Play-gate: Archbishop Dolan Vs. The N.Y. Times

Dolan Outraged At Paper's Treatment Of Catholics In Play Review

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — He leads 2.5 million Catholics, and on Thursday night Timothy Dolan was using his position to take on a media giant.

The archbishop is angry at the New York Times, and he’s not being shy about showing it.

Dolan sat down with CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey for an exclusive one-on-one interview.

Once again, Dolan and the New York Times are at odds.

“I see that as a real insensitivity towards … towards Catholics,” Dolan said.

Cardinal O'Connor image

This image is part of an exhibit that has Archbishop Timothy Dolan seeing red. (Photo: CBS 2)

Archbishop Dolan is blasting the paper for what he calls a double standard when it comes to race, religion, and the treatment of Catholics. Specifically, an exhibit that includes a severely critical image of Cardinal O’Connor and a picture of a nun.

“In a gaudy, obnoxious, suggestive pose,” Dolan said.

With the paper’s positive review of the play about nuns in movies.

“Why give publicity to that? You would never give publicity to somebody who did that to an Islamic revered figure or to Jesse Jackson. They just would never think of doing that,” Dolan said.

Then there’s an exhibit by the group ACT-UP and an image of a beloved Cardinal. Even though the Times review never mentions the picture, Dolan is upset with the recommendation to go see an exhibit he calls offensive to Catholics.

“To have a poster there and say, oh look, in this enlightened exhibit that everybody ought to see, a picture of Cardinal O’Connor comparing him to a condom and calling him a scumbag. They wouldn’t get away with that with any other community,” Dolan said.

The Times said, “While Archbishop Dolan may not like the play or the art under consideration, The Times’ job is to report on and review such cultural events, even if some may disagree with the content of the art work.”

Back where the play got out, offensiveness, like beauty was in the eyes of the beholder.

“There was something there that was offensive to everybody, of any religion,” one person said.

“Nobody took it seriously,” another person added.

But Dolan is taking it seriously, saying he’s not above humor or criticism, he just wants an equal playing field from one of the most respected papers in the country.

“If they’re going to say, ‘Oh no, we do that all the time,’ I’m going to say, show me when you do it to the Islamic community, to the Jewish community, to the African-American community, to the gay community. Show me when you do it there. They don’t do it because they know that’s out of bounds,” Dolan said. 

Last year, Dolan ripped columnist Maureen Dowd, claiming one of her columns was filled with anti-Catholic caricatures.

“The Times was very anti-Catholic in the 19th century,” City University of New York professor Paul Moses told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

However, Moses said he doesn’t think the paper has an anti-Catholic bias these days, but added printing the picture of O’Connor was a terrible lapse in editorial judgment.

“That’s a really scathing image of Cardinal O’Connor,” Moses said. “I think that was a lapse with the Times, not that they’re anti-catholic. Maybe it’s more they simply didn’t do a very good job on that story.”

Dolan said the Church loves humor, likes to poke fun at itself, and isn’t above criticism.

But in the archbishop’s mind, there’s a civil way to do it and he said the boundary was crossed in these two instances.

  • Mr. Hitchens

    The NYT is right on! Catholic perverts can’t handle the light of day. Religion in general is such a joke. I look forward to the day that religion is suppressed in this county! THERE IS NO GOD!

    • Mr Brown

      Hope your fire insruance is paid up~~

  • Peter Lagonowicz


  • Lisa

    Thank You!! Archbishop Dolan. It is plain to see why NYT is assaulting the Catholic Church. Why would satan and his minions bother with anything that was not authentic. Let us rejoice in this persecution, and let us collectively stand with our Sheperds and send the message of a clear and resounding NO, to satan. Long Live CHRIST THE KING!!!

  • Joseph Sciame

    Deo gratias! It is about time that someone at the level of the Archbishop of NY stood up and tall to the NYT. Enough is enough, and we all know it. For years and years, the NYT has consistently not treater Catholics as they would other religions and all know it. But, this time and for one of he first I can recall, a leader of our Church has said it the way it must be said – ENOUGH!

  • Paul

    You’ll notice CBS found one of the worst pictures of Archbishop Dolan it could find. Way to go, CBS! You are right up there with The New York Times

  • Karla

    Well done Archbishop Dolan for speaking the truth!!!!

  • Karla

    Everything Archbishop Dolan is saying is true.

  • Alice

    We live in one sick society; it’s time to change it.

  • Mike

    Time for the Archbishop to do an op ed. and see if the times will print it now.

    • Dunstan Harding

      The archbishop needs to stop playing to the Catholic galleries and to Rome. His red hat is in the bag. No need for more gestures to please the pope.

  • Rose

    This guy’s comments are absolutely brilliant. He’s so perceptive. He must be on the New York Times editorial staff!

  • Rose

    This guy is a complete moron.

    • Rose

      Someone removed the comment I replied to– my comments are not directed toward Archbishop Dolan. The Archbishop is completelty correct.
      This site is corrupted and censored against the Catholic Church.
      Put the comment I responded to back.

    • Karla

      No he is not. What an ignorant thing to say.

  • Rosa

    You are a true moron.

  • Do Re Me

    Muslims marry their daughters off at age ten. In Africa they marry them off at age eight. In this country that’s called pedophilia. If this is your calling, why don’t you travel to Asia and Africa and fight for the millions of Muslim children who are victims of Pedophilia. That’ll give you something to do to get rid of thast hatred you’ve built up in your heart, Lala

  • Maureen

    The NYT owes Archbishop Dolan and every Catholic an apology immediately for the pictures THEY chose to print. Every Catholic person, university, organization and charity should cancel their newspaper subscription today.
    The Wall Street Journal has more class.

  • American Patriot

    Pedophile hypocrites deserve to be exposed. All the Truth fit print.

    • Shaniqua

      All the News FIT to print. Those pictures weren’t FIT for print. And no one with any class or common sense would think otherwise.

  • Francis W. Porretto

    The Times is a gutless organization, and superannuated to boot. Like the rest of the media elite, it will only defame or attack targets it knows won’t fight back. In the United States, that’s mostly Christians, particularly Catholics.

    If the Times had reprinted the Jyllands-Posten cartoons of Muhammad, it might have a leg to stand on. Those were an authentic example of free speech, the response to which was lethal violence and a protracted attempt to get the government of Denmark to ban criticism of Islam. But the gutless wonders on its editorial board would never have dreamed of doing anything that courageous. They’ve earned the contempt of every freedom-loving individual on Earth.

    • Mary Jo


  • Widow Maker

    All religions are nonsense

  • Sister Mary Joseph Schultz

    The Archbishop is absolutely correct to be infuriated. Catholic bashing is the only politically correct bias out there. Yes, the Church is flawed and we admit it. We are made up of human beings. But this so-called “art” is offensive and tasteless for everyone and does not deserve publicity at all. Why can’t people create beauty that will uplift others?

    • Have Some Sense Please


  • fern

    John Devine: and what have the Muslims been harboring?
    Yet the NYT is pushing for a mosque across the street from ground zero.
    Being a pedophile victim I can live with, but being a victim of a Muslim I can die with.

    • LaLa

      How about your kids being the victim of a pedophile? Can you live with that? If so, the Catholic church is for you! As for me, a formerly brainwashed catholic, I’d rather have a mosque any day.

      • EV

        I completely agree with Archbishop Dolan and as a newly converted Catholic, I cannot help but notice the lack of respect that Catholics get in the media specifically in the US. The media in general is sensitive towards the views and depiction of any other religion, race or creed except Catholicism. I think I have an idea of what the reason is but the truth is it doesn’t matter, as I said it wasn’t long ago I didn’t really practice any religion and I can clearly see both sides. The bottom line is that it is not acceptable and we need to step up as Catholic and as Americans so that the NY Times does not get away with things like this.

        • fern

          Dear EV I’m sorry to hear something went bad in your life and you had to turn to “God” for help.
          To understand the problem between protestant Christians and Roman Catholics, please check out the religion wars in Europe;
          Belgium is a Roman Catholic country and the protestants keep a low profile, the Netherlands is a protestant country and the Roman Catholics keep a low profile.
          Persecution of the protestants in France stopped at around 1789, and the French revolution however they were ostracized for a long time after that.

      • fern

        LALA do you have any reading problems?
        Also when I was six I was abducted by a pedophile /not a priest/ and I lived with it
        I would not survive a Muslim with a bomb.

      • Karla

        What the victims of pedophilia from non priests?

        The Catholic Church has no higher rate of abuse than any other religious institution.

  • Anna Daniher

    It’s time the Catholic Church demand the same respect as other religions and groups who are occasionaly offended. the Cardinal is right. Back when Mayor Guiliano defended what was called an art exhibit (a crucifix in human urine), no one spoke up. It was “art” and therefore acceptable. Well, it’s not. Neither are the pictures that the Cardianl finds objectionalbe. I thank him for bringing this to the attention of the public. Strange how there isn’t a word about it on this morning’s news. .

    • Bob

      The Catholic Church is US. Where are the upset Catholics? CANCEL THE NYT.

  • Rebecca

    The archbishop has spoken the truth. Unfortunately, slanted reporting and Catholic bashing dominates in the NYT. The question is why anyone reads it anymore! Of course, it will be interesting to see IF the main stream media even picks the story up. Juan Williams got fired by NPR for doing far less and possibly offending Muslims. Instead of correcting it’s “reporters”, the NYT defends them. But, this is nothing new.

  • fern

    People need religion and that’s unfortunate besides that he’s right, sometimes I think the NYT is pro Islam, like pushing for the Manhattan mosque and digging deep to find something on the pedophile priests front.

    • C. J.

      It’s unfortunate that you don’t have faith, without it your life is worthless.

      • fern

        C.J. My life is worthless and yours is worthwhile.
        Is it worthwhile to accept a dogma without a critical thought, without reasoning just because you’ve been told? Convincing yourself and hoping that whoever told you there was a place for you in heaven or in hell is the truth?

        Is it worthless to think, doubt, reason and question yourself about the meaning of life?

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