The Astounding Naivete of Crisis Magazine

December 2002By Michael S. Rose

Michael S. Rose is an investigative journalist, and the author of The Renovation Manipulation, Ugly as Sin, and of course Goodbye, Good Men.

In May of this year, Regnery Publishing released my latest book, Goodbye, Good Men. Published as it was in the midst of the ballooning priestly sex abuse scandals, the book received wide publicity and a large readership. In fact, Goodbye, Good Men, a look at how Catholic seminary education over the past three decades has been corrupted, made The New York Times bestseller list for four weeks.

But the book has not soared without generating great controversy. I would venture to say that Goodbye, Good Men has become one of the most controversial books about the Catholic Church in the last decade. Surprisingly, the most scathing criticism has come from some so-called conservative Catholic publications. They seem to be saying that while they agree with my thesis in at least a vague and general way, they take issue with the particulars as well as my research methodology and journalistic integrity. Ironically, a couple of these articles are themselves textbook examples of shoddy hack journalism (as pointed out in the Sept. issue of the NOR in “Killing Michael Rose” [on Our Sunday Visitor] and “The Register Steps Into the Ring”).

Our Sunday Visitor actually printed an apology (July 28, 2002) for its unsigned article “Goodbye! Scurrilous Journalist?” (July 14, 2002), which contained so many demonstrably false statements that the anonymous author could not possibly have read my book. (Happily, Fr. Peter Stravinskas, the Editor of The Catholic Answer, another Our Sunday Visitor publication, did read the book. In its September/October 2002 issue, he stated that “the vast majority of American seminaries are rotten to the core,” noting that this is “rather well-documented by Michael Rose in his bombshell book Goodbye, Good Men.”) The National Catholic Register ran an op-ed attack piece by an editor who admitted he hadn’t read the book, save for two pages.

The third piece was published by Culture Wars. E. Michael Jones, not only the Editor but the personification of Culture Wars, admitted to me that he hadn’t read Goodbye, Good Men when he published a five-page review of the book studded with many factual errors written by recently ordained Fr. Robert J. Johansen. Curiously, the majority of his criticisms — much of it based on erroneous second-hand information — focused on events and issues that weren’t even mentioned in the book he was supposedly reviewing. Despite the numerous and blatant inaccuracies of the Johansen broadside (pointed out by me and by others), it has been quoted or cited uncritically by everyone from the National Catholic Register to “gay” apologist Andrew Sullivan. [See the article by Jay McNally in this NOR — Ed.]

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