If anyone still has any doubt about the utter distaste that many in the media have for the Catholic Church, one does not need to look any further than the "question and answer" session during the press conference in Philadelphia today (Tue. 9/19/11) welcoming the region's new Archbishop Charles Chaput.
A woman from the Associated Press stood with a question for the new archbishop. (I am unable to confirm 100%, but I am almost certain the woman was Maryclaire Dale, who submitted this article about the event.) Paraphrasing her words, the AP woman essentially asked, "If you are all about justice and compassion, as you've said in the past, then why did you oppose a proposed law in Colorado lifting the statute of limitations for abuse claims?" (Before arriving as the new archbishop of Philadelphia today, Abp. Chaput was Archbishop of Denver since 1997.)
Archbishop Chaput gracefully answered the question. He correctly noted that the proposed law in Colorado, first brought forward in 2005, deliberately and unfairly singled out the Catholic Church. The law would have allowed any individual to sue the organization for a claim of abuse, no matter how long ago the accuser claimed the abuse happened. However, this proposed lifting of the statute of limitations did not apply to other institutions, such as the public school system (where abuses and cover-ups are still extremely rampant, by the way). The proposed law was essentially a surly attempt by anti-Catholics and greedy attorneys to open up lawsuits against the Catholic Church and fleece its coffers. (Read Archbishop Chaput's excellent 2006 response to the proposed law.)
A writer for such a large organization as the Associated Press should most certainly have been cognizant of the blatant unfairness of the proposed Colorado law. One cannot help but conclude that the AP deliberately set out to portray Abp. Chaput in the most negative light with its question. And that's not cool. Not cool at all.
The tone with which the woman asked her question was notably spiteful, condescending, and disrespectful. American Papist Thomas Peters tweeted about the AP's query – he was actually in the room at the time – and relayed that the AP "really broke the civility of the q&a."
AP: Absolutely Prejudiced – against Catholics.
-- Dave Pierre is the author of the book, Double Standard: Abuse Scandals and the Attack on the Catholic Church. Dave is also the creator of TheMediaReport.com and is a contributing writer to NewsBusters.