Blog Template Theology of the Body: Down with The Times, Up with The New Yorker

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Down with The Times, Up with The New Yorker

Although I have been pretty down on the media lately, let today's post demonstrate just how nuanced yours truly can be...

First, kudos to the truly elegant and informed New Yorker magazine for recently casting Catholic religious life in a positive light; a recent article features the celebrated fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli, who along with his wife, has for a long time been a friend and supporter of the Benedictine monastery in Norcia, where American vocations are flourishing. Towards the end of the article, the writer explains Brunello’s fascination with things Benedictine and in particular with the work of the monastery, and even offers many good quotations from the monestary's abbot, Fr. Cassian. You can find an abstract of the article here, which describes how "the next project he (Cucinelli) hopes to undertake in Solomeo is the construction of a “sacred park” in the hilltop woodland... (described in) a visit to a monastery in Norcia, where Cucinelli’s 'spiritual father,' Father Cassian Folsom, resides."

...But now, more characteristically, the bad news from the American press.

Today's New York Times marked the 5th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI by asserting that the sexual abuse scandal is "growing" and is "quickly defining his papacy." Furthermore, the pope has "alienated Muslims, Jews, Anglicans and even many Roman Catholics." Yikes. Although their own responses often need to be taken with a grain of salt, the Catholic League rebuts as follows- and I found it worth repeating:

"In point of fact, the scandal ended about a quarter century ago: the timeline when most of the abuse took place was the mid-60s to the mid-80s. The only thing "growing" is coverage of abuse cases extending back a half-century, something the Times has contributed to mightily. To say his papacy is being defined by old cases may be the narrative that suits the Times, but it most certainly is not shared by fair-minded observers.

... (nor is it) correct, as the Times says, that the pope attempted "to rehabilitate a Holocaust-denying bishop," rather he attempted to reconcile a break-away Catholic group which unfortunately had as one of its members a Holocaust-denying bishop. (As for) Anglicans unhappy with the pope's outreach, the disaffected in their ranks represent an embarrassing chapter for them, not Catholics.

The pope can be justly criticized for missteps in governance and communications, but to paint him as a divider is a cruel caricature being promoted to hurt him, in particular, and the Church, in general."