Just wanted to share an email I sent last week to editors at Huffington Post (Danielle Crittenden, Devon Murphy, Stuart Whatley, Angelina Chapin, and Arianna Huffington):

Dear Danielle, Devon, Stuart, Angelina and Arianna,

In late 2012, you pulled an article of mine that subsequently appeared in Connecticut Jewish Ledger. It was about Croatian Catholic Archbishop Alojsije (Aloysius) Stepinac, who presided over the little-known WWII genocide of the Christian Orthodox. Your co-religionsists, Arianna, if I’m not mistaken.

As you can see from Tuesday’s Jerusalem Post, the pope has taken the unprecedented step of halting the outrageous yet little debated canonization of the very same Stepinac. Francis wouldn’t do this lightly. Clearly, he has been convinced that Stepinac’s record requires further review. My hastily nixed article objected to Canadian former immigration minister Jason Kenney proudly telling Croatian audiences (viewable on video) that he keeps a photo of Stepinac on his desk. Meanwhile, the constituency that he thereby endears himself to suffers from a fascist nostalgia that has become increasingly difficult to ignore in the three years since Croatia entered the EU.

While I’d become accustomed to the appalling treatment of contributors at HuffPo (editors whose communication style — present company excluded — ranged from non-existent, to dismissive, to irritable), I was still taken aback when not one of you even told your contributor (me) what the “inaccuracies” and “potentially libelous” parts of my article were. (Those were the words used in Danielle Crittenden’s brief email, by way of an “explanation.”) Even after I inquired. Instead, my login simply stopped working, though I tried to resist the logical conclusion that it was related.

While I regretted using the phrase “oversaw genocide” when I meant “presided over genocide,” I didn’t know what else could be considered “factually inaccurate,” and worthy of erasure rather than a one-word fix. Hence, your reticence led me to believe that your Canadian site (where the piece was published) was perhaps ‘gotten to’ by Kenney’s people. And that HuffPo caved. No questions asked. Not that any North Americans would know what questions to ask in the first place, given that the subject sits atop 75 years of buried history. Interestingly, when the article appeared on a U.S. newspaper’s website, no one was “gotten to” about any “inaccuracies” or “libel.” (Did you guys even check the purported inaccuracies against my previous, related article which HuffPo did not unpublish?)

I wasn’t the only one who suspected that Canadian ‘free speech,’ such as it is, had been compromised by the government there. A left-leaning blogger wrote at the time:

Huffington Post deep-sixes Kenney criticism, By Dr.Dawg on November 14, 2012

… An article about Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney’s University of Haifa doctorate by conservative commentator Julia Gorin has mysteriously disappeared from the pages of the Huffington Post without explanation….here’s what appears at HuffPo now…

Does part of [Kenney’s] image-making include political pressure to vapourize articles that are unkind to him? Is this self-censorship by HuffPo (if that’s what it was) related to other incidents recently reported of direct and indirect political pressure on our so-called free press? The Huffington Post editors owe us an explanation. And so might the Harper government.

Arianna, have you done anything since speaking out in 1999, the year of our history-obliterating war, to raise awareness of the evil that the high-minded Western powers have continued to visit upon your co-religionists in the ever expendable Balkans? Those ‘great’ powers that decided that violent jihadists, unrepentant fascists, and mobsters are preferable to Christian Slavs, and treat them accordingly? Understandably, the pull of celebrity, inclusion, and political correctness is more tempting than righting a historical wrong, but your ever-rising star precisely puts you in a position to influence people in power. At the very least, HuffPo could refrain from obstructing a lone blogger who has ruined her life trying to get the truth out.

Forgive the presumptuousness of my tone, but life’s been tough and HuffPo didn’t make it any easier, even when (admittedly) Arianna tried. I’ll close with an excerpt from Tuesday’s JPost article:

[Francis] touched the heart of Croatian nationalism when he suspended the canonization process of the Zagreb Archbishop, Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac. In response, numerous Croatian Catholics have written him off…What made him do it?

…Namely, in 1938, Pope Pius XI planned to publish an encyclical criticizing Nazi racial theories. He appointed the American Jesuit John LaFarge to prepare the text, and advised him to visit and consult the young Archbishop of Zagreb. Stepinac had drawn attention to himself by helping Jews….

The encyclical was…never promulgated because Pius XI died three days before it was to be published, and his successor, the controversial Pope Pius XII, held it back and locked it away. In his memoirs, LaFarge describes Stepinac as someone who clearly understood the dangers of nacism and racism. How is it then possible that only three years later, when the Croatian puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was founded and the Ustasha leader was installed by Hitler and Mussolini, the same Stepinac embraced this fascist construction which was not only clearly founded on a racist interpretation of the Croatian nation, but also sought to promote racial laws which were instrumental for the genocide against Serbs, Jews, Roma and others?

…Stepinac spoke with Pope Pius XII on various occasions asking – begging – him to recognize and support the NDH…Although Stepinac knew about Jasenovac and all the other death camps, he advocated for the recognition and support of the NDH…

Those who claim that Pope Francis has succumbed to provocations from the Orthodox need to be reminded that Pope Francis has also decided to stop the beatification process of Pius XII…There is no doubt that Stepinac tried to help Jews, at least those who were in Zagreb, during the Second World War. But what continues to be controversial are his words. He never clearly condemned the race laws. In his letters to the Ustasha leaders he merely asks that Jews be treated “humanely” in the camps. Yad Vashem has twice denied petitions to give Stepinac the title “Righteous Among the Nations.” And they are right in doing so.

However, when analyzing Stepinac’s attitude toward Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church his position becomes very difficult: Stepinac did not like Serbs or Orthodoxy. In his diary he wrote that “…Orthodoxy is Europe’s greatest curse, almost greater than Protestantism…”

Stepinac serves as a national and political saint, strengthening “Croatianness” and in the struggle against the communist regime – which ceased to exist a long time ago. However, according to Pope Francis, when someone is canonized a role model of the Christian life is created which gives direction to the politics of the Church; saints are guides who show us the right way.

I am aware that there are those who will consider me a national traitor for saying this, but I believe that the beatification process and the sanctification of Aloysius Stepinac are a great and unnecessary burden for the Church. It is a process which should never even have started….

The author mentions that Francis has established a Vatican-Serbian-Croatian commission to discuss the Stepinac case and analyze historical documents, which will also shed light on Pius XII. This will be a historic opportunity for journalism. Though I expect few among its ranks will seize it.

Your excommunicated contributor,
Julia Gorin