Archdiocese of New York: November 2009 Archives
Saint Joseph Seminary - Dunwoodie was the setting today for a clergy seminar on Natural Family Planning (NFP) sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York Family & Respect Life Offices, The Couple to Couple League International and with the generosity of others as well. Some 40 clergy types (priests, deacons and seminarians) attended. It was a blessing to have Dr Theresa Notare, Dr Kyle Beiter, Richard & Vicki Braun, Dr. Jack Burnham, Fr John Higgins, Andrew & Tracey Pappalrdo, and Erik & Anne Tozzi as presenters.
So what did I learn today?
YOU can control YOUR reproductive health care sensibly and morally without spending tons of money and selling your values. The point of the day was to introduce us to the most wholistic, safe form of family planning that there is today. This approach is pro-life, pro-woman, pro-faith, and pro-humanity. NFP is totally Catholic. It shows that it's possible for a husband and wife to communicate and to collaborate with each other on all facets of life, especially the facet of sex and reproduction.
One assumes that The New York Times would have been glad to receive an Op-Ed article from the new Archbishop of New York. The Archdiocese of New York is responsible for a very important part of the city's educational, medical, and charitable life. The newspaper refused to print it. Such censorship only whets the appetite to know what was thought not fit to print. There are many items that the Times, which claims to publish everything that's fit to print, has printed although they were not fit. There were, for instance, its mockery in 1920 of Goddard's hypothesis that rocket propulsion can take place in a vacuum, a denial of Stalin's forced famine in Ukraine and a whitewash of his show trials by its Moscow bureau chief Walter Duranty, its advocacy of Fidel Castro, and its benign regard for the Soviet spy Alger Hiss. So there had to be some journalistic equivalent of a cerebral stroke to make the editors of the Times unable to print Archbishop Dolan's words.
The cause of the apoplexy was the Archbishop's imputation of bigotry to the newspaper. His charge was not self-indulgent whining. He did not have to go back farther than a couple of weeks for examples. First, in reporting widespread child abuse in Brooklyn's community of Orthodox Jews, there was not the "selective outrage" which animates The New York Times against criminous Catholic clerics, whose numbers are in fact proportionally much smaller than other religious and professional groups.
Then there was the sensational front-page publicity of a paternity suit involving a Franciscan friar, going back twenty-five years, and getting more space than the war in Afghanistan and genocide in Sudan. Headlines also claimed that the Pope was seeking to "lure" Anglicans into his fold, when in fact he was responding to a petition. Then a columnist invoked the Inquisition, portrayed the theology of priesthood as neurotic sexism, and even mocked the Pope's haberdashery. The Archbishop said that her prejudice, "while maybe appropriate for the Know-Nothing newspaper of the 1850's, the Menace, has no place in a major publication today." While a free press is free to criticize, said the Archbishop, such criticism should be "fair, rational, and accurate."
Hostility raised to such a pitch that journalistic standards are abandoned, is provoked by an awareness that the Catholic Church continues to be the substantial voice for classical moral standards and supernatural confidence amid the noise of a disintegrating behaviorist culture. A tabloid is still a tabloid even if its editors dress in tweeds. Churchill said, "No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." Not to worry. Christ promised that the gates of Hell will not prevail against his Church. He did not include The New York Times, 30% of whose work force has been laid off in the last year and a half.
Fr. Rutler's Weekly Column as Pastor of the Church of Our Savior in New York City. This is from the November 8, 2009 bulletin
I would not have used the word "crusade" to describe responsible Catholic leadership but it does grab one's attention. The recent interchange between Archbishop Dolan and Maureen Dowd (and the NY Times) is not all that interesting: most with-it Catholics know and understand the archbishop to be correct in his assessment. The thesis is not original to the Archbishop. A book length exposition on anti-Catholic bias was done by Philip Jenkins in The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice (OUP, 2003). Jenkins explores the liberal anti-Catholic bias and the reasons why many just accept it while the same can't be said in the Jewish and Muslim communities.
So, one can barely say that Dolan's criticism is newsworthy. EXCEPT to say that his pointing out in a rather public way (thanks be to God!) that Dowd and the Times is in fact, anti-Catholic, and this type public engagement with the press hasn't been done too much in since Cardinal O'Connor died in 2000. Remember, O'Connor regularly spoke to the press, especially following the 10:15 Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick. His successor, Cardinal Egan, didn't much engage the media when he was the archbishop of the Capital of the World.
Take a look at Joseph Bottom's piece in the NY Post today.
Read Archbishop Dolan's comments on his blog, The Gospel in the Digital Age