One piece of news that slipped beneath some peoples' notice last week was the quiet exit of Tony Spence, longtime editor of Catholic News Service. CNS is not known as a bastion of liberal thought, so I was surprised to learn the problem here was some tweets that Spence had posted on his personal feed.
Posting sentiments that cut across the grain of your full-time employer is pretty risky but maybe Spence, 63, felt he had the seniority and stature to speak his mind. But the blogosphere got him, as it tends to do, to the point where his employer could not defend him.
It's a sign of our edgy cyber-times. Read more about it from NPR:
The director and editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service, a news agency affiliated with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has reportedly been pushed out of his position after an outcry over tweets endorsing LGBT rights.
Two prominent Catholic news outlets have reported that Tony Spence resigned this week at the request of an official in the bishops conference.
Spence, who has headed the CNS since 2004, was active on Twitter -- tweeting mostly about news within the Catholic Church, but occasionally sharing stories on the journalism industry, world news and pop culture. He tweeted about sainthood dates, the pope and refugees, Flannery O'Connor's faith and the infuriating failures of the D.C. metro.
But it was tweets about the gender identity legislation in North Carolina and what supporters call the "religious liberties" measure in Mississippi, and related issues of LGBT rights, that reportedly led to his dismissal.