“There are not over a 100 people in the U.S. that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.” —Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Michael Walsh on The Clueless Media
The instant Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement, the American media went into politics mode — and got even that wrong.
No, the focus instead was on whether the church — despite centuries of fidelity to a well-defined set of moral precepts — will take this opportunity to “expand its appeal” by compromising its teachings on birth control, homosexuality and divorce. And, given the church’s decline in Europe but its dramatic rise in the Third World, whether the next pope would better “represent” the demographic shift if he were black or Hispanic.
Translation: Will the Catholic Church finally start imitating the Democratic Party? Why no
But nothing makes lefties madder than Benedict’s deaf ear toward their petulant insistence that the Church “modernize” — in other words, destroy the moral foundation of the world’s longest surviving institution. It never seems to occur to the critics that the church’s explosive growth outside Europe and North America is precisely due to the steadfastness of its moral teachings — and that its decline in the West is a result of a loss of faith in those very principles among intellectuals. (You see the same decline in Reform Judaism and liberal Protestantism.)
Our faith remains a mystery. No time has been wasted stirring up a frenzy of speculation about what will happen next in the Catholic Church, not from the perspective of its place in the hearts and lives of 1.1 billion Catholics around the globe, but through the prism of the mainstream media’s political priorities.
In the Washington Post The Catholic Church can’t change
Sorry to be a wet blanket, but the Catholic Church is not going to change its teaching on any of the fun stuff (contraception, female “ordination,” homosexuality, abortion, etc.) with the next pope. Nor will it ever.
When news of the pope’s retirement broke, Nicholas Kristof pondered on Twitter: “At some point, the church will accept contraception and female and non-celibate priests. Could it be in the next papacy?” Countless groups issued press releases clamoring for a “progressive” pope. The Rainbow Sash Movement called for the next pope to stop emphasizing “purity.” The Women’s Ordination Conference announced it would hold vigils and raise pink smoke to raise awareness of the need for “female priests.” I can’t wait to see what Maureen Dowd will say.
For Lent, I’m giving up. How can anyone of faith not feel like surrendering after this week’s largely bad media coverage of the papal abdication?… The Guardian’s ideal Pope is someone who isn’t a Catholic. Let’s name and shame a few media sins:
1. Defining Pope Benedict as a “conservative”. In Catholicism there is no Right or Left but only truth and error. A Pope is there to articulate doctrine, not to “turn the clock back” or “embrace progress.
3. Giving excessive air time to the Church’s critics. If someone retired at work, who would you invite to give the farewell speech? Someone who liked and understood them, or someone who hated or never even met them? Parts of the media seem to overwhelmingly favor the latter,
4. Insisting that the Church needs to reform to survive. Whether it does or not, it won’t happen because the Catholic Church doesn’t do change….In a world where everything seems to be up for negotiation, religion offers stability and certainty. The Catholic Church is like your dad: you might not agree with all his prejudices, but there’s reassurance in trusting that he believes what he believes and he’s always there for you.
The Anchoress Media Uses Assault Weapons of Ignorance on Benedict
Weigel does a good job of gently informing his host that no one is forced to be a Catholic, that the Catholic church is not a democratic republic whereby the Pope/President can issue an “executive action” decreeing that “yeah, everything we’ve thought through and taught for 2,000 years is nonsense in the face our enlightened progressive age…”. Time constraints, however, preclude his addressing the (to me) most obnoxious lie — because it’s one that utterly betrays MSNBC’s incuriosity and their unwillingness to do the barest research — the “pope hates stem cell research” lie.
Yes, the old “church hates science” narrative, promulgated by people who do not know, or care to know, that the scientific method originated with her, as did the idea of a university. It takes precisely a minute to google “Pope Benedict Stem Cell Research” do you know the first news story one finds? At a recent conference on stem cells endorsed by and held at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI announced the Catholic Church’s support for adult stem cell research. The next headline found: Vatican to Fund Adult Stem Cell Research.
In the Irish mind, and in the minds of everyone else who has seen or read one of the many films, plays and books about the Magdalene laundries, these were horrific institutions brimming with violence and overseen by sadistic, pervy nuns. Yet the McAleese Report found not a single incident of sexual abuse by a nun in a Magdalene laundry. Not one. Also, the vast majority of its interviewees said they were never physically punished in the laundries. As one woman said, "It has shocked me to read in papers that we were beat and our heads shaved and that we were badly treated by the nuns… I was not touched by any nun and I never saw anyone touched." The small number of cases of corporal punishment reported to McAleese consisted of the kind of thing that happened in many normal schools in the 1960s, 70s and 80s: being caned on the legs or rapped on the knuckles. The authors of the McAleese Report, having like the rest of us imbibed the popular image of the Magdalene laundries as nun-run concentration camps, seem to have been taken aback by "the number of women who spoke positively about the nuns".
Even the Pope took the opportunity to set the record straight this week when he met with the parish priests and clergy from the Diocese of Rome to talk about his experience of the real council of Vatican II and the "Council of the media"
I would now like to add yet a third point: there was the Council of the Fathers - the true Council - but there was also the Council of the media. It was almost a Council in and of itself, and the world perceived the Council through them, through the media. So the immediately efficiently Council that got thorough to the people, was that of the media, not that of the Fathers….the Council of journalists did not, naturally, take place within the world of faith but within the categories of the media of today, that is outside of the faith, with different hermeneutics. It was a hermeneutic of politics. The media saw the Council as a political struggle, a struggle for power between different currents within the Church. It was obvious that the media would take the side of whatever faction best suited their world.Posted by Jill Fallon at February 15, 2013 11:58 AM | Permalink
And we know that this Council of the media was accessible to all. So, dominant, more efficient, this Council created many calamities, so many problems, so much misery, in reality: seminaries closed, convents closed liturgy trivialized … and the true Council has struggled to materialize, to be realized: the virtual Council was stronger than the real Council. But the real strength of the Council was present and slowly it has emerged and is becoming the real power which is also true reform, true renewal of the Church. It seems to me that 50 years after the Council, we see how this Virtual Council is breaking down, getting lost and the true Council is emerging with all its spiritual strength.