No room for the Arch

By Matthew Hennessey

So let me get this straight, the New York Times makes room for a semi-regular column by Bono, but has neither the space nor the inclination to run an Op-ed by the Archbishop of New York?

The Arch is none too pleased with the tenor of the Times’s recent coverage of Catholics and the Church as exemplified by what he calls “an intemperate and scurrilous” opinion piece by Maureen Dowd:

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 was none too pleased with Dowdy’s column either. But if our moral betters at the Times won’t print a defense of the Church from the pen of America’s most prominent Catholic, what chance does the Ninety Deuce have of getting their attention?

Lucky for guys like me and the Arch, there are options. The piece rejected by the Times now resides at The Gospel In The Digital Age  (not the snappiest blog title, and I probably wouldn’t have capitalized every word, but, waddayagonnado?)

The Archbishop has my gratitude and admiration. I’m glad he’s here.

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