Where’s the Catholic media on Fr. Arriaga?

You’d think that a last minute decision by an Archbishop to cancel the visit of a Mexican priest to his diocese would make the Catholic news, especially when the good Archbishop makes such a strong statement about “the Centre’s support of groups in favour of abortion rights in Mexico is incompatible with the Church’s defence of the right to life from conception to natural death.”

But the two major players in Canadian Catholic media — Salt and Light and The Catholic Register — have not reported on the issue. Not surprising, since they’ve actively contributed to whitewashing Development and Peace over the last two years. But still disappointing.

While the print edition of The Catholic Register is published weekly, they post news stories on their website throughout the week. In fact, both The Catholic Register and Salt and Light posted other stories on Friday, but not the story about Archbishop Prendergast’s announcement.

Media bias can take several forms. The most obvious is when the facts are presented in a misleading way. The more insidious form is when key events and facts are simply not reported. Bias by omission. There are some stories they don’t want you to know about. You see, as long as Catholics in the pews remain in the dark, the longer D&P will be allowed to roam until the ultimate day of reckoning.

Some blogs and websites have already reported on this story. For example, Is anybody thereA Shepherd’s Voice and AngelQueen. There are also lots of high-fives going ’round in the forums at Catholic.org.

But the big guns are silent.

We should demand that the Catholic media stop holding their heads in the sand and withholding the truth from the faithful. The faithful have the right to know. They need to know. The media have no right to withhold this information. The media need to be held accountable for this.

And if they do eventually report it, I hope it won’t be the spin-doctored version being circulated by D&P.  Just where would we be without the bloggers and independent news services?


10 thoughts on “Where’s the Catholic media on Fr. Arriaga?

  1. Don’t kid, yourself, Steve. Fr. Luis Arriaga would have been a prime choice to appear on Salt + Light TV in the near future. I still don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibilities.

  2. First thing to say; I’m not speaking for the CR. I am just a humble columnist.

    I couldn’t begin to guess at Salt + Light’s publishing schedule, but the CR doesn’t usually publish anything, not even on its blog, on weekends. It really isn’t a daily, and it’s primarily a print newspaper, not an electronic journal like LifeSiteNews. Space is at a premium, and if I had to guess, I would guess that priests being targeted and going missing on the Ivory Coast rates higher than cancellation of talk by wacky pro-abort Mexican priest.

    I’m as pleased as punch that the Archbishop of Ottawa booted this character, but then everybody always knew +Prendergast was as solid as a rock. Archbishop=wonderful is not news, although hit to D&P certainly is. My guess is that Deb Gyapong is on the trail, as usual.

    The one sad thing is what this might mean for ShareLife–perhaps it would be helpful to remind people that they can earmark their ShareLife money for something NOT D&P, if this is still true. I seem to remember we have a choice about where our money goes. I’d hate to see the many great projects ShareLife supports take a hit over this.

  3. Welcome Dorothy.

    I must say that The Catholic Register’s coverage of Fr. Arriaga and Development & Peace has been very, very disappointing.

    I saw Deb’s article today, and once again, it didn’t report what people should know. I don’t blame Deb, but I certainly blame the editorial approach of the Catholic Register which avoids the hard facts of the abortion advocacy of D&P’s partners.

    Scrubbing the sites of Catholics for the Right to Decide? I guess that’s not newsworthy enough.

    I guess that’s why the blogs exist…so rank and file faithful Catholics can get ALL of the good instead of just some of them.

  4. Well, I’m sorry you’re disappointed, but I see that Deb gave you and LifeSite credit for breaking the story. This certainly may bring you more readers!

  5. Yes, we are grateful for that. It’s not Deb’s story that I am complaining about per se. It’s the no-show Catholic Press which has dropped the ball big time on this controversy.

    Sadly, there’s a deep price to pay for that. It means people don’t trust the main stream Catholic press to give them the whole truth. These aren’t speculations we’re talking about. These are hard facts they are refusing to print.

    There is a serious MORAL AND PROFESSIONAL lapse here. It’s not just D&P who needs to repent.

  6. Dorothy,

    There’s a simple way of fixing all of this bad PR the Catholic mainstream press is getting.

    Is there anyway you can approach The Catholic Register and allow me to write an opinion piece on the whole controversy?

    I guarantee you I’ll cover all the bases and make your readership numbers soar 🙂

  7. John, I just wrote you a whole long comment your site rejected. It was intensely philosophical, so now I am pretty mad.

    At any rate, I am just a humble columnist–one who has just lost her column at the Prairie Messener, by the way–so I am not feeling especially brave. What I suggest is that you write 800-1000 words on the subject, considering that your newsprint audience is going to be much older than your blog audience, and then send it to the CR Editor for consideration. Write a very polite cover email.

    One thing I will salvage from my etherized comment is that diocesan newspapers will, for a variety of reasons, never be able to do what blogs do. And the snappy, snarky tone that works brilliantly online does not work as well in a diocesan newspaper. It would be more prudent to supplement info for those papers most congenial to your point of view than to demand that they be something that they can’t be, especially not in this time of massive upheaval, when free online sites and enthusiastic unpaid bloggers are killing newspapers.

  8. Oh, and if you go ahead with your article, remember that TONE is almost everything. Channel Father Ron Rolheiser, and I’m not kidding. Your CR audience–like tens of thousands of other Catholic newspaper readers–really loves the way Father Rolheiser writes. I’ll say it again: Catholic newspapers can’t be like Catholics’ blogs. I say that as a freelancer who takes Catholics’ blogs extremely seriously.

  9. Dorothy,

    This is not about tone. I can write a very gentle piece with the appropriate tone. That’s not the issue.

    The issue is about reporting the facts or refusing to do so. For some bizarre reason, The Catholic Register has seen fit to omit them. Why?

  10. Hi Dorothy,
    Thanks for your comments.

    I’m sorry to hear that you lost your column at the Prairie Messenger. I pray that the Lord may provide for your needs. If you have some free time, you may want to start your own blog, if just to avoid getting “rusty” and to keep getting exposure. I mean that in all sincerity, without sarcasm.

    God bless.

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