Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a Nov. 30 column in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the Archdiocese of Philadelphia:

Monica Yant Kinney is furious over the decision by Philadelphia prosecutors to depose Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua at the seminary where he lives instead of in court; the former Archbishop of Philadelphia was asked to testify on alleged priestly sexual abuse that occurred during his tenure. Bevilacqua is 88 and in poor health, but that did not matter to Kinney: she wants him dragged into court to put an end to “the church’s chilling culture of secrecy.”

So I began to wonder, just how transparent is the Inquirer when it comes to their own dirty laundry? All I did was put “Philadelphia Inquirer and fired reporter” in a Google search engine, and guessed what popped up? Stories about Paul Davies, a columnist at the newspaper who was allegedly fired earlier this year after he offended the big boys at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Davies wrote a front-page piece (in the “Currents” section) on Sunday, March 6 that detailed what a taxpayer rip-off the financing of the Center was. On March 14, the Inquirer ran a letter by the chairman of the Center blasting the newspaper for scaring away business. Then a story appeared in the Metropolis maintaining that the Center axed a $400,000 to $500,000 advertisement campaign from the Inquirer in retaliation. That’s what led to Davies being dumped.

The Inquirer denies this account, but Davies says he was escorted out the door by his boss; he even threatened to sue. Why mention all this? Because the newspaper has never admitted to its readers why Davies left, and to this day maintains that it is “company policy not to discuss personnel matters relative to former employees.” How convenient. So much for transparency. Looks like there is a “chilling culture of secrecy” at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Wouldn’t you agree, Monica?

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