Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

When the headline is the editorial

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Jun 03, 2019

The headline on a Boston Globe story read: Providence bishop faces backlash for homophobic tweet.

Here’s the story, in its entirety as it appeared on the site:

Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin took to Twitter Saturday to tell Catholics not to celebrate Pride Month this June, saying the event runs counter to the teachings of the faith.

“A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ ‘Pride Month’ events held in June,’’ Bishop Thomas Tobin tweeted Saturday morning.

“They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals,’’ he continued. “They are especially harmful for children.’’

Do you see anything there about a backlash? No; the Globe headline is a prediction, or maybe a wish, rather than a description of the news story. And the word “homophobic,” of course, is an editorial judgment, not supported by anything in the text.

A news headline would have conveyed the main thrust of the story: that the bishop had warned Catholics not to join in Gay Pride celebrations. But this wasn’t a news headline. It was a rallying cry. The backlash was coming—the Globe staff knew that—and the headline writer just couldn’t wait.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: feedback - Jun. 04, 2019 5:43 PM ET USA

    It becomes very obvious that pop culture has taken the opposite direction to Catholic morality. This is the time for Catholic bishops to shine brightly as the voice of moral authority of the Church. Bishops must be united on these issues, or they risk eternal damnation for themselves and for the flock under their guidance.

  • Posted by: MWCooney - Jun. 03, 2019 9:09 AM ET USA

    No surprise there--the dominant elements in our nation and culture have been totally perverted, with no longer any attempt at disguising that fact. We have become Sodom and Gomorrah writ large, and our chastisement will be proportionately terrible in its fury. Deus non irridetur!