TO THE EDITORS OF THE STAR LEDGER

I'm doubtful that this will be published in THE STAR LEDGER Letters to the Editor page, but I probably have more readers here than they do anyway:

To the Editors:

I had stopped subscribing to The Star Ledger– sadly I might add after a lifetime of it being delivered to my parents home growing up and then being a reader in my adulthood –  about two years ago mainly because I believed your paper had lost any objectivity, balance or journalistic integrity that I expected from a newspaper.  I suppose I’m not the only one since quite unexpectedly, The Star Ledger started appearing on my front porch – without my purchasing or subscribing. 

Sadly not only have I seen things have not changed, but gotten worse.  In the one week of receiving your paper, your obvious hatred towards the Catholic Church is remarkable.  You give front-page prominence to allegations against a priest in a tone that has already convicted him.  You write a laughable (well it would be laughable were it not so offensive) editorial where you simply malign all Catholic priests as “miscreant” pedophiles;  bashing the Catholic Bishops for cracking down on women religious (something that’s been long overdue) for not accurately transmitting the whole Gospel message rather than what has been the norm for some of them:  selectively choosing what pieces they wish to transmit relegating them to being social workers rather than women religious.

I suppose one reason for this continued attack (implied in your editorial) is because the Catholic Church has chosen to actually defend herself and pointed out the assault on it’s religious liberties in dramatic arrogance by the Obama administration.  Perhaps Catholics defending their rights  is considered a threat to your hoped for outcome in the November elections.  

As a priest, I try to be a man of hope.  I would hope you’d do some soul-searching and consider if you’ve let your political biases completely color your coverage and I want to leave the door open to the possibility that maybe you would return to trying to be a bit more fair-minded and objective in your coverage or have a remote understanding to topics you’re addressing.  But I have to be realistic and note this has been a gradual, consistent decline for a once great paper.  I suppose I’ll take solace in the fact that your relevance in the public discourse will continue to wane until you can no longer even afford to simply give away a paper that no one wants to read.

Father Jim Chern,
Montclair, New Jersey

3 comments:

MARY CAPUTO said...

Father Jim - This letter to the editor is excellent. It's so maddening to know that this hate filled media is delivered daily to people's homes and on the internet. Seeing this type of attack in print somehow gives it power and that scares me. The Church is being attacked very severely in this newspaper and in every other public forum. Here in Worcester, MA there is a female columnist who condemns the Church constantly. On Easter she submitted a particularly vicious editorial dredging up priestly abuse yet again. This past Sunday she chose to "expose" the annulment process. As a former Catholic she really should know better than to state that annulments are granted by favoritism and other abuses. I sought an annulment of my first marriage 20 years ago. It was a just cause and I was so grateful to be able to correct a wrong and to return to the sacraments.

Thank you for speaking up so brilliantly. Your goodness speaks more eloquently and reaches more people than the Star Ledger ever could.

Jon Hayes said...

Hey FJ,

Thank you for this letter to the editor. I read the Star Ledger this morning and was disgusted by their biased and poorly thought-out attack against the Catholic Church for wanting to improve the LCWR. I pray that your letter, even if not published, will at least help them to realize the error of their ways.

God bless,
Jon Hayes

Deacon brian said...

Fr. Jim -

Thank you for your post. I too have been receiving the Star-Ledger for many years - and I too am very tired of all the attacks on my Church. As a Catholic Christian, and as a Catholic Deacon, the attacks hit very close to home. My excuse for tolerating the attacks has been "where will I get the local news" ?

My excuse is lame. I will find the news somewhere else. I will do the same as you and cancel my subscription.