LifeSite: Head of US Bishops’ news agency (CNS) resigns, blames ‘far right blogosphere’

In the midst of a week of bad news, comes this good news.

Firstly, I would much rather see someone convert, be faithful, turn about to a good path, than lose his job.

Next, catholic libs hate the blogosphere.

That said,…

From Lifesite:

BREAKING: Head of US Bishops’ news agency resigns, blames ‘far right blogosphere

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)—The editor-in-chief and director of the U.S. bishops’ official news service resigned Wednesday at the request of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference general secretary.

Tony Spence, who had worked for Catholic News Service since 2004, had publicly criticized religious freedom and bathroom privacy legislation on his Twitter feed.  [Gosh!  What could be his underlying motive?]

The news comes mere days after the Lepanto Institute issued a report highlighting Spence’s controversial tweets, wherein he had called religious freedom laws “pro-discrimination” and “stupid.” LifeSiteNews ran an article on the report Tuesday.

“The far right blogsphere and their troops [HAH!] started coming after me again, and it was too much for the USCCB,” Spence told the National Catholic Reporter Thursday. “The secretary general [of the U.S. bishops’ conference] asked for my resignation, because the conference had lost confidence in my ability to lead CNS.”

NCR’s Dennis Coday writes:

Bloggers from websites of The Lepanto Institute, The Church Militant and posted stories in the last week that accused Spence of issuing “public statements decrying proposed legislation in several states that would protect religious freedom and deny men pretending to be women the ‘right’ to enter women’s bathrooms.”  [Those pesky bloggers!]

According to the newspaper, following a meeting with Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, the general secretary of the bishops’ conference, “Spence was escorted from the conference office building without being allowed to speak to his newsroom staff.”


The National Catholic Reporter indicated that Spence was considered “a member of the [USCCB] senior staff.” A thirty-year veteran of Catholic journalism, he was president of the Catholic Press Association from 1994-1996, and a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications from 2006-2011. [Look how rooted this fellow was in the establishment.]

Read the whole thing there.

This was a win.

Some weeds have really long roots.  They get those roots down deep and they spread vigorously and they tenacious hang on to their turf.

Thus, catholic libs in the media and the bureaucracy.

Let catholic weeds be converted or extirpated.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    They can run, but they can’t hide. The Catholic Blogosphere to the rescue! Thank God!

  2. Elizabeth D says:

    Yep, another case of “I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling bloggers!”
    “What’s this, Scooby? Look, he’s fetched the National Catholic Fishwrap. And ewww, it’s been used and smells like old trout.”
    “Gimme that you mangy cur, if they don’t hire me themselves the classifieds will have tons of ads for jobs at other publications that support sexual deviancy! I have no worries. Hahahahaha!”

  3. Iacobus M says:

    The problem wasn’t the “far right blogosphere”, the problem was his public lack of fidelity to the teaching of Jesus Christ and His Church. A little honesty goes a long way.

  4. KateD says:

    Yes, but did you read LifeSite’s next article, “Pope defends conscientious objection, decries persecution…cross-dressed as progress”

    From LifeSite:

    “This “educated persecution” of “which not much is being said,” comes “cross-dressed as culture, cross-dressed as modernity, cross-dressed as progress,” the pontiff said during his daily morning Mass at the Vatican’s Santa Marta Hotel, where he lives.”

    Like the persecution of Christians who won’t buy into gender bending restrooms and gay marriage?

    While they may have provided the essential service of shining light on the situation with Mr. Spence, maybe the forced resignation had lass to do with far right bloggers and more to do with the regular magisterium. Perhaps the smack down came straight from the top.

  5. LeeF says:

    If we could accurately know the percentage of the whole, of the number of persons who derive a salary from Church institutions at whatever level, and who dissent broadly and deeply from the Magisterium, even we here would probably be astounded.

    All of we Catholics, including bishops and clergy, need to be held accountable for our public actions and utterances as they relate to orthodox doctrine and practice. Naturally it needs to be done in charity. And we need the blogosphere for this because there is no other group able or willing to do the job.

    Beyond that, it is just incredibly stupid for people to think that they can spread personal views on the internet at odds with the official message of the organization that employs them.

  6. Alanmac says:

    I don’t understand how Spence could actually live a double life. On the one hand, he was a standard of orthodoxy in his job, but away he was a heretic. How do these guys reconcile this duality?
    There’s lots more out there and the Church shouldn’t hesitate to fire them. It is definitely my way or the highway.

  7. Yeah, that nasty old vast right wing conspiracy…how dare they hold us to preaching and teaching with the mind of the Church…it’s so haaaarrrrrdddddd….

  8. MrTipsNZ says:

    He may be gone, but he will return to a new Reporter place , just near, with 7 Orcs to assist him and find new paths to manifest and diSpence his tricksies. Oh yes, he will have his precious.

    You can guarantee it. But prayer and grace will prove his undoing.

  9. Steve Girone says:

    I agree Father, it would have been better to read about a conversion, Having said that, this is a great step in the right direction for the US Bishops!

  10. benedetta says:

    It seems to me that the Bishops ought to be able to expect to have a place to articulate their vision to the faithful. It’s amazing that some will not acknowledge that behind this situation and the tweets, people are doing vicious things to ordinary Catholics some of whom have nothing to do with or even no strong opinions on things like bathroom legislation, and they are happy to throw them to the wolves. There are larger religious freedom issues at stake here, more than meets the eye, and I for one feel relieved knowing that someone who would happily have Catholic kids and families harassed just for identifying as Catholic and going about their everyday lives has been moved along to a new situation.

    Perhaps now the whole issue of the horrendous and bigoted boundary violations going on where people come to Catholic universities to trumpet their pro death obsessions dressed as women’s rights can now be more meaningfully covered by CNS and the like.

  11. Gail F says:

    I am not a fan of the Lepanto Institute, but when you’re right, you’re right. Sadly, what’s shocking is not that he did this, but that he actually got fired for it. So much insanity goes on.
    My only guess is that he seems to have done these tweets in his own name, not for CNS, and figured no one would read them. And apparently none of his bosses did.

  12. JesusFreak84 says:

    Poor guy can’t handle journalism having a whiff of democracy to it via blogs… *eyeroll*

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