Times corrects on Presbyterian 'priests' *

In today's printed paper, the L.A. Times acknowledges its mistake (see Tomorrow's correction today?) in saying that a lesbian sought to become a priest of the Presbyterian church. "The church ordains ministers, not priests," the correction says. Oddly, it's not yet shown at the online corrections page, or findable via's notoriously unreliable search function, but it is affixed to the original mistake.

We get email: Monday's post on the gaffe brought email from an L.A. media pro who closely monitors the Times on religion: "Sad, but nothing new. A few weeks ago, the L.A. Times wrote a story in which they referred to Catholic deacons as 'unordained ministers'...This came on the heels of the L.A. Times being the only newspaper in the nation to refer to the new Archbishop of New York as a 'monsignor' from Milwaukee. Actually, Archbishop Dolan was Archbishop of Milwaukee when he was named to New York. Since Larry Stammer left, religion flubs at the Times have been as numerous and as frequent as shoe scuffs on the terrazzo at LAX. There really are no religion writers there anymore, just a rotating group of writers who occasionally get a church assignment."

Also this: From a media pro who thinks this teapot's tempest is overblown: "oh, good lord....this is not an 'astonishing' error. The Presbyterian Church does indeed have 'priests' in the generic sense of the word because priest is a generic and specific term, and no one with the slightest familiarity with the English language could fail to know this."

* And finally: Former LAT religion writer and editor John Dart emails, "One commentator mispoke -- Duke Helfand is the one religion news specialist left and does well. But the flubs on wording, I suspect, may be the general downsizing of editorial employees, including the all-important copyeditors."

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