Leading up to the anniversary of 9/11, there were many stories stating that Father Mychal Judge, the first of the First Responders to die that day, was homosexual. Not everyone agrees. No matter, even those who allege that Judge was gay say he kept his sexual orientation private, disclosing it to only a few friends. Father Brian Jordan, for instance, said of his fellow Franciscan in 2002 that “I knew him for 25 years and I didn’t know that he was gay until after he died.”

It really shouldn’t matter whether Judge was gay or straight, but unfortunately some in gay circles, as well as in liberal quarters generally, turned this issue into a national spectacle. Worse, some lied. In the August 19 edition of the dissident Catholic newspaper, the National Catholic Reporter, it said, “Judge was a Catholic priest who publicly acknowledged that he was a celibate gay man.” After reading this, Bill Donohue asked Jeff Field, the Catholic League’s communications director, to e-mail Tom Fox, editor of the newspaper, asking him for the evidence that Judge publicly declared that he was gay. We gave him a day to respond, and when he didn’t, we issued a news release calling him out on this issue.

SNAP Wisconsin, the Wisconsin branch of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, posted an article on September 7 about a Philadelphia priest who has never been convicted of anything, but will go on trial next year for allegedly covering up a crime. The title of the article read, “The Crimes of Monsignor William J. Lynn.” Field contacted the SNAP chapter and asked them to correct the record. “You know very well that Monsignor Lynn has only been accused and hasn’t been convicted of any crimes,” Field said. Again he received no response.

Lying is bad enough, but when it is done for political purposes, it is obscene. That priests are the primary victims these days is indisputable.

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