Because most people a) don't know this about Sodom-by-the-Sea, b) don't read much more than the headline and first paragraph or two of most news articles, and (most importantly) c) because there is a bit of a publicity battle being waged against his Excellency the Lion-hearted archbishop. This publicity battle is being waged (ostensibly) because the good archbishop said some truthful things about homosexual acts, and is asking those who are employed in positions of authority in his see to refrain from publicly promoting such things as as sodomy (and adultery, fornication, masturbation, pornography, and a host of other sexual sins, etc).
Therefore, anything which can be found to hurt his excellency's image, must be found, dug up, and trotted out on parade before the public. This must be done, even if a retraction must later be reprinted--because who ever notices (let alone reads) those, anyway? And why give the diocese benefit of the doubt in this policy--why hesitate to consider that there just may be some innocuous explanation--in short, why do the work of actually reporting, when the existence of the thing can be used to attack Archbishop Cordileone, or to paint him in an unfavorable light? For that matter, why bother to find out whether the archbishop had anything at all to do with this decision, when you can just assume that he did?
Meanwhile, the archdiocese gives some pretty valid reasons for the sprinklers' installation--and now will be removing it, thanks to the "optics":
This sprinkler system in alcoves near our back doorways was installed approximately two years ago, after learning from city resources that this kind of system was being commonly used in the Financial District, as a safety, security and cleanliness measure to avoid the situation where needles, feces and other dangerous items were regularly being left in these hidden doorways. The problem was particularly dangerous because students and elderly people regularly pass these locations on their way to school and mass every day. When the system was installed,after other ideas were tried and failed, the people who were regularly sleeping in those doorways were informed in advance that the sprinklers were being installed. The idea was not to remove those persons, but to encourage them to relocate to other areas of the Cathedral, which are protected and safer. The purpose was to make the Cathedral grounds as well as the homeless people who happen to be on those grounds safer. We are sorry that our intentions have been misunderstood and recognize that the method used was ill-conceived. It actually has had the opposite effect from what it was intended to do, and for this we are very sorry. We have also now learned that the system in the first place required a permit and may violate San Francisco water-use laws, and the work to remove this system has already started, and will be completed by the end of the day.
My thought is that if anyone is injured or endangered by stepping on (say) a discarded needle or made ill from contact with human feces as a result of the removal of this system, that is on the hands of these media piranhas.