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CatholicCulture.org on LifeSiteNews

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Feb 28, 2013

We have received some inquiries about my criticism yesterday of the way some Catholic media organizations handled Fr. F. Dariusz Oko’s paper, “Standing with the Pope against Homoheresy” (see The Homosexual Network: News, No News, and Exploitation). The most important question is whether my comments reflect a negative attitude toward LifeSiteNews.

I certainly did not intend that to be the case. I personally scan the LifeSiteNews headlines frequently because I regard the organization as an important source of pro-life information. I have felt compelled to write critically about something they reported very seldom over the years—in fact, exactly once. The people at LifeSiteNews care deeply about the right to life and their Catholic faith. They play a significant role in the pro-life movement. All of us at CatholicCulture.org regard them as allies in the contemporary culture wars.

Opinions which fit our own preconceptions may seem self-confirming, but opinions are not evidence. Because the Oko story was handled badly in several quarters, as if it were a blockbuster news exposé that explained most or all of the problems in the Catholic Church, our own readers began to ask us how we had missed this massive story. I wrote yesterday’s City Gates piece to indicate: (a) this was not a massive story, but rather simply one man’s opinion; (b) it contained no new information and exposed nothing; and (c) we hadn’t missed it at all, but had given it the minimal attention it deserved a week earlier.

This is the extent of our disagreement with LifeSiteNews; it is very much a disagreement among friends. Here at CatholicCulture.org, we do not mind our friends taking occasional exception to something we’ve written. Indeed, such give and take may help us fulfill our mission more effectively in the future. As Phil Lawler put it earlier today, when friends argue among themselves, they go out for a beer afterwards. Just so.

I have little doubt that our friends at LifeSiteNews will view our differences on this issue in exactly that spirit. It was, in any case, the spirit I intended to convey to an organization which does a great deal of good day by day. Above all, CatholicCulture.org is not recommending that readers avoid LifeSiteNews because of our criticism of this one story. That was not the point at all.

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