If not Catholic media, maybe Catholic blogs

If not Catholic media, maybe Catholic blogs

Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave an interview to a Polish Catholic newspaper on the subject of the role of the Catholic media. He contrasts the usual superficial treatment of Catholic matters by the secular media with the responsibility of the Catholic media to present the whole story.

A good recent example of this would be the coverage of Pope Benedict’s encyclical Deus Caritas Est. Most secular outlets concentrated on the controversial sexual issues such as promiscuity, homosexuality, divorce, and contraception which were just a minor part of the whole document. Instead Catholic media should provide an alternative, giving the whole story.

“In a word, the presentation of a church document should not be treated as a media event accompanied by sensational and scandalous elements, but as an important event in the Church, an occasion to form, evangelize and catechize people.” And it is the job of the Catholic media to strike the balance.

However, some Catholic media outlets are part of the problem too.

Catholic media should remain true to their name and [not] report stories so as to create doubts in the minds of believers, as regards Magisterial teachings. By leaving arguments open-ended in the same way that the secular media does, “there is an impression that the commands of the Magisterium are only opinions which one can agree with or not,” Amato reasoned.

This has been a frequent criticism of America magazine, which has offered articles offering dissections of Church teaching under the guise of open-mindedness and intellectual debate, but as Archbishop Amato says, this can create the wrong impression in readers’ minds.

On the other hand, I think Catholic blogs do a good job of punching (or filling in) holes in the sensationalistic and incomplete coverage of the secular media while also pointing out the inadequacies of the Catholic media’s coverage and always referring to original documents. Taken all together—with a mind trained for critical thinking—you can get a pretty accurate view, but only if you work at it.

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