Wednesday 20th February 2019

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...

Pope picks liberal cardinals Cupich, Marx, Tagle for featured talks at Vatican Abuse Summit

ROME, February 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany, and Cardinal Antonio Tagle of the Philippines will be featured speakers at the Vatican’s upcoming summit on clerical sex abuse titled, “The Protection of Minors…Continue Reading

SD BISHOP CALLS CATHOLIC GROUP ‘EVIL’ FOR OPPOSING CARDINAL CUPICH

RAPID CITY, S.D. (ChurchMilitant.com) – A bishop is calling a Catholic apostolate “evil” for being critical of Cdl. Blase Cupich. Bishop Robert Gruss of Rapid City, South Dakota issued a statement to be read from all parish pulpits the weekend of Feb. 9–10 condemning…Continue Reading

The Christian Faith: The only valid and the only God-willed religion

The Truth of the filial adoption in Christ, which is intrinsically supernatural, constitutes the synthesis of the entire Divine Revelation. Being adopted by God as sons is always a gratuitous gift of grace, the most sublime gift of God to…Continue Reading

Roberts joins Supreme Court’s liberal wing in blocking Louisiana abortion law

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Supreme Court’s liberal wing on Thursday in temporarily blocking a Louisiana law that would have placed restrictions on abortion clinics, in the high court’s first major ruling on abortion since the confirmation of Associate Justice…Continue Reading

Supermodel Takes On Catholic Poland With Sex Education Campaign

Supermodel Anja Rubik could be a symbol of any modern, progressive European country. After joining a campaign to defend women’s rights, she started tackling school sex education and published a book for teenagers that sought to counter the teachings of…Continue Reading

Cardinals endorse campaign to stop homosexual networks in Church

February 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller – the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – commented on a recently launched campaign to Stop homosexual networks in the Catholic Church as organized by the Swiss organization…Continue Reading

Back on Twitter, Bishop Tobin rebukes Catholic pols who support abortion rights

PROVIDENCE — After a months-long hiatus, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence has returned to Twitter to pointedly remind Rhode Island’s Catholic legislators — and the state’s Catholic governor — of his “track record on dealing with pro-abort…Continue Reading

US bishop rebukes Virginia Governor for ‘staggering’ infanticide remarks

ARLINGTON, Virginia, January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The staunchly pro-lifeCatholic Bishop of Arlington, Virginia, has strongly rebuked pro-infanticidecomments made earlier this week by Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam. Bishop Michael Burbidge today called Northam’s comments a “staggering admission” that reveals just “how far abortion…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: ‘We must provide sex education in schools’

ROME, January 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis is advocating sex education in schools, saying he believes children “must” be taught “objective” lessons about human sexuality that aren’t “soaked with ideological colonization.” During an inflight press conference on his return…Continue Reading

Trump blasts Virginia Democrats for defending infanticide

January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump lambasted Virginia Democrats for supporting abortion up until, during, and even after birth, calling Delegate Kathy Tran’s comments on her bill permitting abortion even as a woman goes into labor “terrible.” Virginia…Continue Reading

Catholic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo Vows to Sign Bill Legalizing Abortions Up to Birth

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is pushing a radical pro-abortion bill in her state while claiming to be Catholic. The legislation, which contradicts the teachings of the Catholic Church, would legalize abortions for basically any reason up to birth. A…Continue Reading

Undiscovering Columbus: Notre Dame President Puts Explorer Under Wraps

The University of Notre Dame has capitulated to several left-of-center causes and ideologies that threaten its reputation as the premier Roman Catholic college in the nation. The most recent submission to contemporary ideologies is the decision to cover the murals…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 . . .

Dubia cardinals to bishops at Vatican abuse summit: ‘Will you also be silent?’

Cburke3

VATICAN, February 19, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, the two remaining dubia cardinals, wrote an open letter to the Presidents of the worldwide Bishops’ Conferences meeting in the Vatican for the Summit on sexual abuse. “The plague of the homosexual agenda has been spread within the Church,” they write, “promoted by organized networks and protected by a climate of complicity and a conspiracy of silence.” The Church hierarchy, however, wishes…Continue Reading

Vatican sex abuse cover-up unravels as prosecutors home in on bishop protected by Pope Francis

February 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Argentinean prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation for alleged sexual abuse against a bishop and close personal friend appointed and protected by Pope Francis, according to the attorney general’s office of the province of Salta, Argentina. The target of the investigation is Gustavo Zanchetta, who was named bishop of the diocese of Orán by Pope Francis in 2013. Zanchetta suddenly fled his diocese and resigned from his office in July…Continue Reading

McCarrick laicized by Pope Francis

mckarick

Vatican City, Feb 16, 2019 / 01:41 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered this week the laicization of Theodore McCarrick, a former cardinal and archbishop emeritus of Washington, and a once powerful figure in ecclesiastical, diplomatic, and political circles in the U.S. and around the world. The decision followed an administrative penal process conducted by the CDF, which found McCarrick guilty of “solicitation in the Sacrament…Continue Reading

Daleiden decries gov’t ‘collusion’ with Planned Parenthood in body parts case

SAN FRANCISCO, California, February 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life advocate David Daleiden decried what he said was “collusion” that he witnessed happening in court yesterday between California’s deputy attorney general and abortion organizations.

Bishop Schneider: Abuse summit will be ‘doomed’ if it doesn’t address homosexuality

KAZAKHSTAN, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan said that the upcoming Vatican abuse summit is “doomed to failure” if the “predominant role” of homosexuality in the crisis is not addressed. “If the upcoming Summit on Clerical Sexual Abuse in the Vatican will not address the issue of the moral relativism and the non-belief in the perennial validity of the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue as the deepest cause of clerical…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . The Exhumation Of The Equal Rights Amendment

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is a 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…Continue Reading

God Counts The Tears Of Women

By DONALD DeMARCO The Talmud states that God counts the tears of women. This is a beautiful statement and underscores the compassion that God has for all women. Moreover, it is a compassion that should be shared by men, for the same text warns men that “they do not cause their wives pain.” Rabbi Chaim…Continue Reading

Abortion And The Green New Deal… De-Developing And Dehumanizing The United States

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate — www.creators.com — distributes his column. All rights reserved.) + + + Do you know who said the following? “If you further decided to buy a small car that would last 30 years, be easily repairable and…Continue Reading

Has Trump Found The Formula For 2020?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN (Editor’s Note: This column was released February 8, before further developments in Virginia.) + + + His State of the Union address, say the two networks, met with the approval of 76 percent of all viewers — 97 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of independents, and 30 percent of Democrats. Seventy-two…Continue Reading

Pope Francis . . . Names Cardinal Farrell To Be Camerlengo

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — Pope Francis Thursday, on February 14 nominated a new camerlengo, Irish-American Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, and a former bishop of Dallas. The responsibilities of camerlengo include overseeing the preparations for a papal conclave and managing the administration of…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Be Like God And Love Your Enemies

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23 1 Cor. 15:45-49 Luke 6:27-38 In the second reading today St. Paul teaches there are two Adams, the first Adam is of Earth, the second, Jesus, is from Heaven. St. Paul points out that the natural came first, then the spiritual, so…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… “Men Are Not Women” And Other Inconvenient Facts

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Of course men are not women, you might respond — it’s a matter of fact. You can certainly say that for yourself if you so choose, but you cannot say it for everyone. Not anymore. The politically correct absconding from the use of reason is exploding into a political and social lobby of ever-increasing proportions.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Some words of wisdom from Fr. George Rutler in the parish bulletin of The Church of St. Michael in New York City: “The other day, intemperate journalists accused youths from a Catholic high school in Covington, Ky., of making racial threats against an elderly Native American during the March for Life. Videos proved that there was no truth…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen In New Book… Vatican’s China Strategy Was All About Compromise And Surrender

  By MAIKE HICKSON Joseph Cardinal Zen, For Love of My People I Will Not Remain Silent, Ignatius Press: 2019, www.ignatius.com; paperback, 153 pages. (LifeSiteNews) — Chinese Cardinal Joseph Zen has strongly criticized in a new book the Vatican’s recent dealings with China, stating that the “strategy was wrong,” adding that it was “all about compromise and surrender.” He has…Continue Reading

The Trustworthiness Of God

by FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Jer. 17:5-8 1 Cor. 15:12, 16-20 Luke 6:17, 20-26 In the first reading today the Prophet Jeremiah declares cursed those who trust in human beings while turning their hearts from the Lord. Blessed, on the other hand, are those who trust in the Lord, whose hope is the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara

By CAROLE BRESLIN India has almost as many people (1.37 billion) as China (1.42 billion), which has three times the land area. Of the population of India, under three percent are Christian. In Kerala, a state on the southwest coast of India, nearly 20 percent are Christian. Perhaps the greater proportion is a result of St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, who…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Jacoba Of Settesoli

By CAROLE BRESLIN Two millennia of Catholicism have produced saints from all walks of life: rich and poor — and the wealthy who became poor, such as St. Francis of Assisi who renounced his inheritance, St. Anthony of Egypt who gave his wealth away, and St. Thomas Aquinas who became a poor monk. There have also been those who lived…Continue Reading