Florida Family Association sent out an alert on January 22, 2019 titled “Please show support for the students of Covington Catholic High School after the leftist media lied about them and the Diocese did not defend them.” The alert encouraged people to send emails to Covington Catholic High School officials. The emails stated in part: “I stand with the students of Covington Catholic High School and urge you to share my support with the Diocese of Covington. The Diocese's response thus far is disappointing.” Emails would have been sent to the Bishop but the Diocese was blocking the Florida-family.org action email server.
Covington Diocese Bishop Roger Foys issued a statement that read in part: "We are sorry that this situation has caused such disruption in the lives of so many. We apologize to anyone who has been offended in any way by either of our statements which were made with good will based on the information we had. We should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely, and we take full responsibility for it. I especially apologize to Nicholas Sandmann and his family as well as to all CovCath families who have felt abandoned during this ordeal. Nicholas, unfortunately, has become the face of these allegations based on video clips. This is not fair. It is not just.”
While thousands of people sent emails in response to Florida Family Association’s alert on this situation other external factors weighed in on the Bishop’s decision to publicly apologize and accept responsibility for throwing the students under the bus before knowing all of the facts.
First, the liberal media put pressure on the bishop to give them cover for the fake, vitriolic news it had first spewed out on the students. Based upon Bishop Foys statements, it appears the fake news media went from placing pressure on the Diocese of Covington to publicly condemn the students to pressuring Bishop Foys to give them cover by apologizing. The reason for this switch in motivations for pressure was because an attorney for the students announced that anyone who did not retract wrong statements about the students and apologize would be included in a lawsuit. Bishop Foys stated: Since the first abbreviated fake news clips surfaced "… other video clips -- some of much longer duration -- have surfaced. Once these went viral some of the very same people who had put tremendous pressure on us to condemn the actions of the students now wanted a retraction from anyone who had previously issued a statement critical of them."
Second, organizations labeled as Catholic and prolife put tremendous pressure on Bishop Foys. Bishop Foys wrote: “The vitriol and hateful comments on some online stories, some of them appearing on websites that purport to be Catholic and pro-life, have been beyond belief and anything but pro-life."
Florida Family Association’s prepared email for people to send Covington Catholic High School officials was temperate. The prepared email stated in part: “I stand with the students of Covington Catholic High School and urge you to share my support with the Diocese of Covington. The Diocese's response thus far is disappointing.”
A special thanks to everyone who showed support for the students. Your emails made a difference.