Then it builds with more sensationalism in the press release itself: "In celebration of Gay Pride Month, Big Mama Capretta reveals the surprise truth about her identity. By day, Capretta is none other than Father Anthony, a proud practicing Catholic priest from Columbus, Ohio! Big Mama Capretta's new hit single 'Big Mama's House' is currently #25 on the U.S. Billboard Club Play dance chart."
Next, the Advocate, an "award-winning LGBT news site", basically copies down the press release and offers it as "news", contributing to the believability of the lie begun by the press release.
Finally, huge entertainment blogs take the Advocate "story" as "news" and run with it. My personal favorite? Perez Hilton who pipes: "If the church ever wants to point fingers again, they should start in their own backyard."
Well, sorry to rain on the parade
, but this guy has been "out" since the 1980's, and the Catholic "Church" he is part of is actually the Columbus Community of Charity Independent Old Catholic Church
, an "all-inclusive and welcoming congregation" .... yadda, yadda, you know the story (actually, oddly-enough, attendance at their "masses" are "open only to membership." So much for being inclusive).
In other words, Father Anthony is as much a Catholic priest as calling myself "DJ-AMP" makes me a musical artist.
Now, with these facts in hand, let's look at what is actually happening each step of the way in this story:
1) A PR firm realized the only way to promote this guy is to spread the claim he's actually a priest of the Catholic Church. This is false advertising because he is not a Catholic priest, and they knew that.
2) LGBT news sites happily continue the rumor because it plays into their stereotypes about priesthood, hypocrisy in the Church, etc. Never mind that it takes about five minutes of research to dismiss the lies spread by the press release. The Advocate is not even trying for journalistic integrity.
3) Celebrities like Perez Hilton who - idiot that he is - have a significant force in shaping today's pop culture, continue to perpetuate myths and lies about the Catholic Church. Remember this gem of a quote: "If the church ever wants to point fingers again, they should start in their own backyard." Try to imagine for a second if Perez Hilton had said that in reaction to a press release claiming a Hasidic Jew was a transvestite, etc.
Oh that's right, such things will never happen, because anti-Catholic prejudice is still acceptable, LGBT news sites aren't bound by the facts, and press firms have realized that when sex can't sell, attacking the Church will do.