CHEAP SHOTS

Catalyst March Issue 1999

We don’t complain about criticism of the Catholic Church, but we do complain about cheap shots. Here are a few recent examples.

Newsday columnist Cheryl McCarthy doesn’t like the way Republicans have conducted the impeachment proceedings against the president. Fine. But why was it necessary for her to repeat what her friend told her about this? “It made my blood run cold. It was frightening. Here you had Henry Hyde [note: Hyde is Catholic] leading what looked like the march of the cardinals and bishops, and you had this 96-year-old man [Strom Thurmond] who couldn’t get a job anywhere else playing the role of grand inquisitor. The only thing missing were the red cardinal hats and the Pope’s hat.” That’s how the article began, yet nowhere in the rest of the piece was there any mention of anything Catholic about the issue she wrote about.

The process of canonization in the Catholic Church is a complicated one. But not forU.S. News and World Report. The subhead of an article on the subject by Brendan I. Koerner read, “All they need are two miracles, connections in Rome—and plenty of cash.” And this is all Koerner needs to show his bias.

Back in May of last year, we ran what we thought was a cute, though pedestrian, short story on how some in Puerto Rico think that the reason why there are so many dogs on the island is because there are so many Catholics who live there. The connecting link, we are told, is the Catholic prohibition against contraception; this explains why not enough dogs are neutered.

We’ll, we thought that the comments of Teresa Warrick of the Greenhill Humane Society were off the wall, but we also thought that we’d share them with you. We now have something else to share: the same lunacy was recently voiced on an edition of Fox Pet News. On January 2, it was reported that not all of the “homeless dogs” in Puerto Rico could be attributed to Hurricane Mitch. No, Catholic opposition to birth control had to be factored in, viewers were told.

When we commented on this madness last May, we opined that “We think that the real reason why there are so many dogs in Puerto Rico is because their diet allows them to live longer: they don’t eat meat on Friday.” But now we’re more perplexed than ever before. Our latest theory is that those who report on such matters are eating meat found in cans; they are also known to covet fire hydrants.

By the way, we answered all these cheap shots with a letter to the appropriate party. While we may not change their minds, we have an obligation to try.

 


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Written by Bill