Anyone who knows anything about the Internet knows that you should probably double check before sharing a meme with a quotation. That Marilyn Monroe quip? Probably not one of her missives. That platitude from Gandhi? I doubt he said it. It’s become the golden rule of responsible social sharing: fact check yourself before you wreck yourself.
We all make mistakes in this arena now and then, but such is life in the digital era. But there’s a difference between a meme you’re not supposed to think much about and a book that’s supposed to have a longer shelf life. If you’re writing a book defending your personal philosophy, incorrect attribution or inaccurate phrasing is a little less forgivable. But flat-out making up quotations to support your argument? That takes a special kind of liar.
Which brings us to Mike Huckabee.
If there’s one thing the Catholic Church has had to learn the hard way over the past decade, it’s the power of PR. Following the Boston Globe‘s now infamous exposé of sexual abuse by members of the clergy and the lengths to which the Church went to cover it up, Catholic Church leaders found themselves in the middle of a storm. They scrambled to make things right. They issued apologies. They created an anti-abuse counsel. The promised to do better.
But have they really? Recent events suggest otherwise.
Controversy over the appointment of a Bishop in Chile has been brewing since earlier this year when the Church chose to ordain Juan Barros in Osorno. The choice was controversial, as Barros was a protégé of the now disgraced Fernando Karadima, who, in 2011, was sanctioned by the Vatican and sentenced to a life of “penance” after proof of that he sexually abused teenage boys came to light. Barros, despite the Vatican insisting otherwise, has long been suspected of covering up Karadima’s abuse, especially after documents were leaked detailing some of the efforts made to conceal it from the public. While Barros is not explicitly indicted in those documents, testimony of the abused paired with those revelations made the case against him much stronger.
Pope Francis has struggled mightily to assure the public that the Church takes abuse seriously as protesters expressed fierce opposition to the move. Not helping matters is the fact his own sex abuse counsel stood in opposition to Barros’ appointment.
But most damaging to his efforts in saving face may be a video that recently surfaced of the Pope expressing his true feelings about the situation.
If you thought Gov. John Kasich was one of the more sensible GOP presidential candidates, let’s put that to rest right now.