A Relief From Negative Half-Truths

By Marlene Reid Published in the Pioneer Press on July 27, 2014

Was the Editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press trying to project the appearance of objectivity by printing the article, They listen serve, counsel, inspire. In other words they’re priests, (7/20/14)? Calculated or not, the article was a welcome relief from the negative, half-truths that have been printed this past year regarding Catholic clergy in this Archdiocese.

The article, Nienstedt misconduct inquiry underway (Pioneer Press, 7/2/14) is just one example of character assassination by half-truths. The article stated that prosecutors declined to charge Nienstedt for misconduct of a former charge, then added the details of this obviously false charge. The reporter, familiar with the history, knew full well why the Archbishop hadn’t been charged – because investigators found that the claim was baseless, and completely exonerated the Archbishop. What did needless repetition of a false charge serve, except somehow raise a question of guilt by the-power-of-suggestion? The editor, at least, should have caught this biased reporting. Is the Pioneer Press this desperate to sell newspapers?

More articles about priests who faithfully “listen, serve, counsel, inspire” would better serve Pioneer Press readers. Consider kudos for the almost 500 Archdiocesan Catholic priests who currently spend their lives for the good of our whole community, rather than continuing to focus on the relatively small handful of offending priests over the past 50 years. As the article about the six priests clearly points out, it is the community at large, not only the Catholic community that they serve selflessly.

Christ established His Church with these words, “Thou art Peter (the first Pope); and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Our good priests help keep “the gates of hell” from our doors.

The 7/20/14 Pioneer Press article, Despite crisis, despite questions, they’re still Catholic. Here’s why, is also commendable. The article reflects the faith of the believer who holds onto eternal truths, regardless of falls, setbacks, and human weaknesses. Dredging up and reporting on such weaknesses going back 40 – 50 years, does not solve any purpose other than creating the illusion of an epidemic of corruption in the Church, and fanning the flames of anti-Catholic bigotry.

Marlene Reid, St. Paul
The writer is a board member of the Catholic Defense League

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