Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Boston felt that a special mass at St. Cecilia's Church in Boston to "commemorate Boston Pride 2011" would give parishioners and the public the false impression that the Church was endorsing the city's annual Gay Pride festivities and its accompanying messages (e.g., acceptance of gay 'marriage'). It therefore asked the parish to postpone the liturgy to a different date. The priest, obedient to his local bishop, obliged.
End of story? Not for the Boston Globe.
The paper executed what can only be described as a weeks-long journalistic hissy fit. For starters, after the postponement, the Globe spent four days in a row covering what it called an "uproar" over the decision. The "uproar," of course, was simply a case of the Catholic Church upholding what it has always taught for the past 2,000 years. (Horrors!)
The first day's article was prominently placed on the front page of the paper's Metro section (Sat., 6/11/11). Although it quoted gay activists as "not surprised" by the Church's decision, the Globe didn't let up on its coverage.
It followed with a second (Sun., 6/12/11) and a third day (Mon., 6/13/11) of news coverage.
And it case readers didn't see the story the previous three days, the Globe made sure everyone heard about it on the fourth day. Day four's coverage (Tue., 6/14/11) included not only a news story, but an editorial, a dizzy opinion piece from the awful Kevin Cullen, and a flattering online video (no longer posted) of the priest who originally agreed to the liturgy. (Although one can say it is hardly flattering to portray a priest who gives the impression that the Mass is more about himself than the Eucharist. But I digress.)
Then the Globe posted two follow-up articles (1, 2) on Sat., 6/18/11, and Mon., 6/20/11. (The mass was rescheduled.)
Now, weeks after the original brouhaha, the Globe has featured a huge pro-gay 'marriage', anti-Catholic article on the top-center of its front page (Mon., 6/27/11). (If you don't believe it's huge, here is an image of the cover. Pretty large, eh?)
The predictable article profiles gay individuals who claim they are Catholic yet have felt "hurt" and "anguish" from official Church teaching and pronouncements. The article also unsurprisingly rails against the Catholic Church's teaching about homosexuality.
From all of this coverage in the past few weeks, one would get the impression that the Globe thinks that the Catholic Church is alone in its opposition to gay marriage. Meanwhile, Orthodox Judaism, Islam, and many Protestant churches also hold the same disapproval. The paper has not profiled any of these organizations in the same negative manner, however.
The message from the Globe is clear: gay 'marriage' is good, faithful Catholicism is bad.
(Additional note: There is an interesting element to an accompanying online video to the Globe's front-page piece (Mon., 6/27/11). For the video, the paper interviewed two gay men who attend Boston's aforementioned St. Cecilia. Both men not only rail against Church teaching but explicitly say that a main reason that they remain active parishioners is to "change the Church." There's a lot to swallow there. And for serious Catholics, this is somewhat sobering.)
-- Dave Pierre is the author of the book, Double Standard: Abuse Scandals and the Attack on the Catholic Church. Dave is also the creator of TheMediaReport.com and is a contributing writer to NewsBusters.