The New York Times is apparently suffering from withdrawal symptoms from the lack of any real news in the Catholic Church sex abuse story.
Always eager to smear its local bishop, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the Times recently ran three pieces attacking Dolan for merely transferring monies in 2007, when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee, to a cemetery trust fund to ensure that the monies were going to be used as intended by the original donors: for the future care and maintenance of Catholic cemeteries.
In an article about the recent release of documents that are part of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's bankruptcy proceedings, the Times' Laurie Goodstein (naturally) suggests that the $57 million transfer to a cemetery trust fund was a part of a diabolical plot by Dolan to "protect the assets from victims of clergy sexual abuse who were demanding compensation" by moving the money away.
However, Goodstein makes no mention of the fact that the creation of the trust was actually "required by state law and mandated by the archdiocesan finance council" in order to provide sufficient funds for ongoing and future cemetery maintenance needs.
Rehashing a rehashIndeed, Goodstein's intimations of scandal about the $57 million transfer had already been reported by the Times nearly two-and-a-half years ago.
Back in February 2011, the Times piggybacked on the reporting of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and trumpeted the claims from the notorious Church-suing lawyer Jeff Anderson that the transfer was somehow an effort to "shield" settlement money from accusers who claimed they were abused by priests.
Years later, the Times is once again doing Anderson's bidding by juicing up Anderson's PR machine against the Catholic Church, even though there is no evidence to support Anderson's wacky claims.
And if this were not enough, the Times then published an editorial (orchestrated by the Times' editorial chief Andrew Rosenthal) that once again castigated the Church for abuse episodes committed decades ago and declared that the routine and rational transfer of funds by Dolan was "shocking."
And not to be outdone, the Times' opinion writer Frank Bruni, who has a well-established history of bigoted attacks against the Church, got into the act with a wild-eyed piece ascribing nefarious motivations to Cardinal Dolan's transfer of funds and falsely implying that abuse is somehow still rampant today in the Church. It isn't.
The premise behind all of the Times' articles is downright surreal. The Times implies that before the Church in Milwaukee filed for bankruptcy, it should have ceased all business operations and ensured that all of its monies be used solely to pay abuse claimants and their lawyers to the complete exclusion of all other pressing needs of the diocese, such as employee wages, pensions, outreach to the needy, and cemetery maintenance.
The Times' agenda exposed – again
Of course, the Times' attacks on the Catholic Church have absolutely nothing to do with "protecting children" or even "reporting the news." Its attacks have everything to do with trying to discredit a Church which stands in direct opposition to the paper on nearly every hot-button social issue, whether it be gay "marriage," abortion, or freedom of religion.
Just a couple weeks ago, New York media exploded with the news that some 128 New York City public school staff members have been found guilty of child sex abuse with students since just 2007, yet only 33 have been fired and many have returned to their jobs! (See this, this, this, this, and this.)
It is a huge story if there ever were one. But what has the Times had to say in the last month about this blockbuster news, even though these episodes have happened right in the paper's backyard in New York City? Absolutely nothing.
Instead, the Times would rather rehash old stories about Cardinal Dolan merely doing his job years ago as an archbishop of another city.
Indeed, the New York Times is the gold standard for anti-Catholic bigotry.