Media Misunderstand Pope and Catholicism

Winnipeg Free Press, February 23, 2013 | Go to article overview

Media Misunderstand Pope and Catholicism


'For Lent, I'm giving up."

That's how Tim Stanley began a blog post on the Telegraph website last week following the surprise announcement of that Pope Benedict XVI was stepping down.

"How can anyone of faith not feel like surrendering after this week's largely bad media coverage of the papal abdication?" he asked.

For Stanley, much of the coverage could be summed up this way: "Elderly Homophobe Quits Misogynistic Institution Because He Can't Hack It."

What bothered him in particular was the way many in the media seemed to be lecturing the church about its need to modernize -- to get with the times by being more welcoming of homosexuality, to admit women as priests and to just generally become more accommodating of all things more liberal.

The problem, he said, is most journalists don't get religion, and especially don't understand the Roman Catholic Church.

Arguing that Catholics have to adapt their theology to be more attractive to modern people "is to misunderstand how religion works," he said.

"It's also to miss what makes faith so attractive to those who do bother to show up on a Sunday. In a world where everything seems to be up for negotiation, religion offers stability and certainty."

Plus, he added, "the tenets of faith" are not like political party platforms, which are up for debate at conventions.

That's not how things work in the Catholic Church, he noted. "It can shift the altar a few feet or revise its opinion on the movements of the stars, but it cannot rewrite essential doctrine."

Understanding this "requires putting aside prejudice and trying to understand the mindset of the true believer," he concluded. "Alas, a lot of journalism tends toward aggressive critical analysis rather than empathy."

Another major storyline that emerged amid the Pope's resignation was the terrible abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. At times, it seemed to dominate it.

Some reports in the media suggested Benedict was resigning because of the scandal, with at least one going so far as to intimate that his departure was all just a ploy to avoid prosecution.

Melinda Henneberger took issue with this view. Writing in the Washington Post, she said "It's simply not true that he protected predator priests. While I fault Benedict for many things, his record on abuse is far more mixed than that."

When others in the Vatican were writing off reports of abuse as an anti-Catholic media plot, then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger "spoke publicly of the need to remove clerical 'filth' from the church, in reference to predator priests," she said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Media Misunderstand Pope and Catholicism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.