MSNBC's Chris Matthews is a devout liberal, including on contentious social issues like abortion and homosexuality. But on the front page of Tuesday's Washington Post, religion reporter Michelle Boorstein began a story on Archbishop Donald Wuerl's elevation to Cardinal at the Vatican like this:
The archbishop's two brothers will be there. So will a rabbi he knows from Pittsburgh, the D.C. barber who cuts his hair and the fast-talking (and devoutly Catholic) television commentator Chris Matthews.
Do "devout" Catholics lecture their bishops that they should get their churchy noses out of our legislating? Boorstein apparently missed Matthews lecturing the Bishop of Providence, Thomas Tobin, in defense of Rep. Patrick Kennedy's pro-abortion politics on "Hardball" last November.
Now, I've asked you three times, your Excellency, to tell me what the law should be. And if you can't do it, maybe you shouldn't be involved in telling Congressman Kennedy how to write the law. You say you don't know how to do it. Well, you ought to try before you tell him what he's doing wrong. That's my thinking.
...Your problem is you haven't gotten people to obey your moral code through teaching and you have resorted now to use the law to do your enforcement for you. And the problem with that is you are hesitant, even here your Excellency, to state for me now what the punishment should be under the law for having an abortion, because you know, deep down, if you said one minute in prison, you would be laughed at, because the American people, Catholic and non-Catholic, do not think it's a criminal act to have an abortion.
Apparently, Archbishop Wuerl has never seen this televised fit, either, or perhaps he'd at least ask Matthews to apologize to Bishop Tobin before he travels to Rome and is honored in the newspapers as "devout." Tobin dared to publicly instruct and refuse communion to Congressman Kennedy, which is not "telling Congressman Kennedy to how to write the law," but how to be a Catholic.
Matthews and his wife Kathleen have been reported to be regular parishioners at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in northwest DC. In April, Post religion reporter William Wan displayed a more traditional form of bias -- the refusal to label liberals -- when he focused on Monsignor John Enzler, "whose high-profile congregants include "Hardball" host Chris Matthews and conservative commentator Patrick J. Buchanan."
Earlier: Is Chris Matthews a Dumb Catholic?