Friday, April 08, 2005

Maybe that's the point?
Howard Kurtz asks:

How on earth is a political reporter supposed to cover the race to be the next pope?
As much as I read about this mysterious process, I can't quite fathom it. Talk about a smoke-filled room! This closed-door conclave -- 117 cardinals have to stay in there until they pick someone? -- may have been great for the 12th century, but for the Internet age?
Personally, I think this is a good thing. Have you seen the political coverage of the Pope's death? Have you seen how utterly wrong they get some things?

It's not that they're getting facts wrong, but political reporters simply don't understand people who view their own faith in such a unique way. The number of comments that "the Pope should have modernized the Church," or "the Pope should have approved of female priests, gay marriage, and birth control," has been amazing. If you don't understand that the Pope, however infallible, can't just change Church tenets because he doesn't like them, then you don't get much of what's goes on in the Church in the first place.

I'm not Catholic; I've said so many times. But still, I have an interest in this as someone who is very nearly Catholic. Leave coverage of these events to the CNS and CNA (the two major Catholic news organs), who know how to deal with Catholic issues. As Cacciaguida said the other day:
Applying the analogy of political and administrative power, reporters -- most of whom either cover secular politics, or aspire to -- use words like "policies," as though a change of Pope were like a change of EPA Administrator. It's all they know, or all they care about, or all they want to be seen as caring about.
Yes, there are a lot of political machinations that go on behind the scenes of the papal selection process. Do we have a right to know what they are? No. Should political reporters who don't understand the issues of faith at play be covering them? Absolutely not.

UPDATE [4/8/2005 - 13:55]: Posted too soon. As an example of what I was just talking about, Life News (whatever that is—via Cacc) says:
The leading candidates who could become the next Pope and leader of the Catholic Church have one thing in common -- they all take a pro-life stance on key issues such as abortion and euthanasia.
Of course they are, considering that's one of the tenets of their Church, and they have ascended to the highest levels of their Church.


Irina Tsukerman said...

I don't understand these people at all. If they want to be secular, they are free to do so. Why do they care, or feel they have the right to, tell the Church what "policies" to adopt?!

Dave Justus said...

I think it is a horrible waste to have this all behind closed doors.

This could be a great reality show with immunity challenges and voting of Cardinals out of the Vatican in successive elimination rounds...

The Catholic Church needs to catch up with the times, they have a major hit here and they are going to throw it all the way in the name of tradition! :)