What has happened to WorldNetDaily?

What has happened to WorldNetDaily?

For several years now WorldNetDaily.com has been a reliable source of conservative news on the Web, a natural ally on the cultural battlefield and a place with no discernable religious sectarian leaning except to say that it leans toward orthodox Christianity.

But lately, they’ve suddenly come up with a streak of Bible-thumping, anti-Catholic fundamentalism of the worst kind. The column I link tries to be fair, saying nice things about the Catholic Church before repeating the same old, tired canards that have been debunked thousands of times in books like Pat Madrid’s “Pope Fiction” and Karl Keating’s “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” and Scott Hahn’s seminal audio series “Answering Common Objections.”

This isn’t the only anti-Catholic diatribe on WorldNetDaily recently. Not long ago they ran a column by Bill Press that asked “Does a Catholic belong on the Supreme Court?” It, too, was filled with half-truths and inaccuracies about Catholicism as well as outright bigotry. If this is where WND is going I’m afraid I’m going to have to part company with them. I would think a lot of their Catholic (and hopefully, honest evangelical) readers will follow me.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • I agree that the coverage has a hidden agenda. Monsignor Clark is a useful scapegoat for the MSM’s abhorrence of the Catholic faith, which he has come to embody. Monsignor Clark is a hypocrite (they say), so we’ll continue ignoring the Catholic faith because it’s just as hypocritical as anything else.

    The Church has been through greater heterosexual scandals, as anyone with a knowledge of history knows. She will survive with her faith intact.

    That said, going beyond the question of Monsignor Clark’s guilt or innocence, does a heterosexual lapse of the flesh warrant dismissal from the priesthood? How was this handled in the days of yore?

  • They have always had a bent in that direction.  Through the years I have seen them draw attention to the normal bad pieces in the press regarding the Vatican and have even emailed them a time or two over a specificaly grevious piece to no avail. When the usual Vatican related stories prove false (once again) there are not followup articles.

  • Jason, you must be joking!  Heterosexual lapses are the ONLY ones that warrant dismissal fromthe priesthood!

    And I’m NOT joking.  Here in Boston, that’s the big NO-NO.  Perform gay marriages in the rectory and preach in favor of gays and lesbians and you get sent to another parish as pastor.  Admit that you’re smitten by the comely, single CCD teacher-of-the-opposite-gender and you’re summarily suspended (even though nothing occurred between you).

  • WorldNetDaily has always been a repugnant anti-Catholic pentecostal/evangelical e-rag.  The first time I ran across their site – probably 4 years ago – I could tell it from the ads alone.  The content confirmed my suspicions.

    When a magazine talks about “discoveries of dinosaurs” that “prove evolution is invalid” you know who you’re dealing with: not bad liars, but bizarro liars.

  • I think I have WND figured out.  They run their regular columnists they think will be of interest to their readership.  Most are conservative and sane: This means stuff critical of the bishops (as my blog, Dom’s blog, and Catholic World News) will run.  And stuff where the Church is attacked or a Catholic like John Roberts is attacked.

    From 2005 Barbara Simpson Taking notice of hostility to the Catholic Church in SF.

    What’s making a recent appearance is the Jack Chick-style mockery of Catholic beliefs, which I will complain about to WND from Jim Rutz.  It’s utter nonsense non-history.

    The hit piece by Press is another story.  It was full of sarcasm, distortions, and just got the facts wrong about JFK’s declaration, he never said “American first, Catholic second.”  Politically, it doesn’t make sense, why does WND give a platform to a partisan Democrat?

    Blogger Matt Abbott has responded to WND.

  • Dom, like the others commenting above, I’ve found WND to have a not-so-subtle anti-Catholic tilt, as well.

    Not as bad as Mort Kondracke of Fox News…but bad.

  • Revising my last post, the most recent column by Farrah, editor ot WND, accuses Bush of giving us Souter II in the form of Roberts because of his pro-gay and anti-capital punishment pro-bono work.

  • Fr. Clark,

    I hope those days are over.  Of course, things do happen, however, I hope there will some day be no homosexuals in the priesthood.

    At the same time, I know what you are saying.  It seems that in the past homosexual priests seemed to stick around after being caught and the heterosexual priests who get caught are forced to leave the priesthood.  There seems to be a very unfortunate double standard.

  • I hadn’t heard of it, but Jay Leno had a couple of funny remarks:
    “The guy claimed that when he took the vow of celibacy, he just didn’t know he was going to live THAT long”

    Or, as I said to my wife, at least it was an adult woman.  If you’re going to have sin, at least have it be of the natural variety – man and woman.

    But it’s true that if he was gay, or a steeeeenking liberal, he’d be getting a pass from the media.

  • After reading about this situation here yesterday, I opened the B’ham News this morning to see a statement from EWTN that they will continue to run Msgr. Clark’s program.  As far as they are concerned, the fuss seems to be much ado about nothing since he has not admitted to any violation of his vows.

  • I thought it was interesting that Letterman made a couple of feeble jokes about it last night and the crowd was very quiet.  There were a few snickers, but not the reaction that he was expecting.  Aparently even non-Catholics don’t think the situation is funny.

  • The situation isn’t fodder for late night comedy and if true, it’s very sad. No comments at all from me until we know – and even then, if it’s true, profound sadness will probably keep me silent – as it did with archbishop Weakland as well.

    Fathers Ethan and Clarke, if what you say is true (and I believe it is) I would think the reasoning is that there would be no living ‘issue’ involved in a homosexual affair and it is easier to hide/dismiss/sweep under the rug… look at the mess the Uribe (the seminarian who fathered a child and now is being sued for additional support—- with diocesan/Levada’s lawyers using the defense that the girl should have been more careful about birth control [!!!!!])has caused over ten years later. I guess ‘public scandal’ is considered in all lapses of morality.

    Anyhow, all of us need to keep vigil over ourselves lest we trip and fall.

  • “Anyhow, all of us need to keep vigil over ourselves lest we trip and fall.”

    Amen, amen.

  • Jim Ruiz who lives near me (Colorado Springs)
    is one voice of the burgeoning “Apostolic” movement in charismatic-Pentecostal circles which is recirculating the old canards with a twist. 

    They are critical of classic Lutheran or Calvinist polity which they regard as a lingering hold-over of Roman corruption which began with Constantine.  They utterly reject the classic distinction between clergy and laity, emphasize small house-churches and the apostolic ministry of all, believe that the five-fold government of the Church has been restored in our generation (apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher,  evangelist),  expect the miraculous on a regular basis, are deeply ahistorical, post-denominational and post-modern.  (See Megashifts, the new book by Jim Ruiz)

    They have been influenced by the anti-Catholicism of Latin American evangelicals and yet have come to regard classic evangelicalism as an “old wine skin” that needs to be sloughed off to make room for what God is doing now.  Some of their most prominent leaders regard any cooperation with Catholics – even in political or social areas – as illicit because Catholics are in a demonic league with the Pope.  FYI – many also regard Marian devotion as demonic and teach that “Queen of Heaven” is the name of the most powerful territorial spirit blocking the conversion of the nations.  (Google C. Peter Wagner – one of their premier spokesman and leaders and my former professor at Fuller Theological Seminary)

    One current article (Global Harvest website) tells of cleansing the house of a US couple from “Catholic backgrounds” who were discovered to have dozens of crucifixes about the house.  This was regarded as an invitation to demonic spirits because “Jesus is not dead, he is risen” and so they were all confiscated and destroyed and the couples’ lives were radically changed for the better as a result.
    It’s easy for serious Catholics to write them off as another wacko group that will be here today and gone tomorrow except for one thing:

    They are right now the second largest group of Christians in the world – larger than mainline Protestantism, larger than classic evangelicalism, twice the size of Orthodoxy and second only to Catholicism.  (David Barrett estimates that there are about 400 million of these Independent/Apostolic Christians). 

    I’ve been watching them develop for the past 10 years and have noticed the anti-Catholic sentiment grow until it has now become a major working assumption of much of the group. 

    They are growing like wild-fire -especially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America but they are also strongly represented in the US and Colorado Springs happens to be a center.

  • The comments of Fathers Clark and Ethan are astonishing; just how deep and pervasive is this sex mess?

  • Patrick, I’m referring to an Internet rumor I heard.  I thought I heard it here.  Can’t remember the priest’s name for the life of me (that is, I can think of many priests’ names, but I don’t remember which one it was referring to). 

  • They weren’t so overt about it when the previous Pope was alive.  Perhaps his funeral put a lot of pressure on Protestant pastors to answer questions like, you know, “Why aren’t we Catholics?”  I guess the easiest response is to spread hatred by demagoguery, to scare the questioners into silence and social conformity. 

  • After re-reading the articles, I still think there is something bizarre about the whole story. 

    I don’t assume that because he resigned that he’s guilty like many are doing now.  It’s very sad.

  • This isnail>
    2005-08-10 19:26:10
    2005-08-10 23:26:10
    Seamole:  No, but as I think of it, I have a feeling Archbishop Weakland’s “special interests” were known to more people than the Hispanic priest from whom he got extorted.

    Are you referring to anyone in asking me?

  • No one mentions the terrible effect this will have on the woman’s two children, especially the daughter who admitted seeing the mother and the Msgr. together in the jacuzzi.  Scandal will come, says JESUS, but woe to the one who causes it.  If the story be true, it is a great mercy that their hidden life be exposed, allowing time for their conversion before they face GOD in judgment. Perhaps it is a grace given to them during this Year of the Eucharist.