Archbp. Dolan reacts to anti-Catholic bigotry of Hell’s Bible

Archbishop Dolan of New York City (will he be named Cardinal tomorrow?) has observations about Hell’s Bible’s hatred for the Catholic Church.

My emphases.

More from the Times

I know, I should drop it.  “You just have to get used to it,” so many of you have counseled me.  “It’s been that way forever, and it’s so ingrained they don’t even know they’re doing it.  So, let it go.”

I’m talking about the common, casual way The New York Times offends Catholic sensitivity, something they would never think of doing — rightly so — to the Jewish, Black, Islamic, or gay communities.

Two simple yet telling examples from one edition, last Friday, October 15.

First there’s the insulting photograph of the nun on page C20, this for yet another tiresome production making fun of Catholic consecrated women.  This “gleeful” tale is described as “fresh and funny” in the caption beneath the quarter-page photo (not an advertisement).  Granted, prurient curiosity about the lives of Catholic sisters has been part of the nativist, “know-nothing” agenda since mobs burned the Ursuline convent in Boston in the 1840’s, and since the huckster Rebecca Reed’s Awful Disclosures made the rounds in the 19th century.  But still now cheap laughs at the expense of a bigoted view of the most noble women around?

Maybe I’m especially sensitive since I  just came from the excellent exhibit on the contributions of Catholic nuns now out on Ellis Island.  These are the women who tended to the homeless immigrants and refugees, who died nursing the abandoned in the cholera epidemic, who ran hospitals and universities decades before women did so in the non-Catholic sphere, who marched in Selma and today teach our poorest in our inner-city schools. These are the nuns mocked and held-up for snickering in our city’s newspaper.

Now turn to C29.  This glowingly reviewed not-to-be missed “art” exhibit comes to us from Harvard, and is a display of posters from ACT UP.  Remember them?  They invaded of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to disrupt prayer, trampled on the Holy Eucharist, insulted Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he was here for a conference, and yelled four letter words while exposing themselves to families and children leaving Mass at the Cathedral.  The man they most detested was Cardinal John O’Connor, who, by the way, spent many evenings caring quietly for AIDS patients, and, when everyone else ran from them, opened units for them at the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center and St. Clare’s Hospital.  Too bad for him.  One of the posters in this “must see” exhibit is of Cardinal O’Connor, in the form of a condom, referred to as a “scumbag,” the “art” there in full view in the photograph above the gushing review in our city’s daily.

Thanks for your patience with me.  I guess I’m still new enough here in New York City that the insults of The New York Times against the Church still bother me.  I know I should get over it.  As we say in Missouri, it’s like “spitting into a tornado.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Ancient Soul says:

    Father .. I hope you never tire of speaking the truth!

  2. TNCath says:

    Kudos to and continued prayers for Archbishop Dolan! While I am not sure he’ll be made a cardinal tomorrow, he certainly is being “cardinalatial” by taking on The New York Times. May all bishops be as courageous and follow his example in their local dioceses.

  3. Liz says:

    I will offer the rest of my rosary for Archbishop Dolan tonight. I don’t even know what to write about such filth as they put in their rag. I literally just keep shaking my head.

  4. zama202 says:

    Now if only he would chastise “pro-abortion Catholics” politicians like Andrew Cuomo. Whoops! Don’t want to loose our tax exempt status!


  5. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:


    Give the poor Archbishop some breathing room! There was an apocryphal story about Cardinal George when he first came to Chicago which boiled down to this: there was no shortage of things which needed cleaning up – at home – that it was unfair to blame him for not curing them all at once. New York didn’t get into the mess that it is overnight, and it won’t get out overnight either. I say this as one who is usually impatient for our bishops to begin somewhere. Surely getting the NY Times to change its policies will be a start. Perhaps he can also clean up liturgical discipline ( or lack of it) in his part of the world? When Abp Niederauer first started to call Mrs. Pelosi I, in my small circle, suggested that he needed supporting in his endeavors. Sure, I would like Extraordinary Form masses in every parish in the country. Who wouldn’t? Still, Abp Dolan raises an important issue in the way he challenges the Times: ridiculing those who have most helped is surely ridiculing for its own sake, not because these people deserve it. He has also served notice that he doesn’t plan to take it lying down. Good for the Archbishop!

  6. Robbie J says:

    Hey Fr. Z,
    No need to apologize. I understand how you feel, believe me. When people callously offend/attack the Catholic church I take it personally too. They might as well have called my own mother something terrible – the effect on me would be exactly the same. But then I guess we were warned, a long long time ago already – by the Man who would lay down His life for us. Keep up the good work and God bless You!

  7. zama202 says:


    With all due respect I am not asking the impossible of Archbishop Dolan – say having him celebrate the Extraordinary Form of Mass at St, Patrick’s – no, I’m not asking for anything nearly as difficult as that.

    I merely ask that he publicly challenge pro-abort “Catholics” like Andrew Cuomo, who never misses a chance to tell the world he’s Catholic, while accepting the support of pro-abortion organizations.

    All I’m asking for is the absolute minimum from my shepherd.


  8. RickMK says:

    Might it be better not to include any links to the things in the NY Times? They want people to go to their web site; it makes no difference whether the people going there agree or disagree with it, all that matters is that people go to the web site. If people didn’t go to their web site, their advertising money would dry up. There is no way to distinguish between people who go to a web site because they like it or who go there because they despise it. Visitors are visitors. It’s the same as with buying or subscribing: money is money, whether it comes from fans or enemies doesn’t make a bit of difference. Or seeing a movie or television program to see how bad it gets: getting viewers means more money for them, whether they get those viewers by pleasing them or by offending them.
    And even worse is when people leaving comments saying how wrong they are. It just increases interest in it and thus makes it more popular, not to mention showing that they’re so good, even people who disagree with them still consider it worthwhile to visit their site!
    I think when there’s a publication that bad, the last thing you should do it go to their web site. If it’s necessary to see how bad they are, then probably the best way to do it would be to do read a library’s copy or glance through a copy at a newsstand so they won’t profit by offending you.

  9. It warms my upstate NY heart to see the good archbishop reference in this fight the beloved state of Missouri–childhood home for both of us. That optimism, rooted in the Gospel, is infectious.

  10. Sedgwick says:

    The New World Order chooses to work differently nowadays than it did during its Third Reich and USSR periods. Now it is no longer “democratic” governments who are persecuting and punishing Christians directly, but their NGO mouthpieces and propaganda rags. Direct or indirect, same result.

  11. Christopher Milton says:

    Could someone explain what was offensive about the nun picture?

    I, unfortunately, did not grow up encountering nuns, so I am sure my information on them is incomplete, but I just see a nun teaching a boy to play baseball. Did nuns teach boys how to play baseball?

    The reviews and summaries of the show that I read made it sound rather innocuous. Sure it isn’t Sound of Music or Lillies of the Field, but I don’t think it is on the same level as ACT Up.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    If our leaders in the Church do not speak out, we in the pew have little power of persuasion. Thank you, Archbishop Dolan, and let’s hear more from you on public matters.

  13. TJerome says:

    Kudos to Archbishop Dolan for speaking plainly and forcefully. Why any faithful Catholic would purchase Hell’s Bible is beyond me. Frankly, its become a viewspaper for lefties.

  14. GirlCanChant says:

    @Christopher Milton: The “nun” is actually a man. I don’t even want to know the content of the play.

  15. pfreddys says:

    I just hope the Archbishop doesn’t weary of his task. If he persists there might be some enlightenment at the times. Although it will be an uphill battle; remember the times refused to print an editorial of his.

  16. irishgirl says:

    Kudos to Archbishop Dolan! Keep hammering away at the Slimes, Your Excellency!
    upstate crunchy-I’m an upstate New Yorker born and bred!

  17. The Cobbler says:

    ‘One of the posters in this “must see” exhibit is of Cardinal O’Connor, in the form of a condom, referred to as a “scumbag,”…’
    So, are these people implying that condoms are filthy evil, or am I missing something here (besides the “enlightened” notion that intelligence is holding two contradictory things as fact — didn’t Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy satirize that?)?

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