That minister of humor unloads on the pope coverage

The thought for the day and, perhaps, for the next week or two, care of Father James Martin, the chaplain of The Colbert Report and author of the essential “Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life.” The problem, as you will see in this Facebook [Read More...]

Where’s the faith content in these sex scandals?

On one level, that New York Times feature story on the fall of Msgr. Kevn Wallin of Connecticut has everything one would want in a religion scandal. I mean, it’s got sex, crystal meth, Broadway show tunes and a hazy link to a future cardinal. Consider this summary material: At a time when priests from [Read More...]

Unnecessary words and the Vatican’s ‘gay lobby’

Yesterday a reader tweeted that The Guardian was clearly trying to insinuate that Pope Benedict XVI is compromised in some way, resigning in disgrace. The headline: Papal resignation linked to inquiry into ‘Vatican gay officials’, says paper  Pope’s staff decline to confirm or deny La Repubblica claims linking ‘Vatileaks’ affair and discovery of ‘blackmailed gay [Read More...]

Turkson wouldn’t be first African pope

Yesterday morning a Lutheran friend sent me an email joking that he was “off Team Turkson” on account of Turkson campaigning for the job of pope. That would be Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson. Now, I realize just how unseemly it is for a churchman to campaign for any job but this may be [Read More...]

WWROD: No, Pope Benedict XVI did not ‘resign’

To my shock, no one out in cyberspace filed a pope-retirement question over at veteran religion-reporter Richard Ostling’s handy new website, “Religion Q&A: The Ridgewood Religion Guy Answers your Questions.” Come on folks! The retired Time and Associated Press scribe is out there willing to give you input on the kinds of news-related questions that [Read More...]

Godbeat 101: Localizing the pope resignation story

For a newspaper junkie, one of the joys of the digital age is being able to scan hundreds of front pages when major breaking news occurs. And the first resignation of a pope in nearly 600 years falls under the category of major breaking news, right? Already, tmatt and Mollie have tackled key angles and questions [Read More...]

Alas, next pope will probably defend same old doctrines

So here is an interesting journalism question for this digital age: What do we do with the earlier versions of stories by major news organizations if the editors later take them down and replace them with cleaned-up, expanded versions? Do all of those headlines and paragraphs go into journalistic limbo? Were they ever published in [Read More...]

Early media failures in B16 resignation story

Well that’s not the news I expected to wake up to! Pope Benedict has announced he’ll retire at the end of the month. And as Michael Brendan Dougherty writes: There is no way I’m prepared for the ignorance about to be on display in the media Joshua Trevino snarked: Summing up most media comment: “Is [Read More...]


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