Archbishop kicks Gray Lady

Maureen Dowd of the New York Times has long enjoyed flaunting her Catholic schoolgirl pedigree like a badge of honor.Still, the Pulitzer Prize winner took her game to another level in a recent column attacking Rome for its investigation of religious orders that shelter sisters who oppose many of the church's teachings.Wait, is "investigation" the right word?"The Vatican is now conducting two inquisitions into the 'quality of life' of American nuns, a dwindling group with an average age of … [Read more...]

Rush Limbaugh, liberal heretic?

The joke was old, old, old and Rush Limbaugh knew that when -- tongue firmly planted in cheek -- he tweaked it for his flock at the Conservative Political Action Convention. So Larry King dies and goes to heaven, where the CNN star urgently asks St. Peter: "Is Rush Limbaugh here?" Not yet, says his host. Finally, their tour reaches heaven's largest room, where a flashing "Rush Limbaugh" sign hangs over a giant throne. King is confused."I thought you said he wasn't here," King asks, in … [Read more...]

Religion ’07: Huck’s Christmas story

It was a simple commercial, with Mike Huckabee posed in front of a set of scandalously empty white bookshelves that, when framed just right beside a Christmas tree, formed a glowing cross behind the candidate.And, lo, the former Southern Baptist pastor told the voters: "Are you about worn out by all the television commercials you've been seeing, mostly about politics? I don't blame you. At this time of year, sometimes it's nice to pull aside from all of that and just remember that what really … [Read more...]

When journalists crash rites

The sanctuary was dark, except for candles near the altar, and it was quiet, other than the priest's prayers and hushed responses from the pews.It was time for another execution in a North Carolina prison and, on this night more than two decades ago, I was kneeling with others opposed to the death penalty -- not covering the rite as a Charlotte Observer reporter.What I failed to realize was that other journalists would crash our vigil.The television crew entered just before midnight. The … [Read more...]

The New York Times tweaks its credo

NEW YORK -- The New York Times has for generations printed its credo on Page 1 to inspire the faithful: "All the News That's Fit to Print."But times changed and the high church of journalism was challenged by radio and television news, which was followed by a tsunami of news, rumors, opinions and criticism on 24-7 cable news networks and the Internet. The result has been a subtle change in doctrine at the Times, although the Gray Lady's motto has stayed the same.Around-the-clock competition has … [Read more...]

So a reporter walks into a church (rimshot)

It's a law. Whenever the Vatican issues a papal encyclical, journalists have to figure out what the pope was trying to say.To do this, we contact scholars, politicos and clergy for background information and edgy quotes. Thus, a reporter recently called Father Richard John Neuhaus of the journal First Things to discuss Pope Benedict XVI's "Deus Caritas Est (God is Love)."During this interview, Neuhaus referred to the pope as the "bishop of Rome." The reporter then said, "That raises an … [Read more...]


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