The Bias of Laurie Goodstein

Catholic World News notes that the New York Times “has rehashed the story that was widely reported in May, about the criticism of Kansas City’s Bishop Robert Finn that arose after the arrest of a local priest, Father Shawn Ratigan, on child-pornography charges,” even though the story, which refers to the case as “painfully fresh,” contains almost no new information.

Apropos of nothing, the piece’s author, Laurie Goodstein, drops into the story a couple of paragraphs highlighting Bishop Finn’s conservatism. These paragraphs explain why she felt the need to do the story:

“Bishop Finn, who was appointed in 2005, alienated many of his priests and parishioners, and won praise from others, when he remade the diocese to conform with his traditionalist theological views. He is one of few bishops affiliated with the conservative movement Opus Dei.

He canceled a model program to train Catholic laypeople to be leaders and hired more staff members to recruit candidates for the priesthood. He cut the budget of the Office of Peace and Justice, which focused on poverty and human rights, and created a new Respect Life office to expand the church’s opposition to abortion and stem cell research. He set up a parish for a group of Catholics who prefer to celebrate the old Tridentine Mass in Latin.”

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