Home / News from NPR / After Cardinal’s Resignation, Parishioner Shares His Struggle With Catholic Church
Cardinal Donald Wuerl has been accused of covering up sex abuse scandals during his tenure in Pittsburgh. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with a Catholic who still believes in God but questions the church.

After Cardinal’s Resignation, Parishioner Shares His Struggle With Catholic Church

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  • Jenny Underwood

    I’m sitting here trying to come up with an appropriate response to this nightmare being taken seriously on the public broadcasting network. And I’ve got nothing.This man is a monster. Why is he being given a platform to spout his propaganda?

    • 金白龍

      He doesn’t pretend diversity is a strength to avoid being called a racist. He knows races aren’t interchangeable.

  • Travis Mitchell

    I can’t believe WUFT is boosting this man’s signal, and that I am helping pay for it with my membership. No thanks, I’m not donating money to let some racist POS spread his message.

    • Gusphase b

      What would you suggest the interviewer say to Richard Spencer, here? SHout him down? Edit his responses like CNN does? Seriously, what are you suggesting?

  • Patrick Donges

    Where can I get a ticket to participate in the Q&A? I was under the impression this event was invite only and I can’t find any links for tickets on any of Mr. Spencer’s various outlets.

  • valeria

    I just finished listening to an interview of Richard Spencer. I am dismayed that WUFT, my radio station, would give airtime to a racist like him. As a member of WUFT community and the UF community I found it not only offensive but unnecessary. This is exactly what these extreme racists are looking for, to generate enough controversy that somebody will give them air time and allow them to reach a much larger community. If you wanted to inform the public about his coming into town, then you could have done a piece on that topic, on the disgust it generates his visit, on the disapproval it has created within our wonderful diverse and welcoming city… but to give him time to SPEAK? with what purpose?
    A much more serious journalism would have included something about the history of white supremacy in our city , the damage it has done in the recent past and on how much better are we now when we strive to live in an integrated community with full respect for each other.
    I listen to WUFT every day and greatly enjoy the work of UF journalism students, but in this case It was a naive interview of a dangerous man that represents the worse in our society. It was a grave mistake by WUFT not to think through the ramification of this interview as it was delivered without any context and it provided a platform for hate speech.

    • Ronald Ewalt

      The purpose of the Spencer interview is Free Speech, and at UF therein lies a special importance as expressed by the ACLU; “Such restrictions deprive students of their right to invite speech they wish to hear, debate speech with which they disagree, and protest speech they find bigoted or offensive.” Understand that I condemn and despise the messages, philosophy and actions of Spencer’s groups and similar Neo-Nazi/White Supremacist organizations. My positions on Free Speech in no way are support or apologies for Spencer and his ilk, but a fierce determination that we not permit our Freedoms to be compromised because we want to limit someone’s similar rights. I offer for purposes of perspective, could not an interview of DeRay McKesson be challenged with the same language or at least the same type of arguments you use to limit Spencer’s speech rights? Of if Malcolm X was alive today could not arguments be posited that he should not speak at UF? We merely waste our energy and integrity if we suggest the character and messages of McKesson and Malcolm X are so different, moral and acceptable to those of Spencer (which I generally agree are) that those assessements ALONE permit McKesson and Malcom but not Spencer to speak. Understand that except for a limited number of exceptions as clearly prescribed in decisions by the Supreme Court, the CONTENT of the speech is protected. Simply but accurately said by the ACLU, “The First Amendment to the Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive its content.” So we must step back from our justifiable rage, and accept that an assessment of Spencer’s words as offensive is valid, but we cannot for that reason alone censor his speech. We must If WUFT has similarly the First Amendment protection of Freedom of the Press. I question not its right to conduct the interview, but its failure to meet journalist standards.

  • Sarah Ph.D.

    Yes, UF has to let him speak, but WUFT does NOT have to give him another opportunity to spread his hate. How dare you give his hate speech air time. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

    • Ronald Ewalt

      Any interview with Spencer, dangerously competent and prepared as he is, will provide opportunities for him to spread his message. That is the challenge and complexity of Free Speech. We can and must condemn his message but must be aware of the dangers, the unintended consequences, of censoring it. So he speaks, without only one minor challenge which he answered obliquely and got by with it. We must support public radio and as such must call out WUFT for its inexcusable failures with the Spencer interview.

  • Ronald Ewalt

    Rarely do NPR stations produce irresponsible, incompetent, flawed, and in the case of this Spencer interview, dangerous journalism, but you managed to do so. As I hope the management of WUFT is aware, the Spencer speech has generated a plethora of discussion, covering social, political and legal questions — in fact, a wealth of perspectives. As a First Amendment proponent, I support the interview of Spencer as a confirmation of the ACLU position that “An open society depends on liberal education, and the whole enterprise of liberal education is founded on the principle of free speech.” Granting Spencer an interview was controversial but one that can be justified ONLY if that interview meets the standards of responsible journalism. WUFT failed completely to meet those standards. The interviewer appeared unprepared, intimidated by Spencer, and worse, was overwhelmed by Spencer’s content and rhetoric, all leading to an abysmal and inexcusable failure to question or challenge statements that were false, unclear, ambiguous, and at times, reflected beliefs and philosophies that are controversial at best and possibly unacceptable at worst. Did you not understand the nature of this interview and how difficult, challenging and unfortunately competent Spencer is? He’s a pro, he’s prepared, he understand this audience, he knows how to use double-speak well. And he was faced with what? A student? An amateur? Seasoned journalists would be challenged by Spencer, and you leave this critical and controversial interview to a kid? Kid if not in age and experience, but surely in competence and fortitude. Now is the time for WUFT to meet the challenges you created. Surely journalist students at UF are schooled on the principles of journalism, right? How about confirming the validity of journalism at UF by addressing these failures.

    • Gusphase b

      What statements were false? What do you actually wish the interviewer responded with?

  • Rachael

    He disagrees with Hitler’s military strategy but made no mention of the whole genocide thing. Hmmmm.

    • Hadding Scott

      What genocide thing? You mean the current genocide of the White race?

  • WUFT News

    Thank you for your feedback about the Richard Spencer Q&A. We appreciate the robust conversation about this story and about the upcoming visit by Spencer to the University of Florida. WUFT stands as an independent voice and source for a variety of perspectives. Journalism is bigger than one opinion. Its role is to illuminate different viewpoints, to engage and inform all communities, and to be accurate, truthful and impartial in the coverage of important issues. Information is power and Richard Spencer, love him or hate him, is news, just like any other public figure whom WUFT covers. Both a free press and free speech are critical for the free flow of information and ideas, even ones we disagree with or find disturbing, and ultimately for our democracy.

    • Kat

      Don’t call this journalism. This is lazy and irresponsible. This amounts to a PR piece. The job of a journalist is not to publicize, but to challenge and probe deeper. As a graduate of this program, I am ashamed for WUFT right now. When he says that “the United States was a really wonderful place when it was an all-white country,” how did it not occur to Ms. King to say “well, that was never the case. America has never been an all-white country,”? It is not an opinion to point out or “illuminate” the holes in his thinking. Don’t pat yourselves on the back because a national story fell on your laps. It’s worthless, and potentially dangerous to the community, if you can’t report it properly.

      • Gusphase b

        The USA was between 83% and 90% white for about 100 years. At our peak, we were close to 90% white (our peak relative to the rest of the world, the post ww2 era). Calling it “all white” is incorrect, but 95% of counties were almost entirely white.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_racial_and_ethnic_demographics_of_the_United_States

        By “report it properly” you mean “shout him down” and “write in nasty asides after the fact that he can’t respond to,” right?

      • Hadding Scott

        Informing the public about a public figure’s views is certainly an example of journalism.

        You’re upset because WUFT isn’t telling the listeners what to think about what Spencer says. Obviously you believe that many will agree with what Spencer says, if not sternly warned against it.

    • Tanner Yea

      Hey you interviewed a Nazi and gave him a platform to spread his hatred, so maybe don’t just wipe it away as independent journalism when you are feeding into what he and his organization wants

      • Hadding Scott

        It is normal that EVERY PERSPECTIVE gets that kind of “platform.”

        How is it that your comment does not represent “hatred”? Stop spreading your hatred! Moderator! Why are you letting Tanner Yea spread his hatred?!? By letting him comment you are feeding into what he and his organization want!

        • Tanner Yea

          If it’s wrong to hate Nazis, I don’t want to be right

          • Hadding Scott

            It was already clear that being right is not important to you.

  • Hadding Scott

    The question to Spencer, “Would you agree with what Hitler tried to do?”, is a bad question, because Spencer is no expert on that and neither is the interviewer.

    It is like asking Bernie Sanders, because he is a socialist, if he would like to walk in the footsteps of Mao Zedong (with an implied nod to the huge loss of lives in the Great Leap Forward).

    People think that everyone is well informed about Hitler simply because they have HEARD a lot of things. In fact most people believe a lot of rubbish about Hitler and could not intelligently discuss “what Hitler tried to do” if they had to.