Tom Roberts, editor of the liberal weekly newspaper National Catholic Reporter wrote an editorial column yesterday expressing his resentment with the conservative National Review for blowing up a story the Reporter was preparing against Catholic leader Deal Hudson.
On Wednesday, Hudson, editor of the Catholic monthly Crisis Magazine, wrote a column called “The Price of Politics: Getting ahead of a potential distraction,” warning that his past was being dug up for political reasons — “in an attempt to undermine the causes I have fought for: the defense of Church teachings on life, the priesthood, the authority of the Pope, and the need for faithful Catholic participation in politics.”
Hudson’s head start prompted Roberts to post an angry editorial column in which he says it is “intriguing that the National Review would allow its Web site to be used in such a fashion.”
“The National Review allowed Hudson to characterize the unpublished story, which was still in the process of being written –writes Roberts- as an unfair look at his personal life.”
The four-page article that was “still in the process of being written,” appeared suddenly on Thursday at the National Catholic Reporter’s website.
The story, as National Review’s column predicted, was centered on Hudson’s past moral flaws down to the details.
Roberts justified the article, written by the Reporter’s correspondent in Washington, by saying that Hudson “is a public figure, seeking the spotlight and rubbing elbows regularly with the most powerful in the land,” who “wields his power with a bravado that rarely shuns the limelight.”
Responding ironically to Roberts’ justification, Catholic League President William Donohue said also on Thursday that “effective today, the Catholic League has a new requirement for all future employees: all candidates must show proof of being immaculately conceived, that is, they must demonstrate that they were conceived without sin.”
“You see, unlike the puritans at the NCR, we at the Catholic League are sinners,” he added.
According to Donohue, Tom Roberts “cannot defend a single Catholic teaching on sexuality. I know, because I made this charge to him on national TV and he could not respond.”
“Yet he is the same person who says the reason he decided to ‘out’ Deal Hudson is because Hudson had criticized Ono Ekeh, founder of Catholics for Kerry,” he also said.
“Take note, people: this is their understanding of what it means to be Catholic,” Donohue concluded.