unoriginal errors

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 17, 2006

When pro-life activists in Boston picketed a fundraiser at which Catholic Charities honored pro-abortion Mayor Tom Menino, Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara was scornful of the "zealots" involved. She said:

These folks do not just miss the Latin Mass; they miss Cardinal Bernard Law.
Do they really? At first glance you might wonder why the demonstrators' views regarding the Latin Mass and the former archbishop have any relevance at all here. But then you realize that McNamara is painting with a very broad brush. She continues:
There's Bill Cotter, pining for the good old days when Law would allow Operation Rescue to use Catholic churches as staging areas for illegal blockades of abortion clinics.
Now that really is interesting. You see, Cardinal Law forbade Operation Rescue to use Catholic churches as staging areas for blockades.

Here McNamara is guilty of an elementary logical error. She assumes that since she doesn't like Operation Rescue, and she doesn't like Cardinal Law, it must therefore follow that Operation Rescue and Cardinal Law were close allies. Not so. Readers of the Boston Globe might recall that Cardinal Law eventually came out against prayers outside abortion clinics, to say nothing of blockades.

Evidently Eileen McNamara doesn't read her own newspaper too carefully. But some people do. In his own regulary propaganda column, Father Richard McBrien also wrote about the demonstration in Boston. His effort included this paragraph:

These ultra-conservative activists, for whom abortion is the only moral and political issue that counts, not only miss the Latin Mass but also the former archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, who allowed Operation Rescue, a militant anti-abortion organization, to use Catholic churches as staging areas of illegal blockades of abortion clinics.

Sounds more than a bit familiar, doesn't it? Striking how Father McBrien picks up not only McNamara's language, but even her errors, and makes them his own.

(Tip to Dom for being the first to blog the similarities between the 2 columns.)

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 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Eleazar - Jan. 19, 2006 7:51 AM ET USA

    How typically's only zealotry if you disagree with their position.

  • Posted by: Hammer of Heretics - Jan. 18, 2006 2:27 PM ET USA

    Fr. McBrien complaining about over-the-top rhetoric is so very, very rich. Love the call to disobedience he's made. Is there a Bishop who has responsibility for that error-monger? He's like a free radical doing massive, unconstrained cellular damage to the Body of Christ. Someone should take away his keyboard until he learns the Catholic faith.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2006 6:44 PM ET USA

    As one who participated in Operation Rescue in Boston, in blows my mind that these people can be so far from the truth. None of them ever witnessed the activities of what went on and haven't a clue of the relationship Rescue had with Cardinal Law.

  • Posted by: Meg Q - Jan. 17, 2006 6:36 PM ET USA

    Gee, that makes Cdl Law still "worse" than Bp Grahmann in Dallas - for all of Grahmann's mishandling of the pedophile portfolio (among others), he's been very pro-life, founded a model pro-life committee and put his weight behind it, used to come out monthly to pray the rosary at a different abortion clinic, channeled money to pro-life efforts, etc. Gives him *some* redeeming features. Still a bungler, though.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2006 12:00 PM ET USA

    See what happens when your fingers type faster than the workings of your mind? Although it is a universal problem, for some reason, perhaps locked in the mysteries of DNA, it seems especially prevalent among those of the Left persuasion. It is treatable through a more balanced approach. But that may require the sufferers to move Right. In the case of certain people, e.g., Ted Kennedy, it is not amenable any longer to treatment except perhaps at Lourdes.