Sarah Palin has taken to social media to issue an apology for her recent criticism of Pope Francis.
On Tuesday, November 12, Palin spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper about her new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas. During the interview, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate admitted she was “taken aback” by some of Pope Francis’s remarks as reported in the press. “He’s had some statements,” she said, “that to me sound kind of liberal, has taken me aback, has kind of surprised me.”
Palin went on to say that she needed to dig deep into what his messaging is and do her own homework, rather than just trusting what she heard in the media.
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That disclaimer fell short for many Catholics, however; and the Internet blazed with criticism of Palin for believing media distortions or oversimplifications of the papal messages, rather than learning what the Pope really teaches and believes.
On November 14, Palin turned to social media to issue an apology. According to a statement on her Facebook page:
Just to clarify my comment to Jake Tapper about Pope Francis, it was not my intention to be critical of Pope Francis. I was reminding viewers that we need to do our own homework on news subjects, and I hadn’t done mine yet on the Pope’s recent comments as reported by the media. Knowing full well how often the media mischaracterizes a person’s comments (especially a religious leader’s), I don’t trust them to get it right when it comes to reporting on the Vatican. I do, however, trust my many Catholic friends and family, including some excellent Catholic writers, who have since assured me that Pope Francis is as sincere and faithful a shepherd of his church as his two predecessors whom I admired. I apologize for not being clearer in my response, thus opening the door to critical media that does what it does best in ginning up controversy.
– Sarah Palin
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In Good Tidings and Great Joy, Palin calls for bringing back the freedom to express the Christian values of the season. She asserts the importance of preserving Jesus Christ in Christmas—in public displays, school concerts, pageants, and our expressions to one another other—and laments the over-commercialization and homogenization of Christmas in today’s society, and the assault by atheists who would deny Christians the right to celebrate the holiday in the public square.
The book includes more than a dozen family photos, along with personal memories and family traditions, illustrating why the celebration of Jesus Christ’s nativity is the centerpiece of her faith.