Friday 21st September 2018

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Serious Hitchcock Errors… Mean That Book Must Be Corrected

May 28, 2017 Featured Today No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — I loved to read St. Louis, Mo., historian James Hitchcock’s opinion column some decades ago in the National Catholic Register, when I also wrote for that paper. I was pleased, of course, when he occasionally referred favorably to something I’d written.
In his August 30, 1981, Register column, Hitchcock cited my Register article calling unfavorable attention to the “country club set” of, as Hitchcock put it, “old-line Republicans…who regard pro-lifers as a bunch of scruffy fanatics whose presence disfigures the Grand Old Party.” Arizona’s Sen. Barry Goldwater was the “best example” of such Republicans, he said.
Goldwater narrowly had won re-election to his final term in the U.S. Senate less than a year earlier, assisted by the official endorsement of Arizonans for Life after he pledged support for a Human Life Amendment. Carolyn Gerster, MD, a leading Arizona and national pro-life figure, was delighted to go to Goldwater’s hilltop home to receive his pledge after he phoned to inform her of his support. Gerster in her medical office told me of receiving his call.
He hadn’t been a strong pro-life figure in the Senate, but neither did he agitate to promote permissive abortion. He gave such varying reasons as that he opposed “abortion on demand” and favored legislation that would remove the U.S. Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over the matter. Biographer Lee Edwards noted the senator’s shifts (pp. 420-423) in his solid work Goldwater: The Man Who Made a Revolution (Regnery).
However, less than a year later, in 1981, safely beyond the ballot box and angry that pro-lifers opposed the nomination of his “moderate” Arizona GOP neighbor Sandra O’Connor to the U.S. Supreme Court, Goldwater harshly began attacking moral traditionalists.
Perhaps historian Hitchcock back in 1981 noticed I wrote that “a snarling Goldwater has been heaping insults recently upon pro-lifers — apparently saying what he thought all along but pretended otherwise when he was hungry for their votes last year.” I added that Goldwater changed his tune and called abortion “‘the biggest humbug issue’ that wastes the time of Congress.”
We Arizona pro-lifers who voted for Goldwater in 1980 were horrified; we certainly didn’t excuse his change or cover up for it, as my writing showed. And we felt betrayed that new Republican President Ronald Reagan made O’Connor his first Supreme Court selection, an Arizona appeals-court judge we knew to be pro-abortion.
In his 1988 memoirs, after he retired from the Senate, biographer Edwards says, Goldwater said he opposed abortion. Another shift in his stand, but it went no further than personally opposed. Like the Arizonan who succeeded him in the upper chamber, Sen. John McCain, Goldwater often had been passive on the issue.
Hitchcock’s own writing back then showed exasperation and dismay at Republicans who weren’t faithful to the pro-life stand. Hitchcock didn’t seem to think he was trying to hurt the GOP by complaining this way. In his November 22, 1981, National Catholic Register column, he favorably cited a Register article I did that noted Reagan sounded as if he was backpedaling on the issue. This was “doubly ominous,” Hitchcock said.
Unfortunately as decades passed, something sad happened to Hitchcock’s standards of scholarship that should leave everyone mourning. Historians have a lot on their minds about the scope of human activity. But when they forget history, they’ve lost the core of their profession.
In late April I learned by chance on the Internet of a recent Hitchcock book, Abortion, Religious Freedom, and Catholic Politics (Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, N.J.). I was able to see a few pages online, including another man’s words being put in my mouth. Concerned, I ordered a copy.
Hitchcock’s new book is peppered with inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, and lack of research. Despite the broader-sounding title, much of the book is an attack on The Wanderer, including me as one of its writers.
He insists on a few themes regardless of the facts, including that The Wanderer doesn’t regard abortion as a crucial issue. (How many of you readers would agree with that?) I’ll take up a few of his assaults upon me as the person whom I know best.
Describing Goldwater as “fanatically pro-abortion” (p. 69), Hitchcock falsely says Duggan — that’s me — “considered the pro-abortion Goldwater worthy of unqualified support.” The historian names me as one of the faithless “Paleoconservatives” who were concerned that Reagan Democrats “made abortion their primary issue and were oblivious to ‘true conservatism’.”
We “Paleoconservatives” deal with the life issues as liberals use the “seamless garment,” Hitchcock says — we “attempt to persuade pro-lifers to transcend their narrow outlook and support a wider agenda.”
I reject this. I was appalled at Goldwater’s switch, and thrilled with the advent of Reagan Democrats. Hitchcock never quotes any admission by me of my alleged betrayals, or my admiration of what he pretends that I stand for.
Hitchcock never contacted me to discuss or try to verify any of his baseless beliefs, to state why he thought they should be accepted, or to reveal what he planned to write.
Coincidentally, a different, much younger historian who did contact me not long ago was interested in my pro-life work in the latter 20th century and conducted a recorded telephone interview. She actually already had researched my pro-life past and didn’t express any of the strange conclusions Hitchcock assumes.
Hitchcock alleges that I was covering up for Goldwater and O’Connor. He couldn’t be more wrong. Has he forgotten anything I wrote for the National Catholic Register opposing O’Connor’s confirmation to the High Court, including pro-life leader Gerster’s strong case against her?
Of course, Goldwater retired from the U.S. Senate at the end of 1986 and died in 1998, so maybe Hitchcock has forgotten. Hitchcock and I, being older guys, might tend to think in terms of the Goldwaters and Reagans in our younger times being almost contemporary figures today, but to more recently born folks, their names may be barely recognized.
Among much other pro-life journalism, I covered the National Right to Life Committee’s annual convention in Anaheim, Calif., in 1980, resulting in my three-page article in the August 1980 issue of Conservative Digest headlined, “Pro-lifers on the march, gaining converts; coming of age as potent political force.”
The sub-headline above my reporting said this convention “shows dynamism of crusade, illustrates breadth of opposition to abortion.”
That’s real, published evidence of my work back when Hitchcock inexplicably wishes to think I consorted to diminish pro-lifers and advance the careers of “fanatically pro-abortion” politicians.
Because I learned of his attacks only after the book was printed, I couldn’t prompt him to think or research more carefully before publication. This inaccurate work must be seriously corrected by the publisher.
Because Hitchcock is working from printed material, he doesn’t have much excuse for the errors he makes. And no excuse at all when he errs this way time after time.
As we’ll see more of next week, Hitchcock asserts that I said certain words when he actually means that a person or source I quoted for a newspaper article said them. Surely he knows that when a historian writes about anyone else, that famous person’s words aren’t the historian’s own remarks.
When I quoted a Phoenix Republican conservative activist, Rob Haney, strongly criticizing Sen. John McCain in a September 19, 2013, Wanderer story, Hitchcock omits the fact it clearly was Haney speaking and puts his words into my mouth instead (p. 62). Careful to use quotation marks and ellipsis, the historian still doesn’t get the speaker correct.
In the same story, I quoted a different local conservative speaking positively of McCain, but Hitchcock ignores him, as he also does at other times when he fails to acknowledge expressions of support for McCain.
Some Hitchcock themes are that The Wanderer didn’t give McCain fair coverage, and didn’t consider the abortion issue crucial.
He reaches back to page 5 of The Wanderer for a four-paragraph letter to the editor (p. 61) to note a critic of McCain (November 20, 2008), but ignores prominent coverage with positive comments about McCain, even on page one: “Arizona Pro-Life Leader Says McCain Can Be Trusted To Select Good Judges” (March 6, 2008).
It’s no secret that many millions of Republicans are critical of “maverick” McCain, often so loved by liberal media for undermining the GOP, but that doesn’t mean all positive comments about him are banned in The Wanderer.
On another topic, Hitchcock writes (p. 57) that I identified GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee as being pro-life on December 13, 2007, “but Huckabee was the only mainstream Republican candidate about whom that fact was acknowledged, and it was not repeated.”
Leaving aside the baseless claim that only Huckabee was thus acknowledged, we see The Wanderer’s online archives show that description indeed was repeated later.
My top story for the February 14, 2008, issue said the National Right to Life Committee gave Huckabee its strongest rating for any GOP candidate still in the race, and NRLC expressed gratitude for McCain’s and Mitt Romney’s stands.
The February 21, 2008, Wanderer had a story headlined, “Huckabee Draws Distinction With McCain On Pro-Life Issues” (p. 8).
On March 6, 2008, I recalled in a front-page article that Huckabee was surprised the previous November when, despite his own strong pro-life record, the NRLC gave its presidential endorsement to former Tennessee U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson. However, Thompson dropped out of the race in January 2008, and Huckabee left in early March 2008.
In another of his serious errors, Hitchcock claims (p. 172) The Wanderer “once again revealed” that abortion wasn’t “a crucial issue” because it supported Donald Trump for the presidency. After all, Hitchcock continued, the name of passionately pro-life presidential candidate Rick Santorum “went unmentioned” in 2015 in The Wanderer, “except in one last-page article by an unfamiliar writer (June 11).”
Could this be true? Maybe an editor thought Santorum lost news value by failing to win the GOP presidential nomination in 2012? Actually, a quick online archives search reveals that Santorum was mentioned in eight articles in 2015, usually briefly within longer reports.
But one was a prominent three-column-wide story I wrote on page 3 in the October 15, 2015, issue, with his name in the “kicker” part of the headline, “Santorum Urges Making Difference.”
As for the June 11 story by the “unfamiliar writer” on the “last page,” that was LifeSiteNews’ Ben Johnson about Santorum announcing his bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. This stretched across the top half of the back page (p. 8A) of the first section of a two-section newspaper.

Election Predictions

We’ve just looked at just some of Hitchcock’s erroneous and misleading statements about me.
And did you know the surprising fact that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is Catholic (p. 163)? Hitchcock claims she is.
More than a year ago, before Justice Antonin Scalia died, there had been considerable notice taken in the news of the fact that the majority-Protestant United States had a Supreme Court of six Catholics and three Jews. But the word apparently didn’t get through to Hitchcock about who they were.
With the book’s press date immediately after the November 8 presidential election, Hitchcock forecast that Trump was “almost certain to be defeated by Hillary Clinton,” but even if Trump somehow won, the historian said, the pro-life movement would nonetheless be finished (p. 194).
Even if I write five newspaper articles, that wouldn’t cover all of Hitchcock’s errors adequately. He, after all, had an entire book to toy with. But we’ll look into this some more next week.
Don’t bother with this book if you want to maintain your respect for Hitchcock’s previous reputation.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

NFL star stuns interviewer: We have 8 kids and hope for more

MILFORD, Connecticut, September 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers made an interviewer gasp with amazement when he confirmed that he has eight children – and wants more. Dan Patrick of The Dan Patrick Show chatted with NFL…Continue Reading

Vatican deals with China are leaving Catholics around the world baffled

In what was an unprecedented move, the Vatican earlier this year asked Chinese underground bishops to step down. Apparently, Rome believes the atheist Chinese regime is better qualified to select its bishops than the Roman Catholic Church. And thus, it is conceding…Continue Reading

Yet another US bishop calls for Youth Synod to be canceled so Church can ‘deal with abuse crisis’

TYLER, Texas, September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Texas bishop has called for the Youth Synod to be canceled in light of the ongoing scandal regarding the cover-up of episcopal sexual abuse of minors and seminarians. On September 8, Bishop…Continue Reading

ATLANTA ARCHBISHOP WILTON GREGORY INVITES HOMOSEXUALIST FR. JAMES MARTIN TO SPEAK

ATLANTA (ChurchMilitant.com) – Celebrity Jesuit Fr. James Martin is heading to Georgia, courtesy of pro-gay Abp. Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, Georgia. On Friday, Martin announced on Twitter that Abp. Gregory has invited him to speak in October at two Atlanta-area locations.…Continue Reading

Leaked sex abuse report rocks German church, 3,677 victims

September 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Two German major media outlets – Der Spiegel and Die Zeit – leaked today the findings of a sexual abuse commission funded by the German Bishops’ Conference and which Cardinal Reinhard Marx had planned to present to the public…Continue Reading

US bishops’ president accused of allowing reported sex abuser access to kids

September 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, has been accused of allowing a priest who confessed to sex abuse of a minor to function as a pastor of a parish,…Continue Reading

Cdl. Cupich on abuse crisis: We shouldn’t be ‘distracted’ by this, Church has ‘bigger agenda’

CHICAGO, September 10, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – When challenged about the clergy sexual abuse scandal now facing the Church, Cardinal Blase Cupich told a large gathering of seminarians that the Church’s agenda is “bigger” than the sexual corruption now facing the…Continue Reading

Catholic prelates must speak out, now, as the faithful are attacked by their own shepherds

September 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The following reflection is the result of a couple of days of my reading and thinking about the last five years, but then also about the last fifty years. Trying to get an interview with…Continue Reading

Oklahoma archbishop: I’ve ‘deepest respect’ for Viganó. His claims demand ‘deeper examination’

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, August 31, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley has issued a statement saying he has the “deepest respect” for Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó and his “integrity.” Some on the left have attempted to cast doubt…Continue Reading

One Mad Mom . . . Martin’s Cozy with Proximate Occasions of Sin

Let me say this, I am a mom of a multitude of kids and have spent their lives trying to ensure their safety and well-being.  I have THE biggest stake with what’s been going on in the Church for decades. …Continue Reading

Thousands of Catholic women ask Pope: Did you cover-up for McCarrick, as Viganò claims?

August 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of prominent Catholic women have written an open letter to Pope Francis imploring him to provide clarity on the “escalating” sex abuse crisis currently “engulfing” the Church. Expressing anger, betrayal, and heartbreak, the women bluntly…Continue Reading

Ave Maria University president slams Viganò, Cardinal Burke

AVE MARIA, Florida, August 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Citing the “God of Surprises,” the president of a Roman Catholic University once known for its orthodoxy has slammed two faithful prelates for their challenges to the Pope, particularly in regard to…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Newly published excerpts from Benedict’s private letters reveal his concern over Church crisis

ROME, September 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A German newspaper today has published excerpts of two private letters Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote less than one year ago, that give insight into how he views his resignation, and his deep concern for the state of the Church following his departure from the papacy. Bild newspaper has reported that the two letters bearing Benedict’s signature — and which independent sources have authenticated — w

US bishops’ silence on meeting with Pope could put their credibility on sex abuse at risk

ROME, September 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Have the jocular images and low-key statements of US Bishops following their meeting with Pope Francis last week set back their attempts to address the grave situation in the Church, especially the handling of sexual abuse cases by bishops? The details that have been revealed of the bishops’ meeting with Francis last Thursday give no indication that they addressed the extent of the McCarrick coverup or the need for…Continue Reading

Cardinal Maradiaga rebukes papal critics: McCarrick abuse scandal ‘of a private order’

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The scandal of ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual abuse of young priests and seminarians and Pope Francis’ alleged cover-up are “of a private order,” and a merely “administrative affair,” according to one of the Pope’s top advisers, Cardinal Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga. He made these remarks in a recent interview in one of the most revealing statements to date on the Viganò testimony. In an interview published on Wednesday evening by Religion Digital, the religious portal…Continue Reading

Dutch Catholic church accused of widespread sexual abuse cover-up

More than half of the Netherlands’ senior clerics were involved in covering up sexual assault of children between 1945 and 2010, a press report claimed on Saturday, further engulfing the Catholic church in a global abuse scandal. Over the course of 65 years, 20 of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and their auxiliaries “covered up sexual abuse, allowing the perpetrators to cause many more victims”, the daily NRC reported. “Four abused children and 16 oth

Steve Bannon Drafting Curriculum for Right-Wing Catholic Institute in Italy

(Reuters) – Former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon is helping to craft the curriculum for a leadership course at a right-wing Roman Catholic institute in Italy, stepping up his efforts to influence conservative thinking in the church. Benjamin Harnwell, director of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute based in a mountaintop monastery not far from Rome, told Reuters Bannon had been helping to build up the institute for about half of its eight-year life. Cardinal Raymond…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Chaplain Tells Medical Workers…. Discovering God’s Will Leads To Love And Joy

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Although those seeking a direction in life may turn to searching for God’s will, a Phoenix chaplain reminded listeners that another ruler from beyond the Earth also has a plan for their lives, Satan. Fr. Ignatius Mazanowski, FHS, chaplain of the Phoenix Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, explored a…Continue Reading

Solzhenitsyn: Truth Is Light

By DONALD DeMARCO Without the truth we are in the dark, not knowing how to think, judge, act, or live. Please tell us the truth. Please dispel the darkness. Readers of The Wanderer will understand my plea without my needing to divulge names. We do, as Marshall McLuhan explained to us, live in a global…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Skewed Ideas About Education And Minority Groups

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Is Trump Going Neocon In Syria?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Is President Donald Trump about to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war? For that is what he and his advisers seem to be signaling. The past week, Trump said of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s campaign to recapture the last stronghold of the rebellion, Idlib province: “If it’s a slaughter, the…Continue Reading

Pro-Lifer… Arizona Governor Names Successor To Fill McCain’s Seat

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — With its own strange brand of politics, Arizona acquired a new U.S. senator who agreed to fill the upper-chamber seat for at least a few months. Huh? With the late John McCain’s health slipping away for more than a year to an aggressive brain cancer, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey had…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. It’s been several years since a Vatican commission was appointed to investigate the legitimacy of the alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. What is the status of that investigation? — M.K., South Carolina. A. In 2014, the commission concluded a four-year study of the Medjugorje phenomenon and sent a report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of…Continue Reading

HLI’s Mission To Mongolia… There Are Setbacks, But The Church Continues

By FR. SHENAN BOQUET (Editor’s Note: Fr. Shenan Boquet is the president of Human Life International. This commentary first appeared September 3 at HLI.org and was reprinted by LifeSiteNews.com. All rights reserved.) + + + “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in…Continue Reading

True Wisdom From Above

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Wisdom 2:12, 17-20 James 3:16-4:3 Mark 9:30-37 In the second reading today, St. James tells us that where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. As we look around, we can certainly see an abundance of disorder and foul practices. To eliminate these…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Why Evangelists Need An Interior Life

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Spiritual Handbook for Catholic Evangelists: How to Win Souls Without Losing Your Own, by Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard (Sophia Institute Press, 192 pages, Amazon paperback and Kindle). This is a new version of an old spiritual classic, originally written about a century ago, but still valid for today’s Church, and particularly for those involved in evangelization. The…Continue Reading

The Sacrament Of Confession… Confession Among The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 Here are some more testimonies from the Early Christians about the Sacrament of Confession, how they understood the sacrament and how it was administered by the priests to the people when they sinned. Those writers are known in history as the Fathers of the Early Church, the theologians and Bible scholars of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Servant of God Rozalia Celak

By CAROLE BRESLIN The closer one comes to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the hotter the flame, as many saints have attested. St. Catherine of Siena bore the marks in her heart where the arrow of Christ’s love pierced it. With the flame of the burning love, the Sacred Heart touches those whom He loves in a special way. To…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Our Lady Of Mount Carmel

By CAROLE BRESLIN In northern Israel between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea, a mountain range stretches inland. This range, although named Mount Carmel, is really a series of mountains stretching inland. The main site of the Mount, the Stella Maris monastery of the Discalced Carmelites, sits on a limestone bluff overlooking the city of Haifa. The view…Continue Reading