The reason I want to talk about this (the media and the Catholic Church) is simple. Public understanding of the Catholic role in our political process depends in large part on how the mainstream media frame church-related issues. I don’t know if any of you had the chance to cover Mother Teresa when she visited this country over the years. She once joked that she’d rather bath a leper than meet the press. Mother was not known for the ambiguity of her feelings. A lot of people in the church, especially those who practice their faith in an active and regular manner, would agree with what she meant because they feel the same way.
Now it turns out that I don’t feel the same way. In my experience, dealing with the press has usually been rather enjoyable – not always, but usually. I’ve worked with some very good journalists – some in this room – and I don’t think that we should ever fear the truth. I tend to like challenging questions – not everybody does – and I think many people in the church are afraid of the press because of the challenging nature of many of your questions.
But I also know reporters and editors who were and are uniquely frustrating, not because they write bad things about the church and not because they lack skill or intelligence. It’s because too often they really don’t know their subject or they dislike the influence of religion or they have unresolved authority issues or they resent Catholic teachings on sex or they’d rather be covering the White House but this is the only beat they got, you know?
Friday, May 14, 2010
Listen To This Man
Archbishop Chaput has one of the best minds in the Catholic Church today. Here is a snip one example: