You have to laugh(?)

Since he's in all the headlines, you'll pardon me if I take this opportunity to remind you once again that Bishop Timothy Dolan -- who, you may have heard, is the new archbishop of New York -- has an article in the current issue of Commonweal. Would that everyone were so blessed! Instead, our friends at First Things have taken this opportunity to re-post a weak piece of satire (originally published in 2002) in which "ubiquitous correspondent" George Weigel uses a remark of Dolan's as a jumping-off point to lampoon those elitist, liberal "Commonweal[th]" Catholics. It's... Well, it's not something I'd be inclined to brag about. But then, I wouldn't be moved to comment at all if the blog post hadn't shown up on the CathNewsUSA RSS feed as an "opinion" piece.Some background: CathNewsUSA is a news aggregator run by Paulist Press that collects stories of interest to Catholics from around the internet. It's fairly new, and they seem to be still in the process of working out the kinks -- excerpts are posted with little or no context and not-very-prominent sourcing, and generally I tend to find it more confusing than helpful. So, today, they've posted several paragraphs from the First Things blog re-posting under the heading "Opinion," and with no context, leading at least a few benighted commenters to assume the piece is both current and in earnest. Worse, in copying-and-pasting Weigel's work, they seem to have "corrected" one of his jokes -- he refers to "the liberal Catholic magazine Commonwealth" (and similarly alters our editors' names), but on the CathNewsUSA site the reference is to Commonweal. Don't do us any favors, CathNews web editors! (For the record: None of us here at Commonweal have any objection to anything Bishop Dolan might have said seven years ago... at least that we're aware of.)Oddly, CathNewsUSA has a separate page for "Satire" -- but there's nothing on it. Perhaps they should combine it with their tab for "Humor"? So far there's one story linked to in that category -- Christopher Ruddy's "Sunday Morning Quarterbacks," which we posted here on our site in December. It's nice that they managed to file this one appropriately. Unfortunately, the excerpt on their "humor" page credits it to... the Chicago Sun-Times. Oh brother.

Mollie Wilson O’​Reilly is editor-at-large and columnist at Commonweal.

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