Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Neither Catholic nor priests:" Is the Boston Globe starting to get a clue on "women's ordination?"

On Friday, the headline blared:

3 women to be ordained Catholic priests in Boston

Somehow, The Globe got the memo that there ain't no such animal as Catholic "women priests"...even in Boston.

In yesterday's "For the record" section (the title of which is a euphemism for "We screwed up") we read:

The main headline on a report in yesterday's City and Region section may have led to the erroneous impression that three women will be recognized as priests by the Roman Catholic Church after their ordination tomorrow. As the report and a subordinate headline made clear, the women's status after the ordination is a matter of dispute. Although the organization hosting the ceremony will consider the women to be Catholic priests, the Vatican and the Archdiocese of Boston will regard them as having excommunicated themselves and therefore as being neither Catholic nor priests.

Close, but no cigar. The publication has a ways to go. The above was carefully noted as a "clarification" rather than a "correction," and the women's status after the sham ceremony is not a matter of dispute at all. Within its own "clarification," The Globe errs when it writes the words "after their ordination." (Even the AP has taken to putting the word "ordination" in quotation marks.)

And it wasn't just the headline that needed correcting, excuse me, "clarifying."

In the body of the story, I count at least five instances of inaccuracies identical to the story's headline (which called for "clarification").

  • The three being ordained are women.
  • But the women being ordained...
  • The women are to be ordained...
  • Among those already ordained is Jean Marchant...
  • The ordination will be Sunday afternoon...
C'mon, Globe Guys. You can get it right if you'd only try!

Sources are here and here.

(And if you want to read the gory details of today's "ceremony," here ya go.)