Pope Benedict gave the annual State of the World address to the Vatican diplomatic corps today. The mainstream media will tell you he “railed” against abortion and gay marriage and cloning. In reality he gave about seven sentences on all three combined.
If you want to get beyond the media’s talking points, you can read the whole text at the Vatican web site. Or you could read Catholic World News’ analysis when it’s up this morning. (Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing?)
Far too often, the US media’s idea of global coverage means whatever Americans happen to be interested in at the moment.
So what did he talk about? Millions of people without adequate food, shelter, or water and the scandal of world hunger, for one thing. Also, he talked about economic growth that respects the environment and integral human development; debt cancellation; disarmament, war, and terrorism; humanitarian crises and migration issues; the positive developments in the growing awareness of the importance of dialogue between cultures and between religions; international aid from developed nations to the Third World concurrent with efforts to reduce corruption and promote good governance; the crisis in Darfur; Somalia, Uganda, and Africa’s Great Lakes region; Latin American, including his upcoming trip to Brazil; Colombia’s ongoing violence; Cuba and Haiti; Asia, especially China, India, and Vietnam; East Timor; Korea; ongoing violence in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka; the Middle East; the Christian heritage of Europe and the European Union; and the search for stability in the Balkans.
And the one place he conspicuously doesn’t mention? That would be North America and the United States to the chagrin of all those reporters.