Written by Bernie F. Carlin

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

image for Reporter Curiously Unable to Find Disloyal Catholic for Comment. Archbishop Sean O'Malley was not criticized by anyone in the parish.

10-year reporter Jack Miller, a well-known journalist with a solid reputation for tracking down useful quotes, was found in a state of shock and confusion this morning, claiming that he had been unable to find a disloyal Catholic to quote on a story he was doing about a church closing in the Archdiocese of Boston.

“I just don’t get it” Miller is reported to have said. “Every time anything happens in the Catholic Church, we reporters have always been able to find Catholics to criticize the Church hierarchy, no matter how dissident or unorthodox they may be”. Miller stated that he had worked nearly the entire day before trying to find a Catholic, ordained or not, to speak out against the Archdiocese. “Heck,” Miller said, “It got to the point where I didn’t even care whether or not the criticism had anything to do with the church closing, as long as somebody said something to criticize someone in the hierarchy, be it the Bishop, the Pope, or even a local priest”.

The phenomenon puzzles other reporters, none of whom have ever had any trouble finding Catholics willing to criticize the actions of the Church authorities. Many even keep a list of known dissidents in their offices, sometimes listing the particular kind of dissension from Rome. “Oh yes,” said one anonymous reporter, “I have a rolodex full of dissident laypeople, priests, and organizations. Whether the issue is homosexuality, the ordination of women, the Papacy, church closings, or Archbishop O’Malley, I know exactly whom to contact”.

Miller’s confusion is justified, as he himself was known to have used dissident Catholics as sources in many other stories. Last month, he contacted an organization dedicated to bringing the Church around to homosexual marriage, and two months before that Miller quoted an anonymous priest who had been removed from his parish for his continuing insistence on performing baptisms “In the name of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier”.

Reasons for this strange phenomenon are not yet known. The president of the parish council of the church in question is quoted as saying “yes, we do have grievances, but we would prefer to discuss them politely and respectfully with Church authorities. The Archdiocese has been very helpful in this difficult situation, and we do not wish to show disrespect to Archbishop O’Malley or the Church as a whole”. This unusual attitude has some reporters feeling hurt and confused.

Although some reporters are dismayed, believing that Miller is now unable to write a “balanced” story with more than one “viewpoint”, others say this is a good thing. An anonymous Catholic said “it is when reporters quote these dissident Catholics that they show real ‘bias’. For too long, these loudmouth heretics have been making fools of themselves in the newspapers without ever being labeled as the disloyal troublemakers that they are”.

It is not yet known if Miller will finish his story.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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