A curious fixation

A curious fixation

It seems Kevin Miller and Bill Cork have made it their mission to point out supposed errors made by the news service for which I work, Catholic World News. Why they feel the need to do this and have singled out CWN puzzles me. Maybe I should take it as a compliment. Maybe not. Anyway their latest complaint is the following (taken from Bill’s blog):

Kevin Miller catches CWNews in another error.
This story claims: “The Tridentine rite, also known as the Mass of St. Pius V, was the liturgical form used throughout the Catholic world prior to Vatican II.”  CWNews thereby writes Eastern-Rite Catholics right out of the Church.
Lawler should know better.

Of course, if you aren’t reading the line with a built-in prejudice for finding error, you’ll see that there is no error there. The sentence is inclusive, not exclusive. It doesn’t say anything about Eastern-rite Catholics, just that the Tridentine rite was the most common.

It would be no different if someone said, “English is the language used throughout the former British colonies.” Does that mean that there are no other languages used in those countries? No, just that English is the most common and the de facto standard. And if you’re going to claim that the Tridentine rite wasn’t used in traditionally Eastern-rite countries, don’t forget Latin-rite Catholics living in those countries. You don’t want to write them right out of the Church.

  • Actually Phil Lawler’s father is a deacon in an Eastern rite (I’m not sure which one).

    And it seems like nitpicking to me. We could spend all our time making sure we’ve covered every base so that no could possibly misconstrue anything we say. Or we can report the news.

    For the vast majority of Catholics, it was *the* form used throughout the world.

  • It would be one thing if you were finding real errors, but when something is—at worst—unclear, it comes across as nitpicking. If you have a concern, why not just email us or post it on the CWN web site in the Sound Off section which is open to all subscribers? What good does it do to put it on your own web site where we may or may not see it? When you do that, it doesn’t seem like concern for getting your money’s worth, it seems like malice.

  • Bill,

    I assume by reporting rumor, you are referring to the whole “reunion of the Lefebrivists” issue. We clearly identified the source of the story as two newspapers and said that it was rumor. Sometimes we make an editorial decision that readers would like to hear rumors of a certain nature, and we will do so, clearly identifying it as rumor.

    We certainly correct our mistakes when we find them, but I just find it curious that you nitpick on such inconsequential ones as the one you think we committed in this post. I daresay you’ll find that we’re less prone to error than your average newspaper, wire service, or TV broadcast.