times and other media, providing a list of contemporary examples. A few tried to slap me back into place, suggesting that I stupidly believed the Church to be immune from scrutiny.

Baloney!  The Church needs criticism; we want it; we welcome it; we do a good bit of it ourselves; we do not expect any special treatment…so bring it on.

All we ask is that it be fair and accurate.

The reporting on Pope Benedict XVI has not been so.

The first reports were about a shameful priest in Germany three decades ago.  I weighed in on that coverage last week.

The second story, sprayed all over the New York Times this week, and predictably copied by the world’s press, is groundless.  (I am grateful for Father Raymond de Souza’s excellent piece posted at National Review Online which goes through the story point by point.)

The report accuses Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of preventing a priest whose sins and crimes can only be described as diabolical, one Lawrence Murphy, from facing proper penalties in the Church for the serial abuse of deaf minors.

While the report on the nauseating abuse is bitterly true, the insinuation against Cardinal Ratzinger is not, and gives every indication of being part of a well-oiled campaign against Pope Benedict.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

  • The New York Times relied on tort lawyers who currently have civil suits pending against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Holy See, who are aggressively supporting the radical measure right now before the Wisconsin legislature to abrogate the statute of limitations on civil cases of abuse, and who have high financial interest in the matter being reported.  Hardly an impartial source…
  • The documentation that allegedly supports these sensational charges is published on the website of the New York Times; rather than confirming their theory, the documents instead show that there is no evidence at all that Cardinal Ratzinger ever blocked any decision about Murphy.  Even a New York Times columnist, Ross Douthat, calls this charge “unfair” in his column of March 29.
  • We also find on the website a detailed timeline of all the sickening information about Murphy, data not “uncovered” by any reporter but freely released by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee a number of years back, and thoroughly covered at that time by the local media in Milwaukee.  One wonders why this story, quite exhaustively reported in the past, rose again this very week.  It is hardly “news.” One might therefore ask: Why is this news now? The only reason it is news at all is because of the implication that Cardinal Ratzinger was involved. Yet the documentation does not support that charge, and thus they should have no place in a putatively respectable newspaper.

Nothing in this non-news merits the tsunami of headlines, stories, and diatribes against the Church and this Pope that we have endured this past week.

There was legitimate news last week that should have received much more attention than it did. It was the annual independent audit report on American dioceses on compliance with our own tough Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. For those who profess to be so interested in the welfare of the young, the news should have been trumpeted as stunning progress. Catholics deeply disturbed by lurid tales of wicked behavior twenty or thirty years ago might have been surprised to discover:

  • The Church has had in place strict protocols and preventative measures to stop this from happening again. Last week’s audit reported that six million children in our schools and religious education programs underwent safe environment training – that’s 96% of the children in our care. Background evaluations were completed on two million priests, deacons, seminarians, educators, employees and volunteers.
  • Last week’s audit reported that there were six (6) credible allegations of sexual abuse of current minors for the entire year, in a Church of more than 60 million members.  Though one would be too many, the percent is dramatically lower than experts tell us is the sad national average, and is only known because the Church is transparent in reporting.
  • In the spirit of no good deed goes unpunished, the false allegations of last week have obscured the good work that the Cardinal Ratzinger did at the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and as Pope. Beginning in 2001, as ably described by respected journalist John Allen, and also mentioned recently by Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Cardinal Ratzinger brought about a profound change in how sexual abuse cases were handled. The details are many, but the effect was clear. It became easier to remove priests who have committed these crimes from ministry very quickly, and often, dismissed from the priesthood altogether. Since his election, Pope Benedict has repeatedly demonstrated that even high-ranking priests are to be held accountable, and has not minced words about the failures of his brother bishops – both here in the United States and just last week, in his letter to the Catholics of Ireland.

This failure to report in similar detail today’s successes and yesterday’s failures suggests the bias I wrote about last fall. This is also about simply telling the truth, or more to the point, about peddling falsehoods to destroy the Holy Father’s good name. It needs to be called what it is – scandalous.

Let me be upfront: I confess a bias in favor of the Church and her Pope.

I only wish some others would admit a bias on the other side.

A blessed Holy Week.

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75 Responses to “To Whom Shall We Go?”

  1. Don G says:

    Archbishop – With all due respect the report you want the news media to give much more attention to the “annual independent audit report on American dioceses on compliance with our own tough Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People”. is not an independent report. It is a report who findings come from the Church itself.

    With the lack of trust in the Church lately…why would anyone trust the finds of that report??

  2. Carolyn & Barbara Volpicello says:

    Dear Archbishop Dolan, Thank you for dressing down the media on their anti-Catholic campaign. It seems to us that it is stronger during Holy Week than at other times. We have known many good, holy priests throughout our lives, and we thank God for them.
    We wish you a blessed Holy Week too.

    Respectfully,
    Barbara and Carolyn Volpicello
    Staten Island

  3. Paul says:

    Thank you, Archbishop Dolan, for this excellent posting. It will come in handy when being called upon to defend our Holy Father!

    Oremus pro Pontifice!

  4. sarah says:

    Thank you again for speaking out for our church! I have felt so discouraged this past week or two and do not understand why the media is now trying to point every finger at the Pope. Our secular media is truly being invaded by evil.

  5. Liam Mc says:

    Thank you Archbishop Dolan for taking an active lead in addressing this mess. Don G’s point is telling; the trust in the Church is questioned because we have been propagandized to question ANY authority. It would do well to question the authority of the questioners, their motivations and ends. Tragic abuse of children and youth, alults and elders is nothing new in human history. What is new is laying its origin at the feet of a single entity with the beguiling thesis that rid of this bothersome and negligent institution all will be made just and right. Talk about guilible!

  6. Michael says:

    Thank you, your excellency. God bless you always.

  7. Karen LH says:

    Don G. -

    If you follow the link, the audit data is collected by an organization out of Georgetown University. Granted, Georgetown is a Catholic institution, but it is not run by the USCCB. So I think that you can call the audit “independent”.

  8. Nicholas says:

    Thank God for voices like Archbishop Dolan’s! While we deserve to take the lashes for legitimate crimes in the Church’s past, we are taking them for things we have never done.
    All this to discredit the organization that has the courage to stand up for truth and justice, the courage to speak against the evils of our day. They would have the destruction of our church, but “the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

  9. Joe says:

    Good piece. It is important to speak out against the bias and the agend against the Church.

    Yes this ordeal is a horrible tragedy, and lives have been ruined and destroyed. But we must unite to be vigilant against the evil and the Cathoic Church is the number one army in the battle against evil.

    As a note, Fr. Thomas Brundage wrote a piece in the Catholic Anchor, that I and others have posted on our blogs, which explains some of the background story in the Fr. Murphy situation. Fr. Brundage was the Judicial Vicar in Milwaukee at the time of the incidents. It is worth reading and taking note of.

  10. Mike says:

    Following up on Joe’s comment above, Fr. Brundage makes the point that eventhough he was the Judicial Vicar in the Murphy case, he was in fact NEVER contacted by the NY Times, yet he is liberally quoted by this newspaper in their story accusing the Holy Father of complicity in this case. Even a first year journalism student would check his/her resurces and if available (as was the case here) go directly to the source. This omission in and of itself provide a priori evidence that the Times story is biased. Thank you Archbishop Dolan for you words and support of our Church and Holy Father. In this most holy of weeks, we are reminded to carry the cross and perhaps also be a Simon this week and help our Holy Father to carry this very heavy cross heaped upon him by the NY Times and MSM. Vivat Jesus!

  11. Thomas McFadden says:

    God bless you Archbishop Dolan! And God bless our holy and courageous Pope! Thanks so much for voicing what many faithful Catholics believe but aren’t able to articulate. My prayers are with you, the victims, the enemies of the Church and most especially for Pope Benedict the XVI, the great.

    But get ready Archbishop, because you dared to stand up to the liberal media I suspect you will be their next target. Be vigiliant.

  12. Thank you, your excellency, for this post and all that you have done for the Church. I continue to pray fro both our Pope and for you (and your brother bishops) during this trying time; but what times aren’t trying? May God helps us and have mercy on us.

  13. Nick in MB says:

    Don, how about use the information from the audit, but not solely? It’s possible to do that, to use the information that comes from the Church herself, and to also publish a negative piece, probably just more difficult. But it would be fair.

  14. Tom Kelty says:

    You could have made a much stronger argument by including(from Whispers in the Loggia) the article “Clocking the Times. It was the finding of the canonical vicar who tried the Murphy case. It cites chapter and verse how badly the NYTimes failed to check facts, by Fr. Brundage who is quite
    indignant that the NYTimes went to press without once calling him.

  15. Tony Vogrincic says:

    Your Excellency:
    Thank you for your faithful defense of the Holy Father and the challenge to the deconstructionists who wish to destroy at all costs. Your leadership is much appreciated.
    Regards from Canada.

  16. Sandy says:

    The first step in getting us to turn our back on God is to encourage the faithful to distrust the Church. The anti-Catholic bias in the media is obvious. Thank you for this article, Bishop Dolan. We will be out here in the trenches standing up for our Church!

  17. Ron Garcia says:

    Perhaps, I am out of line here, but, I would like to take a moment to respond to Don G. Why should we trust the Church or the report?

    This sort of political attitude toward Christ’s bride is the reason that she isn’t a visible credible witness to the world. If the Eucharist is really Jesus Christ, and the Church is his bride and gift from God than the only response is one of divine faith and trust. Not naivety, but courageous Catholic Faith. Knowing that, regardless of how hard the boat rocks she is the battlship fighting for salvation. How easily today people allow their faith to be shaken. I suspect it stems from a lack of daily devotion to prayer and Our Lady and a lack of real living faith in the reality that Jesus Christ transends time, yet, enters it on the alter of God in the liturgy and fully reveals to the soul of every one who believes, the divine love and mercy of God. We were made for it. But, if we don’t believe in the divine realities, it is going to be pretty hard to get past the human errors. To dig in, and have the courage to stand up and boldly proclaim the truth about Catholicism. It isn’t a club, it isn’t a political machine, it is the divine voice calling man to become more fully human, through Christ in the Eucharist.
    Without faith, we have no idea why we should stand up and fight for her. Why we should do all that we can to purge her of all that seeks to take her down from the inside as well as the outside. Certainly, we question, bad leadership, but we never lose our eternal perspective. When we lose that…the game is over.

    Archbisoph Dolan, thank you so much for your courage! You are in my prayers!

    Pax tecum
    Enslaved to Jesus through Mary

  18. Eagle's Nest says:

    Thank you, your Excellency. I pray that Catholics keep up the defense and turn the tables to expose the bias and hate of the secular Times. The sheer repugnancy of the timing of this is just plain old abhorrent. Those are great facts you present counter to the theme of the secular media. God Bless!

  19. Setting the record straight in the case of abusive Milwaukee priest Father Lawrence Murphy
    By Fr. THOMAS BRUNDAGE, JLC

    The Author was the judicial vicar in the case. The priest died before any decision was made. Not one media outlet has contacted him to check their facts.

    http://catholicanchor.org/wordpress/?p=601

  20. Fr. Tom Brooks says:

    I find this last round of attacks on the Pope particularly disquieting. I am an Orthodox Evangelical Anglican Priest and find the timing of the attacks particularly disturbing. Why, as we approach Holy Week do we find events of 30 years past being dredged up? Is there something more to this than just a rehash of ancient news? Does the New York Times really have anything to say on the subject that is truly news worthy or are they grinding their ax for a different reason? I would only disagree with Archbishop Dolan on one point: I do not think the New York Times is merely anti-Catholic, I think The New York Times is anti-Christian. I believe there is more than ample proof of that stance. One might also ask: Why does it seem that when an Orthodox Deacon, Priest or Bishop is the target the attacks are always most vicious? Why does the New York Times seem so manicly bent on bringing down a Pope who in my eyes seems to be holding fast to Core Doctrine of his Church? I have read several articles on this supposed scandal and to my Anglican mind it is a non-issue.

  21. Garrett says:

    Your Excellency, thank you for standing up for our holy and blessed Pope! I know I speak for millions when I say that it encourages and emboldens the faithful when bishops express their communion with and support of the Holy Father. May God strengthen you in your ministry. Viva il Papa!

  22. I. M. Foreman says:

    The New York Times has their own agenda. The church stands against many things the Times seems to have an interest in promoting – causes such as abortion and gay marriage just to name a few. The church stands for eterernal truths and is the repository of the cultural tradition of the West. His Excellency does his office credit. He serves us best when he speaks out couragiously as he did, and we, in turn, need to support our Archbishop. The Times cannot support their own agenda without criticizing the church. God bless our Archbishop

  23. Brian says:

    I hope that with all of the time being spent by the press in dredging up drudge this week, that they will at least be able to devote an article or two, maybe even on the front page, to the significance of Holy Week and Jesus’ saving action in His death and resurrection.

  24. Lorraine Withers says:

    False accusations, mental and physical torment were heaped upon our Lord…..we, as the Body of Christ, should expect no less. May this Holy Week be one of penance and conversion of heart. Prayers for our Holy Father and our Good Archbishop Dolan.

    L. Withers
    Hamilton, NY

  25. Robert Bradley says:

    Bias? To suggest that the leader of the diocese did not have knowledge of what his priests were doing is a little diffilcult to believe. Especially when it involved such a scandal as sexual abuse of childen. It’s more than a little difficult to believe that a lower echelon man would make a such a serious decision without the knowledge of his archbishop.
    I do think that Cardinal Ratzinger chose to protect the Chruch from Scandal in those days by quietly moving a priest throughout his diocese, just like so many other Bishops did in those days. It was not a matter that he did or did not do so. It was more a mattter that he perhaps believed that hiding the scandal of such a horrible act “protected” the cChurch. Then Cardinal Ratzinger should take ownership that he too failed God’s people. He, by the way, is also human and can make mistakes. Or does ex cathedra also apply to sex abuse and pedopilia? The NY Times did its job…reported the facts. The heirarchy should own up to it.

  26. Joe Reich says:

    Thank you, Your Excellency! As Catholics, our crosses are heavy when defending the dogma of the Church against a liberal and non-believing (or unpracticing) media. The Catholic Church is an impediment to “progress” according to them. The power of evil can never be under-estimated — nor ignored!

  27. Will says:

    God Bless you ArchBishop Dolan…We need hundreds more just like you. True Shepherds of Christ!!!!

  28. Karen Frechette says:

    Archbishop,

    Are you saying the Pope has no culpability at all? Why did you not address the accountability of the bishops in relocating these predator priests? THAT is the issue.

    The actions of the bishops are, in many ways, worse than those of the abusing priests because one could argue that the abusing priests were psychologically ill and acting out of compulsion. The bishops who knowingly relocated them were not.

    Again, THAT is the issue.

    Please find the courage to address it. The longer you and others delay, the more damage will be done.

    Many thanks.

  29. Kathleen says:

    Bravo your Excellency- your common sense will go a long way in explaining the inacuracies of the media, but at this point are we even surprised all of this comes during Holy Week ? Using media such as Facebook helps us to spread the truth and I have had a lot of success defending the Church on inaccurate statements by people about the Church and doctrine that show up on FB and at least they get to hear another viewpoing other than liberal media.

    Yes let’s clean out the Church and protect our children. The only problem I have after watching the child protection videos from my parish is the advice to report any suspected abuse to the pastor who will then report it to the civil authorities. How do I know if he will actually report it or not- I would always report anything to the police first and let them investigate first and then the Church can cooperate with the authorities.May God bless you this most Holy week, we pray for all our Priests daily !

  30. Gene Giordano says:

    Your Excellency, Let us all take note of the efforts of the Times and remember that we continue to live in a world that is daily challenged by spiritual warfare. The Times is a mere tool in the struggle.

    We know that to get to the glory of Easter, one must pass through Good Friday. God bless you and those who serve his church. A blessed Easter to you and your loved ones.

  31. Lori Pieper says:

    Thank you, Excellency! I knew you’d come out swinging. I’m proud that you’re my bishop.

  32. Thanks for acknowledging what many have been sensing. God bless you at Holy Week and always,

    Kathy and Larry Riordan

  33. Tom says:

    Your Excellency

    God bless you for speaking the truth! Hopefully you already canceled your New York Times subscription at 452 Madison.

  34. Matt says:

    Viva papa!

  35. Erika Choi says:

    Thank you Archbishop for telling the other side of the story. In the past I have had to research these issues myself, pour through documents and even try to translate Latin to figure out the truth! I do not hear this kind of defense in my diocese on any issues and that makes it harder to be a Catholic sometimes!

  36. Serena says:

    Archbishop Dolan, while I respect you greatly and think you’re doing a wonderful job and agree with everything you posted, I do not think the Holy Father is going to have complete credibility with Catholics on this issue as long as offending/complicit bishops are given a pass on this issue. So long as Cardinal Law is still in the Pope’s good graces, as well as Abp. Pilarczyk, for example, I will reserve judgment.

    So sad, for I truly love my church.

  37. Juliana says:

    Thank you for the clarity and integrity with which you address what are obvious attacks. I pray that the Lord strengthen you and all the bishops and all of us against this kind of faithless rage, and keep us strong in love and mercy. Thank you for speaking out so that these strikes at the shepherd, do not scatter the flock!

  38. Malcolm says:

    Let me be upfront – I am an atheist with a bias against the Catholic church. But I try to be fair minded, and I admire the message of the gospels. From where I sit – absorbing the media, rather than source documents – I think you have a point about that then Cardinal Ratzinger trying to do something about the child abuse crisis. He does seem to have recognized the problem more than most, and tried to do something about it. But he is also renowned for his aggressive absolutist theology. To me, there are two key problems.

    One is that these defenses of Pope Benedict often seem to be relativist: that is, “he wasn’t so bad considering the standard of the times”. This is at odds with the theological message he has preached and enforced for decades. So this defense seems somewhat incoherent, and deeply offensive to those moral relativists he has driven out of the church.

    The second is that Cardinal Ratzinger’s fairly recent conversion to campaigning against child abuse seems isolated. What about the rest of the church? The consistent story we see is that of a church that cares about priestly privilege, and the lifestyle of Bishops and Cardinals, more than it does about its flock. Frankly, the hierarchy seems rotten, with the arguable exception of Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict.

    I acknowlegde that my perceptions might be driven by spin … that is, the things I see in the media. So perhaps the church needs to get its story out more. But for me, the church also needs to answer two key questions:

    - Why is Cardinal Law being given refuge in the Vatican, instead of being sent back to Boston to testify to the grand jury and name pedophile priests? This seems an acid test of the genuineness of the Vatican’s commitment on this issue.

    - A priest recently reported in independent catholic news that priests who abused children in the Phillipines had been transferred internationally, rather than being brought to account with the civil authorities? This is another acid test. If the Vatican waits until it is forced to take action on this point, that would indeed be an indication of bad faith. What is the Vatican going to do about cases like this?

    I have tried to ask these questions as fairly as I can. I hope you will answer them.

  39. Leo Holahan says:

    Your Excellency,

    What is the problem with having the Catholic League sue the NYT for damages? This is obviously a case of liable and slander and it is irreparably damaging (save a miracle of which of course the Church can can boast many) to the Catholic Church. If the civil authorities will not take action against these criminals should not the Church pursue the Civil Remedies it is entitled too? Is it sinful to stand up to a bully and demand the rights of Catholics and the Pope to a good name? I for one think it is a duty to truth and justice. Am I in the wrong?

  40. Susan Varenne says:

    It has been clearly established that The New York Times is twisting facts in the sexual abuse scandal to persecute the Church and to create a parallel scandal regarding Pope Benedict XVI in order to erode his authority and even drive him from office. Sadly and pathetically, there are many Catholics who quite willingly buy into this nonsense with a blood lust for destruction of others that has become a hallmark of our times. In the Palm Sunday account of the Passion according to Luke, we read Jesus’ warning to the Apostles that “Satan will sift you like wheat.” Even Peter betrayed him. Here we are in the midst of Holy Week and the Devil is hard at work seeding the world with lies to erode the faith of those who do not guard their hearts and minds against his influence. Scandals abound in our society–adultery, fraud, sexual amusements that erode the dignity of persons, violence on every side, unbridled self-indulgence of every sort–and the Church founded by Christ is the one bulwark against self-destruction. Yet people rage against it, preferring to free Barabbas, the robber, than the Christ who can redeem them from themselves. There is a pitched battle going on for the destruction of souls. We must watch and pray not to be deceived by forces of evil that work to destroy the sources of good in the world. We must wake up and be aware. Evil cannot overcome what Christ accomplished in death and resurrection, but the individual who courts kinship with evil can be lost.

  41. Mike Scott says:

    Your Excellency, thank you for always being a pillar in our world. A man who stands up for the Church, its doctrine, and its leaders, and the people of God. You are an inspiration to those who find it hard to see success in the world and the Church amidst such hate and dissent.

  42. Celeste says:

    Thank you, your Excellence, for speaking out in defense of Holy Mother Church and our Holy Father. God bless you.

  43. Mary in CO says:

    Archbishop Dolan, thank you for your vocal defense of our Holy Father.

    And thanks also to other vocal Catholics in the blogosphere – Jimmy Akins (NCRegister), Thomas Peters (American Papist), and Fr. Z (WDTPRS) to name just a few – who likewise shine the light on the truth of this matter.

    God bless B16, NYC, and all God’s children in this Holy Week.

  44. Marcello says:

    Dear Archbishop Dolan, with all the “God Bless You” wishes you received, I believed God has answered our prayers, we have prayed for good shepherds, good workers in Our Lord’s fields, we have prayed for a good heart. We have being answered. Thanks God for sending you to NY from Milwaukee, there are no coincidences.
    Wishing you blessings, comes around to us. Thanks for being our voice
    God Bless You. Have a wonderful Easter.

    With love NY

  45. Emma Clery says:

    Dear Archbishop,

    I too love my church and have known many wonderful priests. And I agree that Pope Benedict has done more than anyone previously to root out this tragedy. But your homily and blog, although they certainly stirred up the base, as is indicated by many effusive comments here, come at a cost that I fear is — in the long run– way too high. I do not agree with the responders above that what you brought was integrity and clarity; you reacted (as I think many here do) to a perceived threat. When we react to perceived threats our first instinct is often not the most noble.
    Calling the NYT report of abuse at a deaf school in Wisconsin a “rerun” of an old story exhibited incredible insensitivity to the boys– now men–whose serial experiences taught them all too sadly how horrific re-runs can be.

    This moment in our history should –and I pray can still be –a grace moment for the Church, one in which we do not dig into defensive postures or speak in PR formulae. Journalists(as opposed to Catholics in the pew) are trained to seek evidence and they work under what they call a hermeneutic of suspicion. That does not mean we, therefore, should obfuscate. I repeat — it only hurts us in the long run. And the long run is what I count on as as I try to be and die as a faithful Catholic — a challenge for women at times.
    I end with a wish to you and all who responded here — from the 19th C Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (a convert to Catholicism in a defensive and even anti-Catholic England at the time):
    “Let him Easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us.”
    Do not fear the light — have a blessed and (more) peaceful Easter.
    EC

  46. Colin Pasqualetto says:

    Dr. Robert Bradley,

    You said that “The Times reported the facts.” Facts are not only what is true, but what is accurate. The Times is selectively choosing what facts to report and manipulating the tone to suggest absolute guilt on the part of the Pope. The “fact” that the Judical Vicar from the case was never contacted for information about Fr. Murphy does not speak for sound journalistic professionalism on the part of the Times. What you believe about then Cardinal Ratzinger is not a “fact.” It is the evidence that is fact. Read more of the facts, rather than drinking the Kool-aid of news venues that seem to proliferate a Secular Progressive agenda. This same newspaper refused to print an Op-Ed by Archbishop Dolan a few months ago that highlighted information that seemed more “factual” of the Times’ Anti-Catholic bias, than their coverage of any sex abuse scandals that can be directly tied to Cardinal Ratzinger. Your snide remark regarding “ex cathedra” implies a bias against the Church in the same manner that the over explosive/factually misleading coverage by the Times does. Is my impression of you as being biased “a fact.” If you are an honest man, you’ll reread the Times stories, this new column by the Archbishop and then read the “factual stories” posted by Cardinal Levada, Fr. Thomas Brundage, JLC, and Fr. Raymond De Souza. I don’t know if you are Catholic or even one who holds any kind of religious belief. Regardless of that, you can approach this with honesty. God Bless You!

  47. Oscar says:

    Folks, have no fear. The Times is full of debt, is not selling anything, and now they are really not selling anything because people who are not Catholic are picking up the Times and asking ” why the heck are we talking about this when i am about to lose my job?” Good job, NYT, you are the example of how a paper should make money…what a bunch of dopes!

    Good job Archbishop Dolan! we got your back. heck we have the Pope’s back too! Hoorah!

  48. jayeverett says:

    The Catholic Church has many enemies just as Jesus Christ did. They killed him and today, if they could, they would convict and kill all the Catholics. Sound far fetched? Then you are not watching and reading. Take a little time and pray for The Holy Father and his Church. Remember that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. If we wither and die so will the vine. Stand up for the church and realize that on earth all is not perfect. If you read the Bible, or better yet, listen to the readings as you attend mass on Sunday and then pray and pray and pray……..

  49. Karol says:

    God Bless the Pope, and his works! Great words Archbishop Dolan, truly God’s working through the church!

  50. Eileen Frazzetta says:

    Thank you for continuing to be a clarion to truth and justice on both sides of this issue. However disappointing and hurtful this scandal is on our Church…it is not what defines us as an institution nor accurately depicts our pope.

    All I can say is that each of us needs to become familiar with the issue, our response to the unfair accusations and in my case….stop buying the NY Times!

    Blessings to you on this most holy of weeks!

    Eileen