How do you get the attention of America's newspaper of record?
First, find a handful of others to form a group declaring yourself opposed to sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Second, put together a third-rate website (even if it is not even online) announcing your intention to solve the now largely nonexistent problem of sex abuse. Finally, phone the New York Times National Religion Correspondent Laurie Goodstein to obtain all the free public relations you want.
So appears the strategy of a fringe group of dissident priests, nuns, and other left-wing zealots called Catholic Whistleblowers, which Goodstein proudly promoted on the Times' front page just last year.
The premise of the group is simple but inane: the diabolical hierarchy of the Church is still covering up widespread abuse of minors by priests, and it is up to these select and valiant malcontents to blow the lid off the cover-up.
Goodstein: Always at the ready for Church malcontents
Lacking any real conspiracies to blow the lid off of, however, Catholic Whistleblowers recently decided to now petition Pope Francis to discipline Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn over his handling of a priest who was found to have child pornography on his computer a couple years ago.
Seizing upon overheated media coverage, the local prosecutor brought questionable misdemeanor charges against Bishop Finn for waiting too long to report the priest, to which Finn later pleaded to a suspended sentence.
And while Catholic Whistleblowers knows that their petition will likely go nowhere at the Vatican – as rightly it should – they know that it will go a long way in Manhattan, as they can always call on the reliable Goodstein for some free public relations.
And Goodstein always obliges, as she recently penned a high-profile article giving Times-like gravitas to the group's silly petition and once again rehashing the story of Bishop Finn's sentence.
The hidden agenda of Church cranks
In her article, Goodstein also quotes a local Missouri rabble-rouser named John Veal, who predictably wants Finn thrown out of Missouri. But Goodstein never reveals to her readers that Veal has already been using the episode about Bishop Finn as a vehicle to promote "women ordination" and having the Church abandon the celibacy requirement for priests.
In a wild-eyed piece for the Kansas City Star back in 2011, Veal illogically tried to connect the Bishop Finn episode to the Church's all-male and celibate priesthood, as if somehow there were a connection between the two issues. And since Veal's agenda aligns perfectly with that of the Times' editorial board, Goodstein is more than happy to promote Veal without revealing his agenda.
[By the way, any time someone feels the need to identify himself as a "devout Catholic" – as Veal does – it's a safe bet that the last thing they are "devout" to is the teachings of the Catholic Church.]
The Times' real agenda exposed – once again
As we have stated several times before, Laurie Goodstein is utterly obsessed with the Catholic Church sex abuse story. Nearly one out of every three articles she has authored or co-authored so far this decade for the Times has been solely about sex abuse in the Catholic Church.
Meanwhile, Goodstein has authored exactly zero articles about sex abuse in any other religious organization during this same time period.
And the Times' never-ending fixation with decades-old scandals in the Church – while ignoring the scandals happening today in local public schools right in its own backyard – reveals that it is not really the sexual abuse of children that bothers the Times. What bothers the Times is that the Catholic Church offends the Times' collective ego, as it does not adhere to the paper's own radical, secularist worldview.
[An additional note ... In her article, Goodstein also makes reference to a "a German bishop who spent tens of millions building his opulent quarters." Well, that has been a story that the mainstream media has proudly trumpeted in past months. But, yet again, the truth about this episode involving Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is another matter. Check out the must-read "The Real Scandal in Germany" over at Crisis magazine, which corrects the record about this story. It is written by Marie Meaney, who actually knows what she's talking about.]