In a statement released on November 2, Shelby Coffey III, editor of the Los Angeles Times responded to the letter from Cardinal Mahony. He completely ignored criticism of the polls and their church-bashing bias. His statement:
The Times has one of the best opinion researchers in the business. Our polls are nationally and internationally recognized as well reasoned and fair – as is our coverage of religion.
Our role is to report, not exacerbate. Our interest in this survey is a journalistic one: to examine a range of subjects – some controversial, some less so – that are important to people within the Catholic Church today. The intent is not to provoke but to aid discussion.
If the nuns and priests who are asked to participate agree with the cardinal about this survey or for any other reason do not want to answer the questions, then they may decline to be part of the survey.
When we have completed our polling in the next several weeks, we will publish the results.