WASHINGTON BUREAU: Terry Mattingly's religion column for 11/04/09.
Maureen Dowd of the New York Times has long enjoyed flaunting her Catholic schoolgirl pedigree like a badge of honor.
Still, the Pulitzer Prize winner took her game to another level in a recent column attacking Rome for its investigation of religious orders that shelter sisters who oppose many of the church's teachings.
Wait, is "investigation" the right word?
Dowd rolled on. Reference to the fact Pope Benedict XVI was once a "conscripted member of the Hitler Youth"? Check. Reference to his Serengeti sunglasses and trademark red loafers? Check. Strategic silence on the fact that many traditionalist orders are growing, while liberal orders are shrinking? Check.
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan fired back at Dowd and her editors, going much further than the low-key criticism that mainstream religious leaders usually crank out when they are mad at the press. His "Foul Ball!" essay was as subtle as a whack with a baseball bat.
Anti-Catholicism is alive and well, he argued. Check out the New York Times.
Read the entire article on the Terry Mattingly website (new window will open).