David McCarthy (Pitt News) wonders why a priest at the Catholic Newman Center
critiqued his writing. Perhaps this sloppy and uninformative segment
demonstrates why. By the way, this
article is a follow-up to another
Sitting down with a priest at the Catholic Newman Center,
I politely asked the clergyman’s opinion [about why many Catholics would
not vote for Kerry]. He started talking about the church’s views on
abortion and that despite how the media portrayed them, Catholics tend
to be relatively split between voting for Kerry and Bush.
He reminded me of the awesome knowledge members of the clergy
possessed and how, as a small child, hearing them speak always comforted
me. I even started to feel a little embarrassed for having taken such a
swipe at the Catholic Church in the first place.
But then the priest’s tone changed, and he started to question my
abilities as a writer. He told me that my piece was unconvincing and
even offered me some tips on how I could make it as a journalist.
I left the Newman Center feeling much the same way I did when I left
Catholic school: bad about myself. How could a Kerry supporter, a Bush
supporter, a Catholic and her mother, a celebrity and a superhero all
agree with and respect my writing if I lacked the ability to effectively
convey an opinion? I sighed when I knew the answer. While the Catholic
Church may offer holy teaching dating back to Christ, it hasn’t been in
touch with humanity for thousands of years. If I had presented the same
column to a priest in a different era, I probably would have been burned
at the stake or excommunicated.
I wonder which priest he interviewed. I wonder what he said about
the Church’s positions on abortion and pro-choice Catholic politicians.
I wonder what he said about why Catholics were split. If he was so awed
by the knowledge the clergy possess, why didn’t he share some of it with
his readers? Why did the priest’s criticism of his writing change his
feelings about the wisdom imparted to him?
The Pitt News allows readers to comment on articles. I invite my
readers, especially those in the Pittsburgh area, to respond to
McCarthy’s “journalism”. By the way, should Mr. McCarthy find his way
back here and criticize my writing, I won’t be upset. I’m not the one
pretending to be a journalist, writing for a rag that pretends to be a