Diocesan Newspaper Allows Catholic Representative to Lie About Abortion Position
By Deal Hudson
The Steubenville Register is the official newspaper of the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio. Today, an ad appeared in the diocesan newspaper touting incumbent Congressman Charlie Wilson (D, OH-06) as a “real” pro-life Representative who fully supports the teaching of the Church.
The ad located on page 8 of the paper says:
Voted Pro-Life as your State Representative, State Senator and as your Congressman.
Rep. Charlie Wilson is a practicing Catholic, believes in family values and the teachings of the church.
Re-Elect Charlie Wilson so he can continue to represent your as a ‘”true” PRO-LIFE Congressman.
The problem is, Wilson voted for the health care bill containing federal funding for abortion.
When contacted, the staff at the Register said it was their policy to accept any paid ad that was “not nasty.” How perfect an explanation is that? This diocesan newspaper is more concerned with avoiding “nasty” than allowing the “Friends of Charlie Wilson” to lie to the Catholics under their care.
Is this a judgment call? No, the Catholic bishops have said in unison that the health care bill passed by the Congress and signed by President Obama contains abortion funding.
This may be a matter of controversy for a secular newspaper, but it should not be for a newspaper published by the Bishop of Steubenville, Ohio.
Perhaps the staff of the Steubenville Register should consider truthfulness as a possible criterion for its advertising. They should also consider the wisdom of running political ads at all, especially as the paper does not contain an ad from Wilson’s opponent.
While it’s commendable that the newspaper is scrupulously protecting its readers from anything that might appear “nasty,” the staff and the publisher would surely agree that nothing is nastier than to mislead Catholic voters on the matter of electing a representative to Congress.
With the election this coming Tuesday, it’s too late for the newspaper to print a correction. But, if you would like to contact the Steubenville Register, the Editor and Director of Communications is Patricia DeFrancis, firstname.lastname@example.org.