Monday, April 12, 2010

The Press is Out of Touch - Not Pope Benedict XVI

It has happened again (and again and again). The press just can't find the dirt on Benedict XVI that they desperately want to be there.  Think about it - how huge would your journalistic career be if you could "bring down" the Pope because of a scandal you helped uncover? On the other hand, if there is no dirt to be found, how unethical is it to try and create a scandal?

A recent AP article that appeared all over the country takes another angle of desperation. This one claims that the problem with the Pope is that he is too academic and does not have enough pastoral experience to properly handle the abuse claims that reached his desk. Below is the beginning of the article:
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Long before entering Vatican life, Pope Benedict XVI won renown as a theologian and a German university professor, penning more than 40 books and winning a devoted following of students who respected his prodigious memory and brilliant mind.

One thing absent from his resume? Significant time as a parish priest.

Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, only worked 15 months tending to a flock in the 59 years since taking his vows, instead closing himself in the ivory tower of academia - a background that may help account for his troubled handling of the sex abuse crisis engulfing the church.

For one, it adds to the impression of an out-of-touch pontiff who simply doesn't grasp the enormity of the fury around the world over mounting evidence of sex abuse by priests, and inaction on the part of the Vatican and Benedict himself.

Benedict's very legacy will be shaped by whether this aging pontiff, who turns 83 on Friday, can embrace a new openness and express remorse in straightforward language free of the stilted defensiveness of many Vatican pronouncements to date.
This is what now passes for journalistic objectivity. Wild claims, such as:
  • he closed "himself in the ivory tower of academia"
  • he is an "out-of-touch pontiff"
  • he "doesn't grasp the enormity of the fury"
  • he shows a "stilted defensiveness"
  • he has "unqualified advisers"
  • finally, he "lacks the ideal credentials for his current job"
*Notice that our culture is lecturing the Pope, and us Catholics, on how to run the Catholic Church. 
*Notice that they are telling the Church that the Pope doesn't understand how to be a good pastor.
*Notice that the criteria for selecting a Pope should be what they want it to be.
*Notice that the Pope is out of touch because he doesn't understand culture or sex.

I propose that Pope Benedict XVI is eminently qualified and has his finger on the pulse of the culture more than anybody in the press. Why? Because Pope Benedict XVI understands better than any of them a multitude of issues surrounding this problem - the human person, sin, redemption, forgiveness, justice, etc. The modern culture calls that which is good, evil; and calls that which is evil, good. Why do we then listen to them on advice about an this problem?

It has been shown many times (see here, here, here, and here for examples) that the press is the one that is out of touch. How out of touch are they? They have ignored, misreported, and distorted the facts - for one reason.

This is not to say that horrible things were not done - they certainly were. But, stop looking desperate in trying to find scandal were there is none.

The Knights of Columbus are asking everyone to pray a Novena for Pope Benedict XVI. It started yesterday, but it still isn't too late to pray it. I urge you to do so.

1 comment:

djalk said...

Still not good for Catholics, but this seems to challenge all the "only the Catholics have a problem" headlines. What do you think?