The editor will be announced in an LA Daily News board meeting. The printing press, symbolizing publishing, will be made out of lollipops. The staff will agree to follow the direction of “our editor and blackjack dealer.”
But the real departure from Los Angeles Times tradition will be evident when Maria Eitz approaches the computer to write her first story.
Does any of that make sense to you? How about this lede to a story that ran in the Los Angeles Times this week?
SAN FRANCISCO — The priest will be ordained in a purple Lutheran church. The Communion bread, symbolizing the body of Christ, will be gluten-free. The congregation will pray to “our mother our father in heaven.”
But the real departure from Roman Catholic tradition will be evident when Maria Eitz approaches the altar Sunday for the laying on of hands that turns parishioner into priest.
So, according to the logic here, you can deny transubstantiation, get ordained in, literally, a Lutheran church (no, not my kind!), and get all gender-weird about God the Father and that’s totally cool and not even a “real” departure from Roman Catholic “tradition?” In what world? Why is Roman Catholic even mentioned here? Seriously?
Also, these aren’t items of tradition, but doctrine. Someone who doesn’t understand the difference between Christian doctrine and Christian tradition has no business writing a story on non-Catholics getting ordained in non-Catholic ceremonies. Period. When editors and reporters are so unfamiliar with Christian doctrine — and tradition — that they produce stories such as this, we all lose.
These stories have been so bad for so long that I’m beginning to wonder if journalists didn’t, like, sign a pact with some agent of journalism darkness to see how much idiocy could be spread under one story topic. It’s just that bad.
Take the headline:
Women becoming priests without Vatican’s blessing
Small numbers of Catholic women are ignoring the ban on female priests and are ordained without the church’s acknowledgment.
The Roman Catholic church is an organization that sets it’s own rules. This headline makes no more sense than saying:
Auto mechanics becoming professors without UCLA’s blessing
Small numbers of auto mechanics are ignoring the rules on who becomes professors and are given tenure without UCLA’s acknowledgement
Golfers becoming infielders without Yankees blessing
Small numbers of golfers are ignoring MLB rules and are being named infielders without the Yankees’ acknowledgment
The story is riddled with errors and weirdness.
We’re told, for instance, that “more than 120 women worldwide … have been ordained as Roman Catholic priests and deacons” and then a line later that those ordinations weren’t valid according to church law.
It has all the trademark puffiness of every single other Womenpriests story you’ve ever read. After acting like the women we’re reading about are really good Roman Catholics, though, we learn:
The congregation’s core beliefs are another story too. Rue and Eitz support abortion rights, contraception, married priests and same-sex marriage. Rue is a married lesbian who has been out since 1973.
We learn that the sacrament isn’t administered by the priests so much as the congregation. I’ll just quote the last three paragraphs for your enjoyment about these faithful Catholic women who are held up only by the misogynistic leadership of Rome:
What calms her mind? Hafiz, a Sufi poet from the 14th century, and Mary Oliver, whose poems weave the natural and spiritual worlds.
With fog blanketing her Inner Richmond neighborhood and her cocker spaniel sleeping at her feet, Eitz opens a collection of Hafiz’s work. She has marked her favorite poems with feathers. She begins to read out loud.
“I / Have / Learned / So much from God / That I can no longer / Call / Myself / A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim / A Buddhist, a Jew,” she read, beginning to relax. “The Truth has shared so / much of itself / With me / That I can no longer call myself / A man, a woman, an angel / Or even pure / Soul.”
Yeah, man! Was that poem published by the Vatican? Because it sure sounds about as Roman Catholic as anything else I’ve ever heard, you know?
If someone can no longer call herself a Christian and her ordination takes place in a purple (why was that an important detail?) Lutheran church and she deviates from Christian teaching on most major points, one might wonder why there is any media coverage for her schismatic group, but one definitely wonders why the story was framed as it was to begin with.
Better work next time, kids.
Image of someone dressing up as a Politico editor via FishbowlDC.