Bashing the Church

A few dirty blows courtesy of the AP and NYT


Pop Culture

Negative portrayals of the Church by the mainstream media are a given, but lately the Associated Press and The New York Times have dealt a few dirty blows.

New York’s Cardinal Dolan recently responded to a story in the Associated Press about Catholic organizations and entities receiving relief funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). A link to the cardinal’s full statement in the National Catholic Register (July 15) is included below.

The normally media-friendly Dolan calls the AP article “scurrilous” and “heavy on innuendo.” It casts doubt on Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, and charities that, in Dolan’s words, “rightly received assistance from the federal government to pay their employees during the Covid-19 crisis.” The AP story implies there is something amiss in Catholic institutions receiving PPP money. Many smaller news outlets across the U.S. repeated the tale. The AP article focuses solely on the Catholic Church, when, as Dolan points out, religious organizations representing all faiths participated in the PPP program.

In a similar, and even more ridiculous fashion, a New York Times (July 8) headline proclaimed that churches “are a major source of coronavirus cases.” The evidence used to back the claim was so paltry that Bonnie Kristian at The Week (July 10) concludes in her own headline: “Churches are being unfairly scapegoated for the pandemic.” Kristian scoffs at the Times’ report of 650 coronavirus cases “linked to nearly 40 churches and religious events across the United States.” The whole country has passed three million confirmed cases, including 24,000 at meatpacking plants and 57,000 at prisons, but, hey, the Times wants to pick on churches. I think we all know why.


A link to the Register article:

A link to The Week article:


Barbara E. Rose is Web Editor of the NOR.

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