New York Times Rejects Archbishop Dolans Article, Why?

Archbishop Timothy DolanThe New York Times rejected an op-ed article submitted by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York.  Why may I ask would the New York Times reject an article from His Excellency?  Probably because Archbishop Dolan called out the New York Times for their yellow journalism.

Of course those not familiar will Colonial American history will “poo poo” this particular article.  But as early as A.D. 1642 there were laws in the books that required test oaths administered to keep Catholics out of office, legislation that barred Catholics from entering certain professions (such as Law), and measures enacted to make Catholics incapable of inheriting or purchasing land.

But I digress, the list is long and today’s American has a short span of attention.

Back to His Excellency, Archbishop Dolan, who printed his op-ed piece in the Archdiocese of New York website.

Here is the entire piece:

October 29, 2009

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.

_._

To read Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s article on the New York Archdiocesan website click here.

Father John Zuhlsdorf fisks this article at his website, What Does The Prayer Really Say? For the fisk click here.

To learn more about Anti-Catholicism from the Catholic Answers website click here.

To learn more about Anti-Catholicism in Colonial America click here.

30 Responses to New York Times Rejects Archbishop Dolans Article, Why?

  • Suz says:

    It would be pretty uncomfortable not to be hated by, um (coughs) “minions.”

    St. Max Kolbe, St. Frances de Sales and St. Paul the Apostle are the patrons of journalists. Integrity in the press would be pleasing, for a change.

  • e. says:

    Tito:

    There are far more recent examples of blatant anti-Catholicism in American history.

    For starters, you might want to look into what was then known as the Blaine Amendment.

    “The American River Ganges,” Harper’s Weekly,
    September 30, 1871, p.916. Wood engraving.

    By the middle of the nineteenth century, large numbers of Catholic children had withdrawn from the significantly Protestant American public schools to attend newly organized Roman Catholic schools. With a large and influential Irish Catholic constituency, the powerful New York City Democratic machine centered at Tammany Hall persuaded the Democratic state legislature to provide public support for the Irish schools. A firestorm of controversy ensued, especially in states like Ohio and Illinois,where the Catholic hierarchy had made similar requests. The controversy re-ignited smouldering Republican nativism, a policy of protecting the interests of indigenous residents against immigrants; and it suddenly became attractive as a vote-getter since that Reconstruction issues appeared to have been resolved. Tammany politicians are shown dropping little children into the “American River Ganges,” infested with crocodilian bishops. The American flag flies upside down, the universal signal of distress, from the ruins of a public school. Linking Roman Catholicism to the Ganges, the sacred river of Hinduism, suggested its exotic un-Americanism and also linked it with what Americans then considered a primitive and fanatical religion.

  • Publius says:

    One significant part missing from the Archbishop’s article is that anti-Catholicism has waned a good deal since the colonial and founding days of this country. While it’s clearly still a very real and significatn part of the national mindset as he shows, had he mentioned this trend and shown an example – i.e., the positive reception of the past two popes when visiting this country – it may have been better received by the NY Times?

  • e. says:

    [A]nti-Catholicism has waned a good deal since the colonial and founding days of this country.

    I don’t believe this to be true; instead, I believe anti-Catholicism is not as blatant as it was in earlier days, which is why this would seem to be the case.

    After all, it is not without compellingly good reason why it has been declared (quite rightly) that “anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice”.

  • Karl says:

    The Archbishop should remove the log from his own eye as well. He has his own biases which he shares with all his brother bishops and he, as they do, refuses to listen as well to the victims of his particular bigotry.

    What goes around comes around Timothy. Please look at yourself as well.

  • Publius says:

    While [Anit-Catholicism] has been declared (quite rightly) that “anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice”.”, that doesn’t speak clearly to the extent of that bias, it only speaks that the bias still concretely exists. The fact that Evangelicals (see “Has the Reformation Ended?” by Noll and Nystrom) have been slowly moving toward closer relations and mutual understanding with Catholics, along with the general Protestant population as well, it’s quite clear that there is an improvement to the bias that has existed from the beginning.

    I agree that the bias is still strong, especially in the popular media, though as you mention less blatant. But even then there has been a slow but discernible improvement. See the NY Times coverage of Vatican II – the paper itself showed surprisingly positive comments on the council, granted, it tended to want to see the Catholic Church as a “changed church”, and not just development. But nonetheless, a respect was shown that would not have been present back in the 19th century.

  • Publius says:

    Karl Says: “Archbishop should remove the log from his own eye as well”

    Karl, Archbishop does acknowledge the Catholics issues, maybe not as much as you like? But he does. Rehashing further those Catholic issues would require The NY Times to do the same every time it writes about a topic, certainly not something that will ever happen. But the Archbishop certainly deserves his say in the most influential newspaper in this country on a topic of significant importance. If you use your line of reasoning, then the NY Times would also have to do the same, and we’d have to do without that newspaper for a long time until that log was removed!

  • e. says:

    Publius:

    While I might grant that there has been apparently good sentiments towards establishing good relations with Catholics by some members of certain Protestant denominations (whether wholly or in part); surely, good vibes from merely a selection of Protestant individuals cannot translate as meaning the “general Protestant population”; furthermore, the general populace of America itself does not consist merely in such a population as this but extends to those who are merely secularist or are themselves beholden to other categories not even Protestant, which such anti-Catholicism also eminate.

    Rest assured, anti-Catholicism is alive and well; it’s just not as conspicuous as it used to be.

  • Publius says:

    e.:

    I should have said that there are significant, meaningful efforts underway for decades – in particular, since Vatican II – that have made an impact in Protestantism. You’re right; it’s an overstatement to say these changes have affected the general Protestant populations. Having clarified that, it is clear that numerous Protestants and Protestant churches (not to mention a few agnostics/atheists) have gained a growing respect for Catholicism. I speak of the Protestant segment of the population because it is the largest segment and one that I know where meaningful change is taking place. If it can be shown one segment is affected, then it shows there is change, no matter how small.
    One area of change has occurred when numerous leaders on both sides of the Protestant / Catholic fences are finding important ways of working together, leaders – such as those involved in Evangelical and Catholics Together. They are leaders for a reason, they bring followers. And while this is always a bit nebulous in the Protestant world, there are a number of examples that can show this is taking root. Also, Protestants and Catholics have stood together in front of numerous abortion clinics, an action that is bound to produce more than ‘good vibes’. It builds shared values, which is a solid base to build on. This is a very slow process, but a process that is in the works. I am involved in two ecumenical groups myself where a learning process is underway that is yielding mutual respect and understanding, which requires a yield to the traditional bigotry.
    And no need to continue repeating Anti-Catholicism is still alive and well, we agree on this. I just think it’s important and helpful to acknowledge that serious effort and action has been made in past decades, especially since and because of Vatican II, that indicates the roots and resulting fruit that has taken place. It doesn’t diminish the reality of the “last acceptable prejudice” in this country.

  • c matt says:

    I know it is called anti-Catholicism, but I think it is different in kind now than it was in the past. While many so-called anti-Catholics may see our beliefs as incoherent and superstitious as to theological/sacramental matters (eg, transubstantiation), the current anti-Catholicism is focused more on our ethical/moral beliefs. Thus, it’s not limited to anti-Catholic, but anti-anyone who does not agree with their morality.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    c matt is correct in my view, which explains why the animus is directed more from so-called cultural elites and liberals than conservative fundies. The latter disagree with us, and have very odd understandings of our beliefs, but with a few exceptions really don’t demonize us. Moreover, the latter group is comparatively powerless.

  • e. says:

    Publius:

    While I agree with you that such advances have indeed been made insofar as our relationship concerning certain Protestants go; however, I believe what’s being neglected here is that these seemingly minor events have not led to any significant eradication or even a diminishment of anti-Catholicism in general and, as I’ve attempted to point out in my latter remark (admittedly, rather poorly), the general population of the United States is not primarily comprised of just Protestants. There are several other folks who are just as, if not, far more fierce in their anti-Catholicism.

    c matt:

    I’m afraid I need to disagree with you there.

    The PZ Myers affair itself would seem precisely indicative of the kind of underlying prejudice (still alive as it is ubiquitous & rampant) certain categories of Americans (in this case, the scientific community as well as various secular groups) harbor specifically towards our kind.

    That is, I don’t believe it is really merely a matter of Christian morals, which any other Christian denomination apart from ours may likewise subscribe to; and, yet, I doubt that they would suffer incidents similar to the hideous kind Catholics are typically victim to, like the one here.

  • Donna V. says:

    This is no surprise to me. More and more, the MSM is simply ignoring criticism or stories which do not promote their leftist POV. They didn’t vet Obama properly, they barely reported on Van Jones, they dropped the ball on ACORN – but we know what designer made the dress Michelle wore on date night. People complain about Fox, but the truth is that Fox is doing the job the rest of the MSM refuses to do.

    In the meantime, the NY Times circulation continues to tank and they recently had another big layoff. If it wasn’t for Mexican billionaire Carlos Sim, the Gray Lady would already be six feet under.

    The Church will be around long after the Times prints its last snide MoDo column.

  • afl says:

    If you go to Fox News you will see the entire Archbishop’s comments on their web site. I sent a copy of your web site article to Fox when it came out and whether or not they had planned to reprint it I do not know, but it is on their web site.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Doesn’t matter.

    Anyone wanting to do an honest search will find our website or another Catholic website/blog with the correct information.

    As long as it gets out. Eventually most of the more outlandish attacks on our faith should subside with time. If not, those, like the New York Times, will get less and less credibility with their attacks.

  • Penelope Carter says:

    I do not think the NY Times is at all anti Catholic. Three years ago the Times published a Phenomenal and Wonderful Article about the NY Catholic Foundling and the work of Saint Elizabeth Seton and her Sisters of Charity.

    I think that perhaps Archbishop Dolan may just be a tad thin skinned and doesn’t understand the language of locals and natives……. He just needs time and the neverending tolerance and patience of the people we are — New Yorkers. He’s a shepherd. Perhaps sheep graze on different grass in the midwest. He’ll come around and see we’re not so scary!!!!!!!!! Francis de Sales, Gabriel, John Chrysostom, etc. love us all equally and are with us all. Maybe he was just having a bit of a belly ache after eating that case of Tasykakes sent to him by Archbishop Rigali of Philly!!!!

  • Being anti-catholic is like charging someone with being anti-semitic. This type of vitriol is thrown for the purpose of intimidating and silencing the views of others. The Archbishop has a right, if not a responsibility, to preach to his flock whatever he feels is proper according to his faith. The rub comes when he speaks or acts beyond that in an attempt to influence, if not shape, public policy. As a voter, he is free to. But as a cleric, he is out of bounds.

  • e. says:

    “The rub comes when he speaks or acts beyond that in an attempt to influence, if not shape, public policy.”

    So when the bishops of America speak out against abortion, would such acts be considered “an attempt to influence, if not shape, public policy”?

  • Absolutely… the Archbishop could, just as any other citizen, speak as a civilian (preferably in street clothes) and make his position clear. Speaking as a cleric and a leader of an organization accepting tax benefits, he is out of place.

  • The first test is whether they are granted tax free status, if so, then they would need to speak as individual and not from the authority of some tax supported organization… From the internet, I understand the Evangelical Society to believe the following: “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.” These beliefs are clear but the relevance to the modern world is highly unclear.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    zukunftsaugen,

    I disagree 100%.

    He is the shepherd of the Catholic Church in New York City and he has the right and the duty to lead them.

    Your ideas are bordering on totalitarianism.

    If that is what you think anyone in a position of authority should behave, then maybe you should investigate Communist China and see how well they are doing over there.

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