Friday, October 31, 2014

Hope Springs Eternal--Even During Fall

A journalist has noted that journalists just don't understand the Catholic Church and don't write about us honestly--in Time Magazine, no less:

The "Pope Francis supports evolution" story is just the latest example of the press getting the Catholic Church completely wrong

It is official: the media has gone bananas in its coverage of Pope Francis.

Pope Francis’ real role in this evolution hubbub was small. He spoke, as Popes do, to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Monday, which had gathered to discuss “Evolving Topics of Nature,” and he affirmed what Catholic teaching has been for decades. “God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life,” he said. “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”

Anyone who knows anything about Catholic history knows that a statement like this is nothing new.

But news coverage, as from MSNBC, would have us think that this was something new and more precisely that this was something that demonstrated once again that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a reactionary, medieval, conservative pope, and Pope Francis is a modern, open minded and liberal pope:

It doesn't seem to matter that Pope Benedict XVI called the debate between evolution and creation an “absurdity” in 2007. MSNBC opened its piece saying, “Pope Francis made a significant rhetorical break with Catholic tradition Monday by declaring that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real.” NBCNews called the Pope’s statement, “a theological break from his predecessor Benedict XVI, a strong exponent of creationism.”

I've seen this statement before but can't give the source: if someone covering sports--say, the World Series in baseball--showed such a lack of knowledge of their subject, he or she would be fired or reassigned immediately. The sport page readers or game show listeners would light up the switchboard with calls of rage and for removal. Of course if Catholics make those kind of calls it's just special pleading. But it's not right or just that reporters can mislead their readers so much either out of ignorance or manipulation.

And if the mainstream media agrees with Pope Francis so much, perhaps the reporters should read again what he said about Pope Benedict XVI:

"Benedict XVI was a great pope," he said: "Great for the power and penetration of his intellect, great for his considerable contribution to theology, great for his love for the church and for human beings, great for his virtues and his religiosity."

Pope Francis praised his predecessor Oct. 27 at a meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The academicians invited Pope Francis to unveil a bronze bust of Pope Benedict at the academy's headquarters in the Vatican Gardens.

The pope said he was pleased that the statue's face and particularly its eyes captured the spirit, intelligence and love of Pope Benedict.

"This spirit, far from crumbling with the passing of time, will appear greater and more powerful from generation to generation," the pope predicted.

With his intellectual curiosity and his love for science, Pope Benedict especially enjoyed conversing with scientists at the Pontifical Academy, Pope Francis said.

"No one could ever say of him that study and science made him and his love for God and his neighbor wither. On the contrary, knowledge, wisdom and prayer enlarged his heart and his spirit," the pope said. "Let us thank God for the gift that he gave the church and the world with the existence and the pontificate of Pope Benedict."

I feel like that Martian character from Looney Tunes: "This makes me very angry, very angry indeed."

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