A belated memo to journalists

It is not news that the new Pope is Catholic. Nor, therefore, is it news that he teaches what the Catholic Church has taught for over two millennia–not even if these teachings offend your sensibilities. “The new Pope is against homosexuality, abortion, contraception, and female priests” is, as a news item, only a smidgen more necessary and informative than “The new President is is an American-born U.S. citizen at least 35 years of age, and will, once inaugurated, become the head of the executive branch and Commander in Chief of the armed forces.” Or “Woods no. 1 defecation spot for bears, says groundbreaking new study.” (Nor, of course, do all or even most of the Church’s teachings have to do with sex, despite what you seem to think.) This news is particularly unsurprising to those of us who believe that the Cardinals were guided in their decision by the Holy Spirit, but I assume that few of you belong in that particular Venn diagram circle.

Why do you breathlessly report that the new Pope is Catholic? I can think of two reasons. Firstly, the modern world is utterly out of touch with the teachings of orthodox Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, so it’s perfectly conceivable that you just don’t know that in holding these “controversial” beliefs (as usual, you use “controversial beliefs” as a euphemism for “beliefs we don’t like”), he is simply reiterating what the Church has been saying since the time of the Apostles. But secondly, your reporting serves as a useful propaganda weapon. By putting the new Pope’s orthodoxy out there as if it were news, you imply that these are “live issues” about which Catholics might legitimately disagree, that the Catholic Church would still be the Catholic Church if Nancy Pelosi were elected Pope at the next conclave. That’s another annoying habit you have, by the way: Denounce the Church if you must, but don’t denounce the Church and then try to micromanage its internal affairs.

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One thought on “A belated memo to journalists

  1. But Nancy Pelosi has been elected Pope, in the sense that English speaking Roman Catholic Priests avoid mentioning Paul’s position on marriage and the relationship between men and women.

    If Pauline marriage has been abandoned, retaining the rules on homosexuality, abortion, contraception and female priests is pointless.

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