Sunday, February 10, 2013

"Catholicism's Curse" is not the Church Hierarchy--It's the New York Times


Frank Bruni
Photo credit: New York Times
In a recent Sunday Times essay, Frank Bruni joined a gaggle of New York Times columnists who have maligned the hierarchy of the Catholic faith in the pages of our nation's most prestigious newspaper.  In a column entitled "Catholicism's Curse," Bruni described the Vatican as  a "gilded enclave" that is "frequently out of step with the rest of the world" and suggested that Church law on an all-male priesthood and celibate priests are not essential elements of Catholic doctrine but "inventions of the mortals who took charge of the faith."

Bruni also wrote that the Vatican is "reliably riled by nuns," a statement that is simply not true.  Although Church leaders have chastened some women religious for publicly questioning fundamental Church doctrine, the Vatican is in basic harmony with the most of Church's sisters and nuns.

Of course, the lead theme for Bruni's essay is the Church's sexual abuse scandal. On this issue, Mr. Bruni's criticisms are justified. Without a doubt, many American bishops behaved shamefully when they covered up child abuse by priests. Indeed, some of the Church leaders who engaged in this despicable behavior should be prosecuted.

But this terrible lapse in judgment by Catholic bishops does not give the New York Times license to repeatedly attack the doctrines and traditions of the Catholic Church. After all, the Times does not criticize Islamic religious beliefs or the doctrines of Mormonism, even though both these religious groups are out of step with New York Times editorial policy on many issues.

In short, the curse of Catholicism, is not the Church's hierarchy, as Bruni argued.  No, the curse of Catholicism is the New York Times. It is time for the Catholic hierarchy, Catholic laypeople, Catholic political leaders, and the Catholic press to demand that the Times stop hectoring our Church. And if the Times writers do not cease these unwarranted attacks, we should boycott the businesses who advertise in the Times

Speaking for myself, boycotting the Times's advertisers would not work a hardship. It has been a very long time since I bought anything at Bloomingdale's.


References

Bruni, Frank. Catholicism's Curse. New York Times, January 26, 2013.

Dowd, Maureen. Is pleasure a sin? New York Times, June 5, 2012.  Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/opinion/dowd-is-pleasure-a-sin.html

Freedom From Religion Foundation.  It's Time to Consider Quitting the Catholic Church. New York Times, March 9, 2012, p. A10.

Keller, Bill. The Rottweiler's Rottweiler. New York Times, June 18, 2012, p. A21.

Kristof, Nicholas D. (2012, April 28). We are all nuns. New York Times, April 28, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/kristof-we-are-all-nuns.html

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