Separation of Mass Communication and Canonization? (aka More Evidence Some People Have Got to Get a Grip)


Written on 8:36 PM by Jack B.

Susan Jacoby, "secularist" (her own term) and author of the book,"Free Thinkers", takes a different take than most anti-catholics - instead of going after the dead pope himself she goes after the mainstream media for showing him too much respect in this shrill screed: A Respect That Fails To Respect The Facts from NY Newsday (a paper that has been a constant target of Bill Donohue & The Catholic League for its anti-catholicism). It seems a lot of people (the ones who don't like religion in general and Catholicism in particular) still can't deal with the amount of respect and love shown for the late John Paul II.

Highlights include:
"The talking heads never hinted that there might be reasons other than anti-Catholic bigotry for the head of a government founded on the separation of church and state to keep a respectful distance from a church that still regards other denominations as "deficient" - the word used in a statement issued in 2000, not in 1600, by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (officially called the Inquisition in less ecumenical times). Many Americans, including the Bushes and Clinton, profess those "deficient" faiths." So? He was still a Head of State (though something tells me Ms. Jacoby resents that fact) and EVERY religion thinks it's the TRUE or BEST one (even the Bushes and Bill Clinton's) What she's really saying is how dare the Catholic Church still continue to think it has the "Truth"(with a capital T) - and of course notice the usual anti-catholic reference to the "Inquisition" which hasn't existed in almost two centuries.

"During the funeral coverage, few alluded to Ratzinger's authorship of the Vatican document reaffirming the inferiority of non-Catholic religions or to his efforts - at the behest of the pope - to suppress theological dissent within the church. " Hmm, a dig at Ratzinger. How original *sarcasm alert*.

"For a non-Catholic to express skepticism about the pope violates the unwritten American code against speaking ill of anyone else's religion. This misguided notion of tolerance, which confuses respect for liberty of religious belief with respect for the content of particular beliefs, pervaded the hagiographical media orgy in Rome." More to the point why would any non-Catholic (without an axe to grind) want to speak ill of the pope right after his death. Here is the crux of the matter for Ms. Jacoby - she can't stand the fact a man and a faith she has such obvious disdain for got such positive and respectful treatment in the (usually secular) mainstream media.

"But the most reprehensible lacuna concerned one of John Paul's greatest predecessors - the open-hearted and open-minded reformer John XXIII. In print and on TV, commentators repeatedly and erroneously declared that John Paul was the "first pope" to reach out to Jews" Funny, most just commented JP2 reached out the most not that he was the first. I love how she tries to minimize a part of JP's papacy that even his critics respect - his effort at Jewish/Catholic relations.

"John, who died in 1963, called upon bishops to debate Catholic doctrine in a spirit of "holy liberty." He said he had no wish to claim infallibility and expressed embarrassment at being called "Your Holiness." So just because he didn't want to be called "Your Holiness" he didn't claim infallibilty? Last time I checked that was one of the Catholic dogmas one had to believe in, so I conclude John XXIII did as well, especially since he was a big supporter of the canonization effort of the so-called "reactionary" pope who proclaimed the doctrine of papal infallibility - Pius IX. How does that fit in her thesis? John XXIII also took part in the ancient monarchial trappings of being lifted up in his throne by the Papal Gentleman and wearing the jeweled papal tiara - something the less "open-minded" John Paul II did not.

My favorite quote: "media drumbeat about the pope's holiness - now focused on the possibility of his soon being declared a saint - strikes a note, verging on sacrilege, for those who believe in the separation of mass communication and canonization." I must have missed that part of the Constitution? Where is that prohibited? They didn't talke about that Amendment in any of my Political Science classes.

and of course what pope-bashing ending would be complete without quoting that well-known "independent-minded theologian" Richard McBrien of Notre Dame.

Personally, I believe Ms. Jacoby is full of it - does that make me "independent-minded" too?

If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to our feed

No Comment

Post a Comment