Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Pope and the Media Narrative

It is clear to me that the media is attempting to divide Catholics by presenting Pope Francis as a clean break from Pope Benedict. Out with the old, in with the new! By now, I've lost count of the number of stories that have depicted Pope Francis' papacy as a 'more humble' one than that of Benedict. From the choice in shoes, to the cross, to the ring, to the mozzetta, to the vestments, to the duration of the Mass of Installation. One article's lead went something like, 'Pope Francis' style represents an indirect criticism of Benedict.'  Give me a break! It is sheer nonsense, but the stories keep coming. It's relentless. And it's intentional. 'Pope Francis is more simple, more humble, more approachable, less monarchical than Benedict.' It goes on and on.

The truth is, Pope Benedict's stunning resignation was the epitome of humility. What could be more humble than stepping aside from a position of such singular authority? Benedict's choice of traditional, elaborate vestments had nothing to do with self-aggrandizement or being 'fancy,' and to assert that it was demonstrates an embarrassing lack of understanding of Catholic culture.

Once lightening strikes the media and they come to realize that Pope Francis is actually Catholic, totally orthodox, and a fierce defender of traditional morality, their love-fest over his papacy will come to an abrupt end.

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