Click here to advertise on

the grass roots magisterium

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | May 04, 2010

When you see a sentence like this one, it's time to tighten your seatbelt, because you're in for a wild ride:

No organization has done more to elevate the moral stature of the Catholic Church in the United States than The Boston Globe.

Not the Sisters of Charity. Not the Holy Name Society. The greatest contribution to the Catholic Church in the US-- to the moral stature of the Church, mind you-- came from the newspaper that fully exposed the sex-abuse scandal. Thus the best thing that ever happened to the Catholic Church in America was the worst thing that ever happened to the Catholic Church in America. You follow the logic? Read on. 

Nicholas Kristof, holding forth in the New York Times, assures us that he has great respect for the Catholic Church. Not because of the sacraments or the doctrines, and certainly not because of the hierarchy.

It may be easy at a New York cocktail party to sniff derisively at a church whose apex is male chauvinist, homophobic and so out of touch that it bars the use of condoms even to curb AIDS.

It "may be" easy, Nick? Methinks you've attended one or two cocktail parties at which exactly such derisive sniffing has taken place. Come to think of it, I'd guess that a certain amount of sniffing goes on in the editorial offices of the New York Times.

But you won't find Nicholas Kristof sniffing. He respects the Catholic Church, and all the good deeds done by Catholic individuals whose causes match the high moral standards of the Boston Globe (which, coincidentally, is owned by the New York Times).

The Vatican certainly supports many charitable efforts, and some bishops and cardinals are exemplary, but overwhelmingly it’s at the grass roots that I find the great soul of the Catholic Church.

Ah yes, the grass roots. We know how the New York Times loves the ordinary people, the blue-collar ethnic Catholics. You see, dear reader, there are good Catholics: thinking Catholics, active Catholics. They read the Times. They take instruction from the Globe. Nicholas Kristof thinks it important to admonish other readers that they must not mock the "great soul" of this Catholic Church. As for those aspects of the Church that have not yet been penetrated by the wisdom of the Times and its affiliates-- the stodgy hierarchy, the inconvenient moral teachings-- just keep sniffing.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($33,685 to go):
$35,000.00 $1,314.54
96% 4%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - May. 05, 2010 8:43 AM ET USA

    The best condemnation one can do to the NY Times is to ignore it. After all, it's main market is contracepting secularists, some of whom call themselves Catholic and many of whom do not. They will extinct themselves in a generation or two and the NY Times may extinct itself sooner than that. Let them go quietly into that dark night.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 04, 2010 8:19 PM ET USA

    "Thus the best thing that ever happened to the Catholic Church in America was the worst thing that ever happened to the Catholic Church in America. You follow the logic? Read on." Careful, Diogenes! Remember the Cruxifiction....

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - May. 04, 2010 7:20 PM ET USA

    As little as I like it, it was the Wanderer that was first at the plate when it came to attacking the practice of moving pederasts around dioceses, and between dioceses. Not the Globe or Times.

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - May. 04, 2010 6:57 PM ET USA

    Damning with faint praise is what he's doing. With 'friends' like Kristoff, who needs enemies? But, given the source of the article, and the publisher, I'm of a mind to say, "Move along, move along; nothing to see here."

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

Ezra the Odd: A Lesson in Fidelity? 9 hours ago
Famous actors bring the New Testament to dramatic life in this audio Bible September 1
Preparing for the Jubilee of Mercy September 1
Final Liturgical Year volume for 2014-2015 now available August 31
Church Fathers: The Third Century and the School of Alexandria August 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5
Pope Francis: SSPX priests will licitly and validly absolve sins during Jubilee of Mercy CWN - September 1