The media didn’t catch Francis’s latest. They’re too busy recycling their first round of misreporting on him.
One glance at the front page, top of the fold headline on my hometown newspaper Friday morning told me that much. Though it’s morphed into different versions online, my Chicago Tribune carried a banner photo and headline under it blaring ‘Pope faults ‘small-minded rules’, with the sub-head ‘He says church shouldn’t be ‘obsessed’ with gays, abortion, contraception.’
‘Really?‘ I thought. ‘They’re still churning that out?‘ This was embarrassing. Because as a longtime journalist in a once-honorable profession, I knew they were being lazy and sloppy, most of the media, from the time the Francis interview came out. They’re all mostly reading each other and recycling the same words and headlines. All of which reveals a gaping void of direct knowledge of what Francis said in the interview that grabbed so much attention yesterday, and intellectual ability to analyze it from a base of knowledge required to report well on the topic at hand.
The Pope’s Friday address in Rome to a gathering of Catholic physicians got precious little coverage, except from Vatican news sources and good Catholic journalists and bloggers.
NRO’s Kathryn Lopez.
Pope Francis – the guy who supposedly wants everyone to hush up already about abortion and other contentious, intimate issues – met with Catholic doctors gathering in Rome for a conference on maternal health today.
He talked about the paradox doctors face today, welcoming progress while making sure it is always in service of human dignity. “If you lose the personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away,” he said. He observed that the acceptance of life strengthens moral fiber, before adding that the final objective of the doctor is always the defense and promotion of life.
“The first right of the human person is his life,” he said. Not for the first time, he talked about a throwaway culture, one that dismisses, doesn’t see, or seeks to eliminate those who are physically or socially weaker. According to Vatican Radio, “The Pope stressed that every child that is not born, but unjustly condemned to be aborted and every elderly person who is sick or at the end of his life bears the face of Christ.”
HotAir.com’s Ed Morrissey.
After watching the media demonstrate their lack of comprehension of the Catholic Church yet again this week, the LifeNews update on Pope Francis might still come as a shock to some journalists:
A day after an interview the mainstream media used to claim Pope Francis is backing down on the Catholic Church’s pro-life teachings, the Pope condemned abortion in strong terms, saying unborn babies are “unjustly condemned” when killed in abortions.
In the text of a message the Pope delivered to a group of Catholic doctors this morning, as distributed by the Vatican today, Pope Francis soundly condemned abortion.
“Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world,” he said.
Pope Francis condemned the “throwaway culture” abortion promotes, saying, “Our response to this mentality is a ‘yes’ to life, decisive and without hesitation. ‘The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are precious, but this one is fundamental –- the condition for all the others’”.
None of this is new. And in fact, none of what Pope Francis said in his lengthy interview this week is new, either, not for anyone who reads the catechism of the Catholic Church and understands the pontiff’s emphasis on evangelization. Unfortunately, that leaves out a vast majority of the secular media…
Morrissey points to Vatican expert George Weigel’s take on all this, which we need to hear and consider well.
He points out that Francis himself reiterated that the Catholic Church teachings on the modern ills of society are clear, but can only be healed by bringing people face to face with Christ first, rather than “rules” — and that this approach has been clearly stated since Vatican II:
“And how are the wounds of late-modern and postmodern humanity to be healed? Through an encounter with Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. “The most important thing, “ Francis insisted in his interview, “is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you.” The Church of the 21st century must offer Jesus Christ as the answer to the question that is every human life (as John Paul II liked to put it). The moral law is important, and there should be no doubt that Francis believes and professes all that the Catholic Church believes and professes to be true about the moral life, the life that leads to happiness and beatitude. But he also understands that men and women are far more likely to embrace those moral truths — about the inalienable right to life from conception until natural death; about human sexuality and how it should be lived — when they have first embraced Jesus Christ as Lord. That, it seems to me, is what the pope was saying when he told Antonio Spadaro that “proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things.” These are what make “the heart burn: as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. . . . The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”
This is the understanding Francis requires to ‘get’ what the ‘simple, humble, accessible’ Jesuit Pope is saying. Big, elite, powerful media and special interest groups certainly didn’t.
Frank Weathers caught that, neatly, in this Patheos post. It needs to be read, not excerpted, right from the graphic illustrating the abortion movement’s celebration of Pope Francis’ remarks just a day ago, contrasted by the remarks none of them noticed he made the next day. The comparison of his remarks on the issues the media are obsessing on with those of his predecessor, on the same issues. In a word, it is exquisite .
Read it. All. It forms a composite of Christ centered philosophy for a culture largely in denial of philosophy, religion, the transcendent, and therefore the presence or importance of Christ. We can probably agree that reform is necessary. But meanwhile, it appears there’s a revolution afoot.