Limited edition Pope dolls for sale during the World Meeting of Families at the RDS in Dublin, Ireland, Wednesday Aug. 22, 2018. (Credit: Brian Lawless/PA via AP)
As the countdown to Pope Francis's arrival in Ireland on Saturday goes on, a sampling of sights and sounds from the World Meeting of Families, including Crux being banned from a rival counter-event.
Crux is banned
For the first time in Crux’s
history, one of our reporters actually was banned from something this week. On Thursday, Elise Harris was kicked out of the “Conference of Catholic Families,” a sort of rival conservative event taking place just down the street from the official World Meeting of Families.
(It’s not actually termed a “rival” anything, of course, but it’s happening in the same place and at the same time as the World Meeting, and it has a clearly different tone and constituency.)
When Harris arrived Thursday morning for day two of the event, she was stopped at the entrance and informed she was “not welcome.” In the course of asking why, organizers told Harris that she had covered the event the day before under false pretenses because she hadn’t purchased a ticket like everyone else.
There was also a clear suggestion they didn’t care for her coverage
, expressed in phrases such as, “It’s people like you who harm the Church.” (As a hint of the ideological alignment involved, she was also told to “go talk to James Martin and all your liberal friends.” In context, that seemed the rough equivalent of, “Go to hell.”)
We certainly regret offending anyone, no matter the reason, but let’s be clear that there was nothing “false” whatsoever about the pretenses under which Harris was present.
On July 31, I sent organizers an email inquiring about procedures for media accreditation. On August 13, I received a reply saying that tickets are available on their site, which I took to be boilerplate language not directed to us since media outlets don’t pay for access to the events they cover, and then a statement that independent videoing and recording of the event wasn’t allowed, which we didn’t do.
On the opening day, Harris introduced herself, identified herself as a reporter for Crux
, and was invited in without any mention of a ticket. She conducted interviews with several participants, including Anthony Murphy, founder of the Lumen Fidei Institute that hosted the event. Obviously, those people were aware they were speaking with a reporter, especially given that Harris was wearing a credential around her neck that clearly said “Media” in large type.
If there are objections to the content of any Crux
coverage, those who know us understand that we’ll take those concerns seriously and do our best to respond. One hopes, however, that there might be better solutions than leaping to the fairly extreme step of making someone “Banned in Dublin.”