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The pope, and the greatest story never told
Beliefnet ^ | September 21, 2010 | Deacon Greg Kandra

Posted on 09/21/2010 3:51:57 PM PDT by NYer

One of the biggest surprises of Pope Benedict's historic trip to the United Kingdom may be how few people realize that it was, in fact, historic.

Sunday night, I was chatting by phone with my father-in-law in Maryland. I told him I'd been busy with the papal coverage all weekend.

"Didn't seem like much happened," he said.

"Really?," I replied. "He was the first pope to visit the Church of England's Westminster Abbey. He stood there with the Archbishop of Canterbury, side by side, as they both pronounced the final blessing and made the sign of the cross together."

"He did that?" My father-in-law sounded genuinely surprised.

"He went to the hall where Thomas More was sentenced to death and delivered a speech about religion to the civil leaders of Great Britain."

"He did?"

"And he took part in his first beatification: Cardinal John Henry Newman, an Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism."

I could almost hear him scratching his bald head. "How come nobody said anything about that?"

Now, my father-in-law is a pretty smart guy, and what you might consider an observant Catholic. He attends mass every morning. He keeps up on current events. Now retired from the FDA, he regularly checks in with the Washington Post, USA TODAY, MSNBC and CNN. But he was baffled that this stuff I was telling him wasn't on the nightly news.

"All we saw down here," he explained, "was that he met with sex abuse victims."

I started to wonder what sort of coverage the trip had received. After I hung up the phone, I searched through several newspaper websites. I clicked on the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe. Nothing, nothing, nothing. None of them mentioned on their home page the pope's just-completed trip.

When I got to work on Monday, I searched CNN Newsource, which provides newsfeeds to my show, "Currents," as well as to countless other news programs around the country. I found a grand total of one item, running about a minute long, slugged "Anti-Pope Demonstrations."

That was it.

Based on my conversation with my father-in-law, you could be forgiven for thinking that the pope made the trip just to meet with victims of sex abuse -- and that a lot of Britons were ticked off about it.

Now, I know: it's tempting to argue that it was a conspiracy of media bias. But I think there's something sadder and less sinister at work: it's the economy, stupid. The religion beat, in most places, just doesn't exist anymore. (Ironic, considering that a recent report says it's something that people crave.) But it's one of the first things to be cut in a budget crunch. In television news, the days when CNN had a Delia Gallagher or ABC had a Peggy Wehmeyer are long gone. It's worse at newspapers, many of which are on life support, gasping for air. Truly historic moments, potentially earth-shifting events, like the pope's trip to the UK, are going under-reported, or un-reported, or mis-reported. They get coverage, but not necessarily from a regular reporter, who understands the nuances of the beat. As a result, they happen in a void, without any real context beyond the hot-button issues of sex or violence or protest. And isn't it sad: that seems to be all that we hear about religion -- any religion -- in the media these days.

Call me old school, but there's something wrong here.

If my father-in-law, a fairly well-informed guy in the pews, didn't know what he didn't know, I have to wonder: how many others in the pews are also being left in the dark?



TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: cnn; freformed; godsavethequeen; media; msm; msnbc

1 posted on 09/21/2010 3:51:58 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

And this is yet one more reason why one should turn off the mainstream media and tune in to EWTN for coverage of such events. Next papal stop - Spain in November. Heads up!


2 posted on 09/21/2010 3:53:03 PM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: NYer

Very sad I had to search and search to see anything about this.

It was a real job.

Sad, very sad.

And I am not even a Catholic.


3 posted on 09/21/2010 4:03:15 PM PDT by FoxPro
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To: NYer
I know: it's tempting to argue that it was a conspiracy of media bias. But I think there's something sadder and less sinister at work:

No, you were right the first time. Anti-christian bias in the media. If they can't attack the church, the church isn't news.

4 posted on 09/21/2010 4:07:31 PM PDT by marron
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To: NYer

I keep saying, turn off the junk media. Find sources of information you trust, and turn the others off.


5 posted on 09/21/2010 4:08:34 PM PDT by marron
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To: FoxPro
Got all the news on this, including the historic sidelights, right here at Free Republic.

Kind of interesting visit ~ but don't they have treaties in Europe these days that allow this stuff?

We got my Great Grandfather a TV just to watch Queen Elizabeth's coronation.

6 posted on 09/21/2010 4:12:29 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: All

The forces of uber secularists and anti Christians dominate the media.

Sad.


7 posted on 09/21/2010 4:13:23 PM PDT by rbmillerjr
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To: marron

**Anti-christian bias in the media. If they can’t attack the church, the church isn’t news.**

You nailed it. And the anti-Catholic bias posters were also very quiet on FR over the weekend.

Hehehe


8 posted on 09/21/2010 4:14:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer; markomalley; marshmallow; Salvation

We had it all here.

Pope’s speeches
Historical background
live pictures and happenings
what the British people were doing
The Crowds
The Masses

Congratulations, FR crew!

Now to other readers, when something Catholic is not being covered in the lamestream media.......come to FR Religion Forum. We will cover it for you!

Blessings to all who did a stand-up job of covering this monumentally historical papal visit to England!


9 posted on 09/21/2010 4:19:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: FoxPro

Like they say in media-land, “The only Good Catholic is a bad Catholic.”


10 posted on 09/21/2010 4:23:35 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Me transmitte sursum, Caledoni! (Beam me up, Scotty.))
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To: NYer

We can no longer rely on the MSM for our news, they are worse than worthless, they are malicious.


11 posted on 09/21/2010 4:30:17 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: NYer
Now, I know: it's tempting to argue that it was a conspiracy of media bias. But I think there's something sadder and less sinister at work: it's the economy, stupid. ...Call me old school, but there's something wrong here.

LOL, yeah, it's tempting, in the same way it's tempting to blame the hammer for the broken thumb, or the rain for being wet, or the noonday sun for sweat. In other words it not only freaking obvious, it's true.

What's wrong here is therefore why a pro-Catholic writer is giving the media a pass for obviously not reporting the enormous significance of the Papal visit.

Lord Occam of Razor would respond that what you see, is what you're supposed to see - or not. Lord Occam would point out that the Catholic Church is well able to manage it's own press, thankyouverymuch.

So why would the Church want this minimization of reporting? How about precisely because this is such a big deal? In fact, if it got a lot of press, things could easily blow up between Britons and Rome - big, big time. So, the Pope does what he does, the media looks the other way, and then the Pope leaves.

But for historical purposes, the deed is done.

The writer of a related article concerning this event, posted on Free Republic as Paper on Pope's Visit: "This was the End of the British Empire" even alludes to this strategy in the article, when the author writes: Benedict XVI’s speeches are worth reading several times; they often turn out to be more radical than they first appear. But one thing is for sure. Despite the unassuming courtesy of the Pope’s manner, he didn’t give an inch.

Indeed he did not - and "unassuming" is exactly the way he wanted it.

12 posted on 09/21/2010 4:36:34 PM PDT by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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To: Salvation

That’s why I come here.


13 posted on 09/21/2010 4:38:19 PM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (REPEAL OR REBEL! -- Islam Delenda Est! -- I Want Constantinople Back. -- Rumble thee forth.)
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I forgot Father Z’s, Michael Barber’s and other’s commentaries...My omission.


14 posted on 09/21/2010 4:41:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer
During the reign of Elizabeth I, the priest-hunter Topcliffe condemned a good, old parish priest named Father Mumford Scot, signifying that "it was good policy to put him to death and said his austere life was a means to draw people to him, for he said that Mr. Scot was accounted a saint." He was condemned, hanged, drawn and quartered. When the hangman held up his quarters it was noticed by all that, "his knees were hardened as horn by much prayer."

The Other Face: Catholic Life under Elizabeth I by Philip Caraman

15 posted on 09/21/2010 4:41:34 PM PDT by Slyfox
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To: NYer

“...it’s tempting to argue that it was a conspiracy of media bias. But I think there’s something sadder and less sinister at work: it’s the economy, stupid.”

Nope. It’s media bias.


16 posted on 09/21/2010 4:44:06 PM PDT by utahagen
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To: NYer

“...it’s tempting to argue that it was a conspiracy of media bias. But I think there’s something sadder and less sinister at work: it’s the economy, stupid.”

Nope. It’s media bias.


17 posted on 09/21/2010 4:44:13 PM PDT by utahagen
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To: NYer

“...it’s tempting to argue that it was a conspiracy of media bias. But I think there’s something sadder and less sinister at work: it’s the economy, stupid.”

Nope. It’s media bias.


18 posted on 09/21/2010 4:44:29 PM PDT by utahagen
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To: NYer

Is EWTN going to cover the visit to Spain? I hope so.


19 posted on 09/21/2010 6:12:59 PM PDT by PatriotGirl827 (Lord Jesus, direct my mind, possess my heart, transform my life)
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To: PatriotGirl827

They cover all Papal trips.


20 posted on 09/21/2010 6:28:35 PM PDT by Campion
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To: NYer

Yes, Santiago de Compostela. I want to GO.


21 posted on 09/21/2010 6:39:19 PM PDT by bboop (We don't need no stinkin' VAT)
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To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
22 posted on 09/21/2010 10:28:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer
Next papal stop - Spain in November. Heads up!

Oh my, I'll have to watch for that!

23 posted on 09/22/2010 6:45:50 AM PDT by SuziQ
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