We’ve certainly seen some abysmally bad religion news coverage ever since Pope Benedict XVI announced he was stepping down. But we’ve also seen some absolutely fantastic coverage. (Before we continue, please note the wording on this image — “Specializes in pastoral work, an important skill as Pope.” Funny, no?)
I sit in awe — every day — at the wonderful work done by John Allen, Jr. If you are likewise impressed with this man, you may want to read this Time profile of his work.
Anyway, I also rather liked the Washington Post’s serious coverage. Just in the last few days, we’ve seen extensive live coverage, and multiple angles for exploring the new pope. You can read about “Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, known for simplicity and conservatism,” for instance. And there’s been great local coverage from a variety of viewpoints — as you can read in “D.C. area Catholics embrace symbolism of the election of first Latin American pope.”
There was a nice look at the significance of the name chosen by the new pope in “Pope Francis: His name reflects ‘his ministry for the poor’.”
And there were even some fun, lighthearted blogs:
Maybe it’s that I’m hopped up on painkillers but I just want to thank the editors and reporters for all their hard work covering this story from around the world. It paid off.
As for problems, the only ones I saw were that last blog item, which I think displays some minor confusion about the papacy (such as whether the modern papacy is equivalent to the old bishops of Rome) and an error of missing at least one non-European pope we have discussed (Gelasius).
There was also the oddly hostile piece headlined “Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina elected pope, takes name Pope Francis.” It began: