New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan is blasting the New York Times and columnist Maureen Dowd for what he sees as examples of mean-spirited anti-Catholic bias.
Dolan wrote an article for the Archdiocese of New York's Web site after Dowd's Oct. 25 column criticized the Vatican for "two inquisitions" into nuns who spurn "old-fashioned habits and convents," and claimed that nuns are still "second-class citizens" in the church.
The archbishop said "the most combustible example" of the Times' prejudice against the church came with an "intemperate and scurrilous piece by Maureen Dowd on the opinion pages of the Times.
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"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...
"Her prejudice, while maybe appropriate for the Know-Nothing newspaper of the 1850s, the Menace, has no place in a major publication today."
Dolan also noted that an Oct. 14 Times article about child sex abuse in Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community failed to demand what the paper has "incessantly" demanded of the Catholic Church: the release of the abusers' names, a rollback the statute of limitations and the release all records.
In his article — which also appeared on the Fox News Web site — Dolan took issue with an Oct. 16 front-page Times story about a Franciscan priest who had fathered a child.
While calling the priest's actions "indefensible," Dolan observed: "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, healthcare and starvation — genocide in Sudan. No other cleric from religions other than Catholicism ever seems to merit such attention...
"Papers such as The New York Times only seem to have priests in their crosshairs."
Dolan originally submitted his article to the Times, but the op-ed page editor refused to print it, saying the paper does not run "responses to what appears in the paper," according to the New York Post.
Dolan's piece stated: "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."
Using a baseball analogy, Dolan concluded: "The suspicion and bias against the Church is a national pastime that should be 'rained out' for good."
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