"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Friday, May 24, 2002 Standing athwart history and yelling, "Stop the presses!"
From an editorial in the latest edition of the Boston Archdiocesan organ, The Pilot, praising the editor recently buried in an office blood-letting:
New challenges require new ways, and the current crisis in the Church certainly is a prime example of a new situation...But we are also facing the challenge of a growing secular mentality in our society that defies the foundations of the Church. Powerful groups are in an all-out war against the Christian culture that underlies our society.
Some would place the American ecclesiocracy in the front lines of that assault.
A separate editorial fires a volley at the messenger:
Since the current crisis exploded last January, the media in general, and the two Boston daily newspapers in particular, have been reporting on every possible aspect and ramification of the clergy abuse scandal. In spite of the great anger and sadness that the news reports of the sufferings of victims, the revelations of new priest perpetrators and the administrative failures brings, many Catholics have praised their coverage. Every story they have published has been absorbed and believed by the public.
In the last few weeks a shift has taken place. An apparent need to keep the story "hot" seems to be forcing both dailies to milk every possible rumor, every possible sentence taken out of context, every hint of wrongdoing. They seem to be in need of filling the daily front page with the photo of yet another priest or with another "Bombshell!"
The Herald's coverage of the potential use of Boston Catholic Television assets to pay settlements, and the Globe's story saying that church buildings, schools, hospitals and facilities used by charitable agencies could be mortgaged for the same purpose, have further damaged the good works the Church is carrying out. And both of them were inaccurate.
The "Shanley papers" are yet another example of the way the crisis is being reported. An analysis of the document appearing in today's edition of The Pilot illustrates several examples of the ways they have been widely misreported in the media.
Investigative journalism should be both objective and accurate. While deadlines are important, despite what many think, the reputation of the Archbishop of Boston and the archdiocese as a whole should not be treated lightly.
Stonewalling. Shifting blame. Quibbling. Rearranging the deck chairs.