Pope’s abuse apology: Media did a fair job, surprisingly

Mainstream media didn’t pile onto Pope Francis. I know that sounds cynical — something like “Johnny’s trumpet recital didn’t suck!” — but in the story of Francis’ personal apology to victims of priestly abuse, reporters actually reported. They left pontifications to the pontiff. Francis, of course, has apologized before for the abuses that his predecessors [Read More...]

The Guardian on Islam and female genital mutilation

The Guardian reports that Britain’s largest Muslim organization, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), has condemned female genital mutilation as un-Islamic. The article reports on the campaign to end the practice brought to Britain by immigrants from Africa and the Middle East, and the steps taken by the MCB and NGOs to educate immigrants on [Read More...]

In Irish children’s deaths, clarity doesn’t thrive in a septic tank

The accounts of cruelty, neglect and other abuse of children under Catholic Church care in Ireland cannot and must not be ignored. But in their tales about babies buried in septic tanks and such, news media need to be scrupulous with facts and clarity. A case in point: two articles on St. Mary’s Mother and [Read More...]

Pope Francis doesn’t always sound like Mr. Nice Guy

Dear reporters: You’re full of you-know-what. Sincerely, Pope Francis Not quite the missal you’d expect from the man who enjoys the media-crafted image of a mild, friendly, non-judgmental granddaddy. But there’s another side to Pope Francis. Like when he described journalists in vivid terms: “Sometimes negative news does come out, but it is often exaggerated [Read More...]

Reporters: beware of Greeks bearing gay gifts

The essence of life, its meanings, symbols and motives, can be found in television; reporting on the condition of man is reducible to vignettes from Seinfeld and Yes Minister. This profundity came to me late last night as I perused The Guardian‘s report on the political and civil debate over same-sex unions in Greece. As [Read More...]

Do we cover hypocrisy consistently?

It is my fallen nature that causes me to delight in stories about hypocrisy. We are all hypocrites if we use that term to mean we behave in ways contrary to the ideals we espouse. Technically that’s not what hypocrisy means. Rather it refers to claiming to believe something different than what one believes. Or [Read More...]

Hearing Francis through the ears of politics

We believe only what we want to believe, George Orwell observed in 1945. “So far as I can see,” he wrote in the Partisan Review: [A]ll political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly [Read More...]


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