THE MYSTERY OF THE SUBSTITUTION OF THE NEW YORK TIMES FOR USA TODAY AT THE RECENT BISHOPS MEETING IN SAN ANTONIO
WHO READS THE NEW YORK TIMES?
As you probably know from your own experience,
most large hotels supply their guests with a copy of
USA TODAY which they find on the floor outside their
hotel room door when they open it in the morning.
That is what The American Life League, one of the leading
pro-life organizations in the United States was counting on
when they bought a full page ad in USA TODAY for the issue
that would be published on the first day of the meeting
of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that was
held in San Antonio a couple of weeks ago.
The ALL ad was an appeal to the bishops of the United States
to apply and enforce the provisions of Canon 915 of the Catholic
Church’s Code of Canon Law to politicians who obstinately
support legislation enabling abortion-on-demand in the
United States. Canon 915 forbids giving Holy Communion
to politicians such as Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi,
John Kerry, et al.
ALL was shocked, shocked to discover that the hotel had
substituted and distributed copies of The New York Times
instead of the USA TODAY. Queried, the hotel staff said that
the substitution had been made at the request of the staff
of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
It would be legitimate to assume that the staff of the USCCB
had received advance information about the ALL ad and had
asked the hotel to make the substitution of the New York Times
in order to minimize the possibility that the bishops would ever
see the ALL ad.
There is another possible explanation for the switch of newspapers.
Probably a significant number of bishops, especially those from the
East Coast, are addicted to the New York Times as their primary
news source. I say that for the following reason.
For many years the NCCB/USCC (the national organizations of the
Catholic bishops of the United States before they were
consolidated into the USCCB) had just one general meeting
each year and it was always held in Washington. Bishops
from the midwest and the west complained that they always
had the burden of traveling a great distance to that meeting.
So, back in the 1980’s it was decided that we would have
two meetings a year and that the summer meeting would
be held in the west or the midwest.
For about five years the summer meeting was held at
Saint John’s College in Collegeville, Minnesota. Then
that practice was stopped and we returned to meeting in
I enquired of one of the Conference officials why we were
no longer meeting in Collegeville and I was told that there
were two reasons:
First: bishops from the big cities on the East Coast complained
that in the Minnesota farmland where Collegeville is located it was
TOO QUIET FOR THEM TO GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP,
Second: bishops from the East Coast complained that they
were not able to get and read their morning copy of THE NEW YORK TIMES