Reuters on papal infallibility

Reuters on papal infallibility

While the Reuters headline, “Error in book shows Pope not infallible”, is tongue-in-cheek, it is not necessarily obviously so to everyone and I’m left asking what the point is.

The article notes that several bloggers have found a minor error in Pope Benedict’s new book, Jesus of Nazareth, one so small I have to wonder that anyone has noted it:

In a paragraph citing important recent books about Jesus, he identifies Notre Dame University professor John Meier as a member of the Jesuit order of Catholic priests. Meier is not a Jesuit but a priest of the New York diocese.

Is that it? What’s the big deal? Is this Reuters just taking the usual step of ridiculing the Catholic faith at every step?

At the end they provide the disclaimer:

Papal infallibility, which says the Pope cannot err in declaring doctrine on faith and morals, is rarely invoked and would not apply to this book. But catching the meticulous Pope in a mistake proved too tempting for the bloggers to pass up.

So reporting on the minor doings of bloggers is news now? Geez, I can’t wait for Reuters to start publishing the minutiae from my blog.

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  • Don’t worry.  If you publish anything that can be shaped into a stick to beat the Cardinal or the Holy Father, you will find yourself quoted.  If your comment can be shown to be particularly critical, you will earn the ultimate media accolade in these cases of being described as “a devout Catholic”.

  • OH, Pick me! Pick me!

    I don’t just blog minutia, I usually blog minutia from other blogs.

    So says the minority Catholic.

  • Reuters?  The same Reuters who will not use the word terrorist as it applies to murderous thugs who slaughter innocent people?  The same Reuters that deals in euphemisms whenever writing about anything remotely politically incorrect?  Did they also find any misplaced commas or semicolons?

  • There is a glaring error in the Reuters story itself.  Notre Dame’s correct name is the University of Notre Dame and most certainly not Notre Dame University. In fact, Notre Dames’s official name is University of Notre Dame du Lac.  I’m surprised no one picked that up!

  • “So reporting on the minor doings of bloggers is news now? Geez, I can’t wait for Reuters to start publishing the minutiae from my blog.”

    This is something of a tradition for them.  Reuters quoted my blog back in December ‘05 when some pretend artist sneaked a blasphemous statue advertisement into America magazine.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Pope specifically make a statement in the preface of this book that this (the book) is NOT to be taken as an infallible teaching, and that it is meant to serve as an opportunity for discussion?

    So the point made by Reuters is mute.  But, of course, that doesn’t stop the “reporter” from making a *bleep* of himself.


  • Benedict XVI’s book is not due for delivery at Barnes & Noble until May 15th. I had to settle on Big Papi’s new book hot off the press(both English and Spanish versions) ! Come on Dom, post about this.

  • Of course, there’s no such thing as the “New York diocese.”  It is “the ARCHdiocese of New York.”  So the nitpickers are themselves wrong.