sabato, giugno 11, 2005

Doctrine Is Not A "Line"

(Från Roman Catholic Blog)

One of the most irritating aspects of media coverage of John Paul's death and Benedict's election was the media seeming inability to separate Church teaching from the man who wears the Fisherman's Ring. How often did we hear the talking heads holding forth about John Paul or Benedict's "stance" on abortion or "position" on same-sex marriage?

On one hand, I understand the reporter's mental processes are practically hardwired to thinking in political campaign terms. But when covering events as momentous as the passing of one Pope and the election of another, shouldn't members of the MSM take the time to educate themselves on the subject they're covering so their reporting is literate?

I was moved to post on this subject by this May article in Egypt Today, about apprehensions over how Pope Benedict XVI will continue his predecessor's interfaith efforts. It's a predictable article, right down to this section:

The former Dean of the College of Cardinals and one of John Paul II’s closest advisers, Ratzinger, 78, was a leading candidate for pope heading into last month’s conclave. The fact that the hard-line orthodox theologian was chosen after only the fourth ballot, in one of the shortest conclaves in history, indicates that the 115 cardinals who participated in the conclave were largely in agreement that the Church need not waver from its basic stance on issues such as homosexuality, abortion, contraceptives, divorce, celibacy, women in the clergy and biotechnology.

As one of the Catholic Church’s most conservative voices, Ratzinger is not likely deviate from his predecessor’s line on any of these issues.

When will journalists, regardless of which country they are from, understand that Church doctrine is not a "line" emanating from the personal convictions of one man. The Pope is the head of the Catholic Church -- the servant of the servants of God. He proselytizes Church teaching and maintains fidelity to it. He doesn't have a "line."

For some reason, too many reporters cannot understand that Church dogma is not the same thing as a political party platform, and the election of a new Pope is not like the Presidency passing from a Republican to a Democrat.

The sooner MSM reporters can grasp that concept and incorporate it into their reporting, the sooner their religious reporting will gain credibility.

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