Bishop accuses Chicago Tribune of anti-Catholic bias in Notre Dame coverage

The ongoing debate over next month’s University of Notre Dame commencement appearance by President Barack Obama took a new turn today when Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Chicago accused the Chicago Tribune of anti-Catholic bias in the opinion pieces it has run in recent weeks on the controversy. In a letter to the editor published today, he also cited a Tribune article that he said “features Catholics who have acted against Catholic Church teaching on in-vitro fertilization.”

The three opinion articles he cited included an April 3 Tribune editorial saying Chicago Cardinal Francis E. George was “deeply out of line” for his comments on the controversy, a March 31 column by Notre Dame alumnus Don Wycliff urging the university not to cave to pressure from opponents of Obama’s appearance, and an April 3 article by Obama campaign co-chairman William M. Daley, which Bishop Paprocki characterized as part of the Tribune’s effort “to enlist dissenting Catholics to be the mouthpiece of the newspaper’s attacks against the church’s teaching authority.”

“I don’t recall the Chicago Tribune ever running such stories and editorials against any other church or religion, let alone with such frequency or invective, so I can only conclude that the know-nothing views of the Chicago Tribune have not changed,” he wrote, referring to the anti-Catholicism of the Know-Nothing movement — and of the Tribune — in the mid-19th century.

2 Responses

  1. More useful to the cause would be Bishop Paprocki and other like-minded hierarchs making sufficient noise to attract lots of media attention to the matter. He (and they) would have no trouble getting airtime on Fox News Channel. If the noise got loud enough, even CNN and Brian Williams couldn’t ignore it any longer.
    Less time spent parading relics and statues and more time spent doing what counts to bring matters of religion into the public square might gain the attention of the largely inattentive public, including the inattentive Catholic public.
    Wycliff? What about Gov. Sebelius, and Pelosi, and Kerry, and . . . . Not a word from Archbishop Wuerl, either.

  2. “I don’t recall the Chicago Tribune ever running such stories and editorials against any other church or religion, let alone with such frequency or invective, so I can only conclude that the know-nothing views of the Chicago Tribune have not changed,” he wrote, referring to the anti-Catholicism of the Know-Nothing movement — and of the Tribune — in the mid-19th century.

    I think given the number of people, historically and in modern times, that the church has silenced(thankfully with less violence than in past centuries) the Bishop might want to less accusatory. If the Bishop rejects the idea of a university as a place where all ideas can be heard, discussed and debated, then he has truly joined the no-nothings.

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