Last month, The Hoya claimed that a high-profile Catholic bishop who spoke for the Cardinal O’Connor Conference used racist rhetoric and has minimized the crimes of a sexual abuser, claims that are highly questionable when considering the evidence. Though I made a complaint to The Hoya, its editors refused to make the relevant changes beyond a minor correction of location. As the volunteer coordinator for this year’s Conference, I have now written this letter to the editor to address the accusations.
On Jan. 28, The Hoya tweeted: “Many Georgetown students expressed opposition to the Cardinal O’Connor Conference, the largest student-run anti-abortion conference in the U.S. H*yas for Choice raised awareness about the homophobic and racist rhetoric of speaker Bishop Robert Barron.”
The evidence used to make this claim is Barron’s opposition to critical race theory (CRT) in a Reddit thread where he says, “I’m not a fan of CRT.” I am not here to argue for or against CRT. The point is that one can disagree with CRT on how racism operates, while still believing racism to be immoral. Barron has even tweeted that “Racism is deep within our cultural DNA”. Yet The Hoya’s wording implies that Barron’s opposition to CRT is so-called “racist rhetoric.”
Moreover, The Hoya’s article “Students Again Oppose Annual Anti-Abortion Conference” states: “Barron wrote an article minimizing the crimes of … Theodore McCarrick, who was charged with three counts of indecent assault over the alleged sexual assault of a teenage boy…”
However, Barron’s article does the opposite. Barron explicitly denounces McCarrick’s actions, affirming that “Archbishop McCarrick did wicked things” and that the Devil “accomplishes nothing without our cooperation.” If anything, Barron is emphasizing the severity of McCarrick’s crimes by linking them to the Devil.
Lastly, the article includes the OCC board’s statement. But The Hoya quoted a generic statement taken from the third and last section of the OCC’s statement, dodging section 2, which directly addresses charges of homophobia against the OCC and Barron with counterexamples.
I think it is clear that The Hoya was biased in its writing, smearing a bishop’s name with unsubstantiated accusations. The Hoya should correct its tweet and article to better reflect the truth of Bishop Barron’s beliefs, while also taking action to ensure something like this does not happen again.
Julian Jimenez is a sophomore in the College.