The New York Times not only covered up for gay activists gone mad, it lied to its readers. Bill Donohue said “lied” because the Catholic League corrected the record in January, notifying its public editor, Maggie Sullivan, about it.
In January, reporter James Barron recounted the events that led up to gay protests of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “The controversy began in December 1989 when thousands demonstrated outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral over statements made by Cardinal John J. O’Connor on abortion, homosexuality and AIDS.”
Here is what Marc Santora and William Neuman wrote on March 18: “The controversy began in December 1989. With New York City in the midst of the AIDS epidemic, thousands demonstrated outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral to protest statements by Cardinal John J. O’Connor of the New York Archdiocese on abortion, homosexuality and AIDS.”
Both versions are incorrect: The protesters invaded the Cathedral. Here is what Donohue wrote on January 11, the day the original piece was printed:
“The Times editorial of December 12, 1989 describes how demonstrators ‘stormed St. Patrick’s Cathedral.’ It notes that ‘They entered the cathedral and repeatedly interrupted the service. They lay down in the aisles, chained themselves to pews and sought to shout down Cardinal O’Connor as he said mass. One protester is reported to have disrupted even the administering of communion with an act of desecration that deeply offended worshippers.’
“The act of desecration was spitting the Eucharist on the floor. No wonder Mayor Ed Koch, who was there, said he was shocked by the ‘fascist tactics’ of the protesters.”