Now, of course I don't expect our local paper to fawn over the bishop or whitewash the Church, but is fact-checking and fairness too much to ask?
You can read the entire article, here, if you have the time and the stomach for it.* But as I did last time, allow me to comment on a couple of glaring snippets. Clancy says of the Catholic Church:
The church has taught that birth control is 'intrinsically wrong' since 1968, around the time the pill came into widespread use.The statement is shocking.
It is absolutely no secret and easily ascertained that the Church has taught the intrinsic evil of contraception not merely for the past four decades, no, but since the establishment of the Church approximately 2,000 years ago.
Not once (meaning "never") has the Church taught anything different.
Clancy is alluding to Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, which simply reiterated, against the backdrop of the sexual revolution, the unbroken, unchanging teaching of the Church since her inception.
How can a veteran religion reporter exhibit such a weak grasp of basic Church doctrine, the Church he's been covering for years and years? It's also troubling that he doesn't seem to have adequate knowledge of modern cultural history, either. For not only has the Catholic Church always taught that contraception is "intrinsically wrong", but until the 1930s, every Protestant denomination taught the sinfulness of contraception as well. When a committee of Anglicans was the first to abandon Christian principles on this well-established point of the moral law, even the secular world was shocked, as an editorial in the Washington Post makes clear:
Carried to its logical conclusion, the [Anglican] committee's report, if carried into effect, would sound the death-knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be "careful and restrained" is preposterous. -- March 22, 1931 edition.
Call me crazy, but I think a reporter should know this stuff, if he's going to be reporting on this stuff.
And later in the piece, Clancy repeats something he said in another article (that I also I critiqued), which continues to baffle me (emphasis mine):
….Olmsted ousted the hospital [St. Joseph's] from the Catholic family after a dispute about a medical procedure that Olmsted considered an abortion.In the last article, he chose the words "...a lifesaving medical procedure that the bishop deemed an abortion…"
If it was not an abortion, what was it? What was this mystery medical procedure? To this day, Clancy has never actually named it. What was it? How does one train for it? What special tools are used? If it was not an abortion, then how could this mystery medical procedure result in an automatic excommunication? Why would the bishop pretend an abortion took place if it didn't? So many unanswered questions.
Including why the Arizona Republic allows this type of reporting to stand.
In the meantime, here is the full text of Bishop Olmsted's letter, in which he tells his flock:
"We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law."
Oh, how I love our shepherd! He is a gentle, humble soul, but he has courage in abundance! A true disciple of Christ!
And for those still needing the basic facts about the HHS contraceptive mandate at the heart of this fight, go here to get informed:
The battle for basic religious liberty has come to our doorstep, folks.
*Be warned that the comments following the article are vile and bigoted. If such comments were directed at Jews or Muslims, the Republic would never let them stand.
(UPDATE: Be sure to read JoAnna's excellent comment, below!)