The way stories like this one play out reminds me of John Henry Newman’s description of how even fictional stories of Catholics’ vice can never be disproven:
After a great deal of trouble, after writing about to friends, consulting libraries, and comparing statements, let us suppose [a Catholic can] prove most conclusively the utter absurdity of [some] slanderous story, and to bring out a lucid, powerful, and unanswerable reply; who cares for it by that time? who cares for the story itself? it has done its work; time stops for no man; it has created or deepened the impression in the minds of its hearers that a monk commits murder or adultery as readily as he eats his dinner. Men forget the process by which they receive it, but there it is, clear and indelible.
Or supposing they recollect the particular slander ever so well, still they have no taste or stomach for entering into a long controversy about it; their mind is already made up; they have formed their views; the author they have trusted may, indeed, have been inaccurate in some of his details; it can be nothing more. Who can fairly impose on them the perplexity and whirl of going through a bout of controversy, where “one says,” and “the other says,” and “he says that he says that he does not say or ought not to say what he does say or ought to say?” It demands an effort and strain of attention which they have no sort of purpose of bestowing.
Catholic haters don't want the truth.
They're not interested in the truth.
They don't want to play fair.
They want to smear the church. That's it.
If you are going to be tolerant and intellectually progressive, you have to care about facts, if only for your personal integrity.