New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan believes the New York Times is anti-Catholic and giving him the cold shoulder.
Dolan is hopping mad the paper refused to publish an op-ed piece in which he wrote, "It is not hyperbole to call prejudice against the Catholic Church a national pastime."
The piece quotes historian Arthur Schlesinger referring to anti-Catholicism as "the deepest bias in the history of the American people." Dolan blogged a shorter version of his op-ed on his "The Gospel in the Digital Age" site, which he launched last month. [I would like to extend a warm welcome to the Archbishop to the blogosphere.]
Dolan cites three recent articles and a Maureen Dowd op-ed piece as "evidence of this unfairness against the Catholic Church." One is an Oct. 14 story about sex abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community, which involved 40 cases. The Times, to Dolan, did not register the same outrage over that abuse that it did with the "same kind of abuse by a tiny minority of priests." The Old Gray Lady was hit for "selective outrage."
The reality: the Church paid millions for the sins of its abusive priests.
The Archbishop is puzzled why the NYT wasted Oct. 16 front-page, over-the-fold coverage during a time of news like healthcare reform and Afghanistan for the "sad episode of a Franciscan priest who fathered a child" in a consensual affair that happened 25 years ago. [The Archbishop does not include part of the story in which the woman had to fight for money to care for the child, whom the Franciscan severed ties with.]
Dowd draws special outrage from Dolan, who ripped into her "intemperate and scurrilous piece" of Oct. 25. It is a "diatribe that rightly never would have passed muster with the editors had it so criticized an Islamic, Jewish, or African-American religious issue."
And that is just for starters. Dowd, according to Dolan:
“digs deep into the nativist handbook to use every anti-Catholic caricature possible, for 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 teenage boy—into the German army, his outreach to former Catholics and his recent welcome to Anglicans.”
Some friendly advice for the Archbishop: take a breath.
The Dowd piece I read dealt with the Church treating nuns as "second class citizens" and Benedict's 2004 document urging women to resist adversarial relationships with men. Dolan got flustered by Dowd's trademark snark. Score one for Dowd.
Dolan claims to have a long list of other anti-Catholic rants, of which he mercifully did not even begin to name on the blog.
The Archbishop has every right to criticize the media, but Dolan, head of the Diocese of Milwaukee for seven years, must realize he's on the big stage now. The gregarious priest is a good upgrade from the stiff Cardinal Egan. He needs to study the playbook of the late Cardinal O'Connor, a master of media relations.
Dolan, 59, is going to be around the Big Apple for a long time. Some media training will go a long way. He could begin with a lunch with Maureen and a couple of editors from the Times.