Friday, March 1, 2013

The media on Benedict's last day

The Media Research Center has a great post on Pope Benedict's last day at the Vatican.

A frail, ailing 85-year-old man announces he doesn’t have the strength to continue as the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion people. With the humility of one whose entire life has been in service to God and his Church, he says he will retire to quietly live out his remaining years. 
ABC, CBS and NBC have never been fans of Pope Benedict XVI. They saw the former Cardinal Ratzinger as a “hard-liner” for “strenuously condemning divorce, homosexuality, and abortion,” as ABC’s Dan Harris put it in 2008. But the broadcast networks’ coverage of Benedict and the Catholic Church in the weeks since he announced his retirement has been bizarre – relentless negativity punctuated by often inappropriate humor and personal attacks. 
From Benedict’s Feb. 11 resignation through the evening of Feb. 27, the day before it took effect, the networks referred to the Catholic Church as a troubled institution 122 times and aired the word “scandal” 87 times in 112 reports. Anchors and reporters suggested that the Church must modernize (32 times) and pressed for change in issues regarding women (7 times) and gays (13 times). At times, they trivialized the first resignation of a Pope since the 1500s as “worthy of a Dan Brown novel.”(ABC’s Harris again.) and sensationalized it by entertaining theories about other reasons Benedict might be stepping down. 
The night before the Pope’s resignation took effect, ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos said he was “known as God’s Rottweiler.”

For Catholics and all Christians, the understandable reaction to the media's reprehensible bias and obvious hated of the Church is deep outrage. It's my reaction.

But we have so much to celebrate here. Not only should we celebrate the Pope and his magnificent Pontificate, and the grace-filled Church-- institutional and mystical-- for which he provided such superb human guidance.

We should also celebrate our enemies.

The world hates us. The Church has no armies, and no tangible secular power. The Vatican is a nation of 110 acres surrounded by a world with powers that could crush it physically with only a wisp of effort.

But the Church obsesses them. They fight us continuously, in every venue, using every tactic. The purveyors of secular power and sin know that their only implacable enemy on earth is an elderly bishop and an institutional and mystical Church of a billion and a half Christians who love God and who strive, however imperfectly, to live in union with His Spirit.

The world hates us with such passionate intensity because we-- in service to the Lord we love-- are the only real limit on its power. 


  1. You're totally demented - pathetically playing the poor victim.

    The Church is its own worst enemy. Here's your fellow Catholic Andrew Sullivan's take: link

    The UK's highest Catholic cleric just resigned, because...?

    That's right. Because he couldn't keep his hands off the buttocks of subordinate young priests.

    Satan could hardly do a better job if he wanted to discredit the Catholic Church.

    1. Satan is trying to discredit the Church, by acting within it to tempt to sin and acting in its enemies to motivate them to attack it.

      The smoke of Satan has entered the Church, as the Pope phrased it.

      This is at its root a spiritual battle, fought by proxies in the world.

    2. Troy: Like you, I am very upset with the sexual abuse scandals within the Church. I don't spread blame around as recklessly as you do, but I'm pretty upset about it. Now, am I supposed to believe that your concern is really where it should be, with the victims? It seems that you relish every minute of it.

      Also, if you care at all about facts, priests are no more likely than clergymen of other religions to abuse children, and indeed no more likely than men generally. That doesn't excuse it, and it doesn't excuse anyone who covered it up, but I think you should know that your local mail man, truck driver, or computer programmer is just as likely to be abusing kids as your local priest. Teachers are MORE likely, particularly male school teachers. If all school teachers were male, just as all Catholic priests are male, you'd really see some astounding numbers.

    3. "Fellow Catholic" Andrew Sullivan! LOL! You're such a kidder, Troy.

      Throw all pedophiles in jail and throw away the key. That includes priests, but also teachers, Hollywood directors hiding out in France, and the enablers at ACORN and Planned Parenthood.


    4. Joey:

      Great point. It's amazing how boring child molestation is to leftie atheists when it's committed by or sanctioned by one of their collaborating organizations.

    5. Troy lifts most of his talking points about the Catholic Church from Sullivan. He's not even original.


    6. So, Sullivan is not a Catholic, contrary to his own claims? Has he been excommunicated, unlike, say, Adolf Hitler?

    7. All I'm saying is that simply calling yourself Catholic does not make it so. Angry homosexuals who accept virtually no part of the Catholic religion should stopping calling themselves that. The only reason they do is so that people like you can call them "fellow Catholics," implying that their criticism has more merit. If someone claims belief in God but insists on being called an atheist, would you give a crap about "his own claims?" People who believe in God are not atheists, regardless of self-identification.

      Adolf Hitler was baptized Catholic when he was an infant. No one asked his permission. Catholicism was the default religious position for Austrians of that time. He was involuntarily confirmed as a child and never attended mass or received the sacraments upon reaching adulthood. No one has to excommunicate people who leave on their own.

      Adolf Hitler and Andrew Sullivan have approximately equal Catholic quotients. Both were baptized into the religion a long time ago but obviously, they are not Catholic.


    8. @troy:

      You misunderstand excommunication in the Church. Excommunication is generally reserved for heresy, and it does not mean the same thing as being in a state of mortal sin. While all people who are excommunicated by the Church are in mortal sin, not all people who are in mortal sin are excommunicated. Excommunication is quite rare, and is normally reserved for theologians who teach heresy, or on rare occassions for secular leaders who defy the Church on doctrinal matters.

      The Church does not excommunicate criminals, even mass murderers who rule nations. The local bishops don't make the rounds in prisons looking for murderers to excommunicate. Excommunication is used as a tool by the Church to clarify matters of doctrine.

      The Vatican considered carefully the measures it could take against Hitler. The Chruch was in fact Hitler's most implaccable instutional ememy in occupied Europe-- universities, the press, labor unions collapsed with little fight. The Church repeatedly condemned Nazism (Bishop Von Galen in Munster, the encyclical Mit brennender Sorge in 1937 was a scorching repudiation of Hitler and Nazism. There was some local Catholic collaboration, which was execrable, but with the exception of Jehovah's Witnesses and the Warsaw Ghetto, there was no religious or institutional opposition to Nazism in occupied Europe that was anywhere near as strong as that of the Church.

      The problem with excommunicating Hitler was primarily the very real fear that he would take revenge on innocents for the slight. He obviously cared not personally what the Church said of him, but he had a history of murderous retaliation against innocents. An example: in 1942, Bishop de Jong of Utrecht in the Netherlands issued a pastoral letter condemning Nazi atrocities against Jews.

      In retaliation, the Nazis arrested 213 baptised Catholic Jews in Holland and sent them to Auschwitz.

      Pius XII knew that Hitler had tens of millions of Catholics and millions of Jews and Protestants under his power. An excommunication by the Church would accomplish little in any tangible sense, and would almost certainly lead to reprisals against millions of innocents.

      You must remember that the position of the Church in occupied Europe was that of a hostage negotiator.

  2. I don't know where Dr. Egnor is getting his information on this one. As far as I know, you, Bachfiend are correct. In Hitler's eyes, baptized Jews were still Jews because his animus was racial, not religious.

    See Fritz Stern's "Five Germanys I Have Known." Stern was from a Jewish family that converted, as many did. There was certainly anti-Semitism in the Kaiserreich but Jews could overcome it by merely converting to Christianity. That changed when the National Socialists came to power.


  3. Yep, much to celebrate. In fact, my friends who are a gay couple said they raised several toasts to Benedict's Pontificate with the three couples with whom they share a Provincetown beach house. The other three couples are all Catholic priests.

    (the "raising a toast" part is fiction, the 3 gay priest couples sharing a house in Provincetown is 100% fact)

    The Catholic Church is the world's greatest engine of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy becomes so ingrained that followers like Michael Egnor can spout hypocritical nonsense without any awareness whatsoever of the disgusting irony of their words.

    For example, when Michael says " Excommunication is quite rare, and is normally reserved for theologians who teach heresy", he probably doesn't even realize that he's absolutely full of Papal Bull.

    Where is the heresy when the mother of a 9-year-old rape victim was excommunicated for supporting her daughter's abortion - an abortion which was recommended on medical grounds because her little body could not safely deliver the TWINS her incestuous father (still in good standing with the Church) had blessed her with.

    So here's hoping that the Church can find among it's leadership someone who can still recognize the difference between truth and hypocrisy.