Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Holy Father, if you werea balloon, what color would you be? (sent on 9/22/13 to th BC Courier Times)

In early August, Nicole Winfield of the AP ignited a stir in her "reporting" on Pope Francis' in-air press conference (cf., Analysis: Pope's revolution; not all are pleased, Bucks County Courier Times, 8/2/13).
Looking at the actual transcript of that press conference (cf.,,, Pope Francis made absolutely clear that he is "a child of the Church" who embraces doctrine on the sanctity of human life and human sexuality, and that lack of specific comments on any topic absolutely did NOT signal change.  The Holy Father also offered spontaneous and beautiful words about the Orthodox liturgy.  While he did indeed make "headlines with his call for the church to develop a new theology of women's role," he was adamant that this would not include ordination.
Given the opportunity to pose her own questions in that same in-air press conference, Ms. Winfield's showed far less sophistication than those of other reporters: "Can you tell us what was the best thing of being Pope, an anecdote, and what was the worst thing, and what was the thing that surprised you most in this period?"  Questions worthy of People Magazine or E Entertainment News.  I could easily envision Ms. Winfield having followed-up with: "Holy Father, if you were a balloon, what color would you be?  Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi?  With this infallibility thing you've got going on, who will win this year's World Series?"
Without a genuine understanding of what the Church proclaims and what Pope Francis has reiterated, it is almost understandable that there would be poor reporting.  Shame on the AP and the Courier Times for their poor publishing standards!  Pope Francis is absolutely not deviating from what the Church proclaimed in Pius XI's Casti Connubii, Vatican II's Gaudium et Spes, Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae, Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or his own encyclical Lumen Fidei.
From the first sentence of Papal Interview Strikes Inclusive Note (Bucks County Courier Times, 9/20/12), Ms Winfield is again poorly representing an interview with Pope Francis.  The Courier Times should consider obtaining America magazine's OK and publish the actual interview - accompanied with competent commentary.
If you really want to understand Pope Francis, you only need to look to Jesus Himself.  In response to those about to stone a woman caught in adultery, Jesus said "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."  After the accusers walked away, Jesus told the woman that He did not condemn her.  Jesus did NOT go on to say, "Your accusers were a bunch of fuddy duddies.  What you do with your old man or your old men is cool with me."  Jesus told the woman, "Go and sin no more" (cf., John 8).  Only with that perspective can any of Pope Francis' comments be correctly understood.  All of us are sinners who need to "Go and sin no more."

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