An article about something good that the Archdiocese of Boston is doing opens with a curious sentence:
At a time when financial troubles are partly to blame for the closing of more than a quarter of its parishes, the Boston archdiocese is expanding a program to give pregnant women alternatives to abortion.
Why the reference to the financial problems and closing parishes? Are they suggesting that instead of offering abortion alternatives we should keep one of these parishes open? Nevermind that the cost of the expanded program is a pittance compared to running a parish, it continues to conveniently ignore the fact that parish closings weren’t just about money, but about parishes being places where we don’t need a parish anymore.
Journalists and their editors get stuck in templates. A few years ago, every news story about Apple Computer used the adjective “beleagured” to describe it even though the company was not beleagured. It was a template and thus an easy shorthand for journalists to use. The same with financial troubles and parish closings for Boston. A couple of years ago, the template was “Scandal-plagued.” The template is used whether it has anything to do with the content of the story or not.