Anyone can make a mistake, but when five reporters from the New York Times are assigned to one story, and they screw up the facts, it makes one wonder what is going on. The two principal writers, Jim Yardley and Laurie Goodstein (they were joined by three other reporters), commented on the pope’s unscheduled visit on Wednesday to the “Little Sisters of Charity.” Wrong. Pope Francis met with the Little Sisters of the Poor.
These same reporters said that the pope “never mentioned same-sex marriage” in his speeches yesterday in Philadelphia. Wrong again. Speaking about marriage, the pope cited the “unprecedented changes” that we are faced with, specifically warning about the “social, cultural—and sadly now juridical—effects on family bonds.”
What in the world do the Times reporters think he was talking about when he mentioned the “juridical” effects on the family? “Until recently,” the pope said, “we lived in a social context where the similarities between the civil institution of marriage and the Christian sacrament were considerable and shared. The two were interrelated and mutually supportive. This is no longer the case.” Is it not clear what he meant?
Goodstein, along with two other reporters, also wrote a skewed story about the homosexual scandal. “The scandal has hardly died down in the United States,” she writes. In fact, the scandal ended 30 years ago: most of the abuse took place between 1965 and 1985. She cites one gay priest today [as always, she does not identify him as gay, yet his victims were 14-year old males] who was recently convicted of abusing Honduran teenagers. She does not mention that in the last five years there have been 6.8 credible allegations made against approximately 40,000 priests. No institution has a better record than that. Nor does she mention that it is in the public schools and Orthodox Jewish community where the problem is most acute these days.
Contact NYT public editor, Margaret Sullivan: firstname.lastname@example.org