As a reporter, Hilary gets the story and reports the story. Reporting is not the same thing as writing an opinion column. Reporting is a harder job than writing opinion/editorials. I know this very well because I write op/ed for the Toronto Catholic Register, and have for almost seven years. I don't have to bust my butt the way Hilary does and did even when she was diagnosed with cancer. Even in the aftermath of chemo, Hilary was on the phone to Irish pro-lifers, for example, getting the story, getting her two stories a working day. And to my knowledge, Hilary was only once the story before now--when she organized her "Rebel Blognic" in response to the official Vatican blognic. This, significantly, was during the pontificate of Benedict XVI. And Hilary organized her blognic to make sure that bloggers who were not "safe" bloggers handpicked from diocesan websites got to meet and talk. Meanwhile, the controversy ensured that the official Vatican blognic got TONS of publicity. So not only did Hilary's "rebellion" create a fun event for any Catholic blogger who wanted to go, it brought about much good for the official Vatican event, whose organizers promptly invited Hilary.
Unfortunately, Hilary is the story again, because she reported on Pope Francis' meeting with a priest who openly condones homosexual behaviour.
That was a big story. It was a story that made people uncomfortable. It made "The Anchoress", Elizabeth Scalia of Patheos (which pays its bloggers per click) so uncomfortable she denigrated it as “Oh-my-gawd-the-pope-concelebrated-mass-and-kissed-the-hand-of-a-93-year-old-dissenting-priest-who-defends-homosexual-love-and-homosexual-and-isn’t-this-horrible-about-the-dissenting-homosexual-and-awful-Francis-and-homosexualists-and-homosexual!” But that is not in fact what Hilary said. Hilary wrote the facts and got the quotes. She is a reporter. She reported.
Hilary also has a blog, and on that blog Hilary speaks her mind on everything that comes into it, including how much she can't stand the work of Thomas Kincaid. She posts videos and her drawings and waxes nostalgic for Victoria, B.C. She insults and chases away people whose comments she doesn't like. Her blog, her rules. Sadly, people have been mining Hilary's blog for evidence that she might dislike Pope Francis and thus must be a bad reporter.
You know what? You can dislike anybody and still be a good reporter, as long as you love the truth. And I know Hilary White. She loves the truth, and she does not lie. She certainly doesn't lie to be nice, believe me. She would happily tell anyone she can't stand my blog. She can't--too girly. She does feminine, but not GIRLY.
I think things are going to start getting bad for Catholic reporters and columnists--the ones who get paid, the ones whose livelihoods depend on Catholic newspapers and magazines, paper or online. I think our right to say what we think on our blogs is going to be curtailed by our fears of losing our jobs. And I think this is going to be because of a tendency my mother warned me against when I was a child, and that is the growing tendency to mistake the currently reigning pontiff for the Catholic Faith.
About Patheos, source of attacks on Hilary's integrity.*
My faith as a Catholic has never depended on any pontiff, and I was born before the death of Paul VI. Growing up, no pope loomed largely in my life, though I remember the funeral of Paul VI or John Paul I (whoever it was who died in the summer, 'cause I saw the funeral over the TV in my American granny's house) and was troubled when John Paul II was shot. John Paul II came to visit my city in 1985, and I was shocked by how very badly he spoke English--how bizarrely he pronounced it. It never occurred to me that a pope could speak English so badly. (Duh. He improved over the years, though.) However, this didn't trouble my faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ and in His Church a whit. And although I was shocked and appalled when Benedict XVI, of whose writings I am rather fond, abdicated, I just reverted back to what I learned at my mother's knee: Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega and by comparison the pope does not much matter.
The Roman Catholic faith in its entirety, passed from one generation to the next, matters. Telling the truth matters. And so does friendship. Hilary is a very clever woman, an excellent writer and an honest reporter who does not, in her private life, suffer fools gladly. And thus my husband and I are proud to be numbered among her friends, and look forward to her exoneration by Life Site News.
Update 2: Sigh. My most recent qualification is because I just discovered that one of the instigators did indeed post about it on Patheos. And was very rude indeed.
Update 3: LifeSite defends Hilary. About darned time, too.