Truth vs. the Media, part II

As I mentioned previously, the Catholic Church and the Pope are the couple media often loves to hate. Perhaps “hate” is a strong word, but certainly it likes to misrepresent what the Church is, and what the Pope says.

Interestingly, yesterday’s Being Frank post was exactly on that – the media’s distortion of the Church and the Pope:

It’s often interesting to observe the media reporting on Papal utterances.

Reports on Catholic News and ANSA give quite different takes on a single papal statement. I’ll let you read them for themselves here and here.

The Catholic News report puts the quote in context, as part of a longer reflection. The ANSA article, on the other hand, examines the quote in isolation, constructs a false framework around it, and draws some sensationalised and misleading conclusions.

It’s so true, and most people are easily convinced at their propaganda, simply because they are also a part of the cultural prejudice against the Church.

Take, for example, the sexual abuse scandal. It is shocking and most disgusting and should not have happened at all. However, the media portrayal of the problem is sensationalized and positively misleading, since priests are far from being the only abusers. Firstly, a study on this, Sexual Abuse In Social Context: Catholic Clergy And Other Professionals, shows that the rate of sexual abuse is no higher than… anywhere else – in fact, it’s less than either among the Protestant clergy or in the society in general (actually, the highest rate of abuse anywhere is among family members), so the problem is way blown out of proportion. The irony (again) is that the society is all too happy to point its fingers at the Church even though the blame is even greater for it. Secondly… well, just read this article on 10 Myths About Priestly Pedophilia. Hah. It’s just so true that in the present climate, the Catholic Church and the caucasian male are the only Politically Correct objects of oppression!

Anyhow, looking at the actual statistical data, I think you’ll agree that the media reports so far have been positively bigoted, and this continues even to this day. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised; the world dislikes a moral authority which restricts its immoral self-gratification. Jesus himself said, “remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you. …If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father also.” (John 15:20, 22-23). Still, we must also heed His word, to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44) because, “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

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