Celebrate the Pope’s anniversary, run down the Church’s teachings
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Celebrate the Pope’s anniversary, run down the Church’s teachings

The Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog group, has compiled a summary of what the TV news shows are saying about Pope John Paul’s anniversary (link to PDF document). Specifically, the same old cliches about the “frail,” “authoritarian” Pope. Some excerpts:

On Sunday’s NBC Nightly News, reporter Dawna Friesen noted: “For some, the celebrations will be bittersweet. The Pope’s conservative views on abortion, contraception, divorce, woman priests and homosexuality have alienated many Catholics as did the sex abuse scandals involving priests.”

That’s pretty much the talking points on the Pope’s anniversary: People like him personally, but he doesn’t say it’s okay to sin. These aren’t the “Pope’s conservative views;” they are the immutable and constant teachings of the Church over two millennia. But to the liberal, everything is relative and should according to current fashion and whim.

On ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked a largely liberal cast—and former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev—to assess the Pope. He proposed to Father Thomas Reese, the editor of the liberal weekly America: “Many of the Pope’s critics have a hard time reconciling his outspoken championing of human rights, of human dignity with what they see as his somewhat authoritarian, antiquated view of women and sexuality.” The host did not ask why liberal Catholics see a conflict between advocating “human rights” and the rights of the unborn human.

Stephanopoulos then pressed Reese again from the left: “The Pope has held the line on women clergy, and this has made many of his critics say he simply doesn’t get it when it comes to women.” Reese agreed the Pope was “alienating women.” Cokie Roberts, who was bumped from the program to make way for the male ex-Clinton aide, added her feelings: “You can feel very left out when you approach an institution that is completely male-dominated and hierarchical.”

And not one person to stand up for the teachings of the Catholic Church. It’s also amazing that on what are basically political news shows, they can feel free to comment on the Church’s moral teachings and impose on our faith. Can we amend the First Amendment to give us separation of church and media?

Update: The Media Research Center also has this item from CBS News:

CBS%2Fwww.latimes.com%2Fnews%2Fprintedition%2Fopinion%2Fla-oe-maguire17oct17%2C1%2C3618598.story">A theology professor at Catholic Marquette University gives his view of the papacy of Pope John Paul II. Does he say (a) the Pope has defended the faith ably in an age of moral relativism and self-centeredness, or (b) the Pope failed horribly because he locked the doors of the Church against the progress of the modern world.

If you guessed (b), you win ... nothing, because it was too easy.

Daniel Maguire, who I’m sure has taken the Oath of Fidelity and received a mandatum from his bishop as required by Ex Corde Ecclesia, thinks that Pope John Paul has filed as Pope. Because Karol Wojtyla liked to ski, wasn’t Italian, and used to be an actor, Maguire thought he would have been the hope of liberals to implement all their hearts desired in the rolling back of the Church’s teachings. They were disappointed.

Since then, it has been left to other Christian churches to meet the many modern challenges, including the role of women in organized religion, clerical celibacy, moral questions surrounding reproductive science and contraception and even the mere acceptance of gays.

Let me put that in plain language. Maguire wanted the Pope to say okay to women priests, married priests, abortion, contraception, and homosexuality. I like the last phrase: “the mere acceptance of gays.” Oh, it’s such a tiny little thing, why couldn’t he have given us even that?

This pope commanded that the ordination of women to the priesthood could not even be discussed in Catholic theology. This reveals a spirited bias without any theological basis. Mainstream Christian theology has long since dismantled the arguments for a male monopoly of ministry.

Basically what this Catholic theologian is saying is that the Catholic Church isn’t the means by which God’s will is expressed in the world, but is only one of many means. It is not the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, it is just one of many churches. And if everyone decides to jump off the bridge, we should jump off the bridge too.

This guy is a theologian. Has he never heard of a Pope declaring an infallible doctrine of the Church? It is amazing to me that Marquette could have a professor as dense as this, yet still produce someone like Scott Hahn. Then again, Scott went into Marquette with his head on straight to begin with.

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