It begins

It begins

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be treated to all kinds of secular pundits opining about who should be the next pope and what qualities he should possess. I’m afraid many of them will be like this one in New York Newsday:

After a quarter-century of John Paul’s strong personality and hands-on management style, some want Vatican officials to stay out of the day-to-day operations of dioceses. Others believe officials in Rome should stay deeply involved to crack down on dissent.

If there’s one thing most of us who have seen the terrible bishops, bad theologians, and cuckoo nuns over the years agree on it is that Pope John Paul is not very hands on. That’s not to say he was a bad pope, but his style was very clearly hands off. He preached the truth and then let people accept it or not.

  • If you are a faithful Catholic it’s almost as if you have to walk around with a filter on whenever you are listening to how the world views us—sifting out all the rubbish to get at the little bit of news that is so important to us to hear. 

    It’s very tiresome to do that all the time, and I feel it all the more at times like this when I just want to grieve and pray for the Holy Father.  I don’t have cable at home, and will miss access to Fox news this weekend (we have it on at work).

  • I agree that ewtn needs to be covering these things.

    And I tend to dislike cnn and foxnews equally. The Shep Smith I’ve watched the last two weeks was so obnoxious, he couldn’t say enough how Terri was ‘brain dead’ and ‘her brain is liqiud,’ that no one ever emerged from Terri’s condition, etc.


  • If the Pope should die, EWTN can (and probably will) cover it in some manner, but for now, I don’t think they can present much other than non-stop (and rather repetitive) talk.  Taking a few minutes to pray for the dear Pope is probably a better use of your time.

    For now, EWTN has an update page on the web, and their server is slow today.

  • After 9-11 and the invasion of Afghanastan, Andrea Peyeser of the New York Post once described Christiane Amanpour as a “Euro-sl^t. Apt, I’d say.

  • I have had Telemundo (the Hispanic channel) on most of the afternoon. Non-stop coverage from Rome of the reciting of the rosary in Italian in St. Peter’s Square led by Abp. Comastri (at least I think that’s who it was) with a number of priests and nuns – including Gospel readings and excerpts from the Holy Father’s writings.

    Then shots of Masses and prayers being offered around the world – Poland, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, Calcutta, New York, Germany, Brazil, Spain etc.

    While I’m not fluent in Spanish, I could get the gist of most of it. Excellent coverage.

  • The ‘church leaders’ referred to are probably some European Cardinals who have made comments in the past about “more decentralization” or some such.

    One of the saddest comments I heard was when the Holy Father was asked once about not cracking down harder on recalcitrant ecclesiastics and he said something like: “I’ve told them, but they don’t listen to me…”

    Of course personally I would have favored the ‘big stick’ approach in those scenarios.

    But, in the final analysis, God wields the biggest stick of all…

  • What will be really hard to hear in the coming weeks will be listening to those who can’t fathom that church politics and theology (two radically different concepts in themselves) don’t run along a liberal-conservative axis by American standards.  All eyes will be on Rome.  We should do our best to catch a few of those eyeballs and focus them on blogs where we can explain the misconceptions of a secular atheist media that can’t begin to understand us.

  • Actually they were all (cables) quite good up until the Judy Woodruff/Christiane hour.  And CNN had Paris from BC on quite a bit…at least he was balanced with Reese later on.  MSNBC was also pretty good coverage, esp. in Rome with Chris Jansing until the 6:00 hour.  I think they will revert to their secular carping after the pope finally passes on.

  • Forgive me if I’m out of line, but I hope that the Holy Father lives to Sunday. It’s Divine Mercy Sunday. He instituted it when he cannonized Sister Faustina. I’ve read her diary a few times and it is both fascinating and inspiring. The fact that the Holy Father once went to her convent leads me to believe that he may perhaps, by God’s infinite grace, meet up with his old friend on The Feast of Divine Mercy. If not, may the Angels take you into paradise Holy Father. And thank you for sharing your life with ours. Well done.

  • Fox, in order to remain ‘fair and balanced’, one supposes, just a little while ago had Mort Kondracke on there talking about how most nuns in this country feel like the pope has been holding them back (criticizing the pope on contraception and the role of women).  Huh?  They were doing so well with their coverage, too!  At any rate, they’ve had a number of great priests on there today, and one made sure to clarify very well the confusing usage of “last rites” when they were really referring to the anointing of the sick.

  • CNN is meddling in our business again.  They have NO CLUE, airing a social justice—let’s blame the Pope—women can’t be ordained piece.  Complete with homosexuals who want to marry. 

    I really am going to have a hard time with this.  The TV is on the movie channel now. 

    It’s crazy (and ironic) that these relativist weirdos care so much about what we do……..Somebody ought to tell them they protest too much.

  • At least Bill Kristol was there to put Kondracke in his place and tell him that non-Catholics, like himself, should not presume to tell Catholics how they should practice their faith.

  • Don’t worry, some of the other networks will do a better job.  ABC’s probably booking Christopher Hitchens again to cover the funeral.

  • Bryan et al.

    Yeah, I heard Mort Kondrake on Fox carping and blaming the Pope for the child abuse…but Krauthammer and Barnes slammed him pretty good.  I think Chris Wallace was somewhat perturbed by Kondrake’s comments. Not sure who is Catholic on there.

    CNN has trotted out John Allen, Joan Chittester Fr. Reese from America magazine in the last hour. MSNBC has George Weigel.

    I was anxious to see MSNBC’s Chrissy Mathews but he must be on vacation.  Keith Olberman was doing the news and he at least seemed in control of himself.

    The host Fox’s (Molly Hennenburg?) was quoting Scripture and that really amazed me.

    It just fascinates me to see who the networks go to.

  • I think we need a big stick, provided that big stick is orthodox.  There are no guarantees he will be, of course.  John Paul II has a liberal side to him.  Some of the ideas he backed were contrary to what prior popes had taught.  He just wasn’t liberal enough to suit the left.  But then, he wasn’t orthodox enough to suit the right.  We are badly divided here in the West, unfortunately.  I keep wondering if we always have been divided like this and it is really just a matter of the laity in general having access to the inner disagreements for the first time since the advent of unlimited AOL.  There is really nothing to compare our present access to information with in the history of the Church.

    If the news media is having difficulty getting it right, that may be more a reflection of the fact that the laity is having difficulty getting it right.

  • I agree about Fox News, Dom…esp. Shepherd…Christine can go take her views for a hike.

    He has been a living “Gospel of Life”…

  • Dom,
        As a TV guy, let me say, that I found all of the cable coverage I sampled macabre, because it shamelessly milked the concern millions of people—Catholic and non—have for the fate of the pontiff, when there was, in fact, little or no news to report.  John Paull II is the first Pope subjected to this sort of indecently endless speculation about his health and mortality, which exploits anticipation of his demise to build ratings by preying on the anxiety of viewers.
        I almost lost my lunch in listening to a CNN anchor say that the channel had spent 5 hours providing “unprecedented” coverage to its death watch when in fact CNN had not even been invented the last time a Pope was in mortal peril.
      To my mind, it would be much more appropriate and respectful for the cable channels—in the absence of definitive news from the Vatican—to lead each half hour with the statement that milions of us (Catholic and non) continue to pray for the Pope’s recovery, notwithstanding word from Rome that his health is not improving and then move on to other stories.

  • And access to information naturally inclines the modern free people comprising the laity toward protestantism (the heresy).  Ego is a powerful tool of evil, making everyone think they can do better than 2000 years of bishops and theologians.  Granted, bishops and theologians do their best to live up to those low expectations, but that’s no defense.

  • I have to disagree a little Tony. Such wall-to-wall coverage can be good if used correctly. I like the discussion of his legacy and teachings. More people have been exposed to the Church’s teachings in the past 24 hours than in every Mass in the archdiocese in the past month.

    Obviously, it can become a morbid deathwatch if they’re lazy about it, but Fox at least is doing a good job with it.

  • Amen, Domenico.  If they are so interested in Catholicism, let them join.  If not, then they should be involved in their own denominations, if they have them.  We don’t meddle in theirs.

  • Hey, if I were single, I think I would be looking to get to Rome and stand in St. Peter’s Square to wait with JPII. Instead I watch FOX as I chase my kids around the house. Most of the constant coverage has been surprisingly uplifting.

  • Carrie why dont we wait until the passing of this Holy Servant of Christ before we start analyzing or criticising his Pontificate. He was a witness to HOPE and TRUTH in the Face of Grave EVIL.
    Some pray for his demise. I prefer to pray for the Holy Father’s Healing of His Soul, Mind and Body And For Protection Against Serious Harm and demonic attack. OREMUS!

  • Carol, I could go, but would I want to?? Rome is likely to be a total mess with that many people visiting, not to mention the news media. 

    I love Rome; been there several times; seen the Holy Father several times; but have no desire to get on the 64 bus with half the travelers in Europe and all the pickpockets.

  • I live in Canada and don’t have cable, so we don’t even have our TV hooked up (just if there’s something extraordinary on – I watched the U.S. presidential returns on the Washington state channels, for instance). I have EWTN radio on right now, which is interesting, but may put it off. Spanish TV – why didn’t I think of that? Will call parents in Texas and mention it. They’ve said FOX is okay, especially with periodic reports with Greg Whatshisname, who writes (used to write?) for Columbia, live from Rome. Mostly, I just check the news sites and EWTN every hour or half-hour, pray, and keep working. Will go to church to pray tonight.

    I was thinking the same thing about the Divine Mercy today . . .

  • I was watching EWTN today when Raymond Arroyo announced that the Pope had died!  Fifteen minutes later they recanted.

  • By the way, it’s not fair to call Christiane Amanpour a “Euro-sl^t”.  She’s South African.

  • The TODAY show is doing a hit piece on the orthodox Church in America.  They’re bashing traditional priests.

  • News coverage here last night included an interview with a doctor who had treated the Pope over the years, and was last with him in November.  His description of the Pope’s personality was glowing.  He spoke of his vitality mostly.  It was a very positive interview, and it was given more time than I had expected it to get.

    I don’t fault the media for bringing up the various controversies in the Church.  John Paul didn’t run away from the truth, so why should we.  We would like to pretend they don’t exist, especially now,  but they do, and our priest shortage leads talking heads right into the controversy.  What I do see, though, is that the media doesn’t have a good understanding of the dynamics the youth represent.  They seem to believe the older liberal voices have no competition.  I think the young people are going to broadside them during the next papacy.

  • The guest priest advisor on MSNBC has been excellent – Fr. Fuegoreno or something.  Has a little accent and worked with the Holy Father – rather young.  He always speaks from the heart as well as the head.  Today he explained the Divine Mercy Feast, how the Holy Father was connected to it and wondered if the pope just might be holding out for that day.  After all, the Holy Father did ask for the reading on the 3:00 hour portion of the passion.

  • I was about slam CNN for constantly going to John Allen from NCR but they were also interviewing a young priest from the Legionaires of about counterbalance. But I suspect they will lean heavily on Allen.

  • I leave for Rome next Saturday…a trip planned since October.  It will be interesting to arrive during this period of mourning.  I was selfishly hoping I would either be there for his funeral or the start of the conclave, but I will miss both by about 2 days.  I enjoyed MSNBC coverage and was awed by the great evangelization opportunity!  Fr. Figueredo was a great source (incidently, he preached at my friend’s first mass last summer). 

  • How about Fr. Thomas Williams on the Today Show this morning?  He keeps popping up on NBC.  Very well spoken.  He’s doing a great job representing the Church and the priesthood.

    Did anyone catch 60 Minutes last night?  An earlier segment looked at the youth and orthodoxy of the seminarians in the North American Pontifical College in Rome.  In the next segment, they trotted out McBrien, spouting his usual drivel.  He wore a lovely blue suit with a black shirt in one shot (you might want to look into Garanimals, Father), and then a fuzzy, eggplant-colored sweater in another. 

    As my friend observed, it was a nice contrast between the old, tired priesthood and the new vibrant one – out there for everyone to see.