Friday, April 08, 2005

Considering the Sources

I did not see the funeral of Pope John Paul II. The videotape awaits me when I arrive home from work this evening.

Looking back over the past week, I can only wonder what MSM representatives are making of all this fuss. After their years of steady carping that John Paul II was woefully out of step with modern times, how do they explain the unprecedented and phenomenal outpouring of love and grief for the man, especially by the great numbers of young people?

Are all of the multi-million pilgrims to Rome uneducated simpletons? Hmm, might offend too many readers and viewers with that slant. Is MSM the only group of sophisticates in the world to grasp the complexities of our age? Considering the fact that John Paul II visited more countries and reached out to more cultures than most world leaders combined, that conclusion is doubtful.

Where does that leave MSM? Now that the necessary period of restraint has passed, I suspect MSM will quickly launch back into their politically correct agendas. They will certainly trot out the West’s unholy trinity of secular issues with Catholicism: abortion, contraception, and women in the priesthood. Negative stories on priestly celibacy will also get wide coverage. And I suspect that the sex scandal within the Church--which is truly one our most tragic and shameful hours--will be eagerly spotlighted yet again.

Considering that the Roman Catholic Church has survived for nearly 2,000 years, it’s a given that it can handle criticism. Personally, I have no problem with differing points of view. In fact, I welcome them, as they often lead to very enlightening and productive discussions on faith, philosophy, and human behavior.

However, there is not much enlightenment in MSM’s approach to religion. Many of the newscasters covering the Pope’s passing have displayed a startling ignorance of their subject. One news wire service reported that John Paul II prayed the 14 “Stages” of the Cross the day before his death, but the easily-verifiable term is “Stations” of the Cross. (Proof that even non-bloggers can exhibit sloppy reporting!) On one national nightly newscast early in the coverage, ABC’s Terry Moran mentioned that a major difference with other Christian denominations is Catholic’s “adoration of the Blessed Virgin.” Now, that was a shocking bit of news to this cradle Catholic! We do love and revere the Blessed Mother, but “adore” her? Absolutely not! Adoration is for God alone, as she would be the first to insist.

So as the various dissecting tools emerge from the elite media’s journalistic kits in an effort to pare John Paul II’s remarkable papacy down to a manageable, mediocre size, let’s keep in mind the sources.