NEW YORK CITY - The New York Times responded to a call to change the obituary on the late LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson on Monday.
The petition, started on change.org, has collected over 107 thousand signatures. Organizers of the obituary say it was highly critical of the church leader. The petition stated that the times focused too heavily on the controversial issues the church faced during Monson's tenure as president, rather than highlighting his life and service.
The Obits Editor of the New York Times addressed the petition Monday, and stated the obituary, "was a faithful accounting of the more prominent issues that Mr. Monson encountered and dealt with publicly during his tenure."
The article also stated:
"In 20/20 hindsight, we might have paid more attention to the high regard with which he was held within the church. I think by his very position in the church, all that was implied. But perhaps we should have stated it more plainly."
The authors of the petition wrote that the New York Times had written more favorable obituaries on less liked people, and said, "Fidel Castro and others have had more neutral obituaries which shows this as either a direct attack or a complete misunderstanding of religions or religious people." The petition went on to ask, "Would they write similar scathing remarks about the Pope?"
"An obituary is not the place to voice your opinions, and your political agendas about the deceased persons life," Jen christensen of Ogden said.
"I'm signing because this is an attack rather than an obituary," Kyle Wilkinson of Houston, Texas said.
While the New York Times addressed the viewpoints from the petition, it reminded signers that their staff members are journalists, and are "not in the business of paying tribute.