In today’s New York Times, there is a lengthy article about the death of Irish author, Frank McCourt. As a sidebar, there is also a short excerpt from his book, Angela’s Ashes, about the author’s First Communion. Part of what the Times selected reads as follows:

“Then he [the priest] placed on my tongue the wafer, the body and blood of Jesus. At last, at last. It’s on my tongue. I draw it back. It stuck. I had God glued to the roof of my mouth. I could hear the master’s voice, Don’t let that host touch your teeth for if you bite God in two you’ll roast in hell for eternity. I tried to get God down with my tongue but the priest hissed at me, Stop that clucking and get back to your seat. God was good. He melted and I swallowed Him and now, at last, I was a member of the True Church, an official sinner.”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue wasn’t amused:

During his lifetime, Frank McCourt made any number of insulting remarks about Catholicism, all to the applause of his sophomoric fans. That the New York Times selected this chestnut about Holy Communion reveals what some might say is the newspaper’s dark side. This conclusion, however, would be unwarranted: the Times has no other side when addressing matters Catholic.

Contact public editor Clark Hoyt at

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