Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Abdication and the Beginning of the Media Analysis

I have a headache today and I have no one to blame but myself.  You see, yesterday, I watched the news of the Pope's resignation unfold with a bread pan full of rice flour shortbread that I'd made as a special treat on Sunday night beside me, chipping away at it with each story that I read or watched, because we had sick babies after all, and were in survival mode and all thought of actually getting anything productive done had flitted out the window before my foot had touched the bottom stair.  Besides, I told myself as I ate tiny slice after tiny slice, it's practically Mardi Gras, and it's almost Lent and the Pope resigned.  And I felt like wallowing in the well-this-is-going-to-be-a-very-exciting-time-as-we-wait-to-see-what-happens-next-but-I-still-don't-really-feel-happy-about-it emotions that were sluggishly coursing through my body.

Finally I ventured out of the kitchen, turned on the TV, and found a news channel.  I knew that the reporting was likely to be horrible and yet I wanted to see something about what was going on.  I'd turned on EWTN streaming on Hulu and Mass was on, but I was craving news about the Holy Father (I know, I know, I would have been much better off watching Mass!).  I settled in, babies crawling on me and flinging themselves around the room, and tried to watch what was being said.  These rough statements (since they're from my memory) cover the gist of what was being said:

"We don't want him to be remembered as good..." said an angry looking woman who was announcing that the Pope had never done anything to help anyone in the entire history of... ever.  She rambled about how he "said the right words" but never did anything.

Whatever.  I thought.  Of course they're going to get idiots to come on and bash the Pope.  That's what they do.

"As Catholics," the reporter who somehow managed to get a job on a national news program, "we're used to being disappointed by the Church..." before going on to hope that this would mean changes on the Church since the Pope was "so hostile towards homosexuals" and "birth control."

I was somewhat comforted that someone, somewhere understood what they were talking about when the Vatican correspondent said that "there may be a difference in tone and style" but that it was unlikely that there would be a tone in "substance" although I have to say I'm not sure the woman covering the story understood what he meant when he said those words.

I flipped over to Fox News.  That had to be better, right?  I mean, at least they're not hostile towards the papacy on a regular basis.

A reporter was out on the street, interviewing the Masses about the abdication.  "I hope we get someone who's like more younger." (and yes, the actual words "like more younger" were said).  She went on to say she hoped it was someone who was part of a "more younger" generation who understands more what's going on in the world.

Because being younger obviously means you see what's going on in the world more clearly than the man who's the head of a two thousand year old Church, charged with leading the faithful through the various dark times that have fallen upon civilization.

I turned the TV off and ate another piece of shortbread.  I shouldn't have expected more than speculation about the Church "getting with the times" and "giving the okay for gay marriage and birth control."

Of course, as the correspondent from the Vatican tried to point out, it's not going to happen.  Even if the cardinals elected someone who was "like more younger" we know that Christ's promise that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against his Church would stand true, just as it has through the past two millennium.

And so I wait and pray and hope.  And I'm going to try to avoid cookies that are mostly a mixture of butter and sugar and news programs that spend hours talking about how maybe the Church is going to get with it and okay the pill and how we might finally get someone who's "not so conservative" which really means "not so orthodox."

I feel oddly ready for Lent now (and not at all ready for a fun Mardi Gras dinner tonight!).  Let the forty days begin...  I'm ready for my ashes...

And so every picture isn't a frown...


  1. I read this hilarious opinion piece on CNN yesterday. The writer trotted out the fact that he was a life long Catholic, and then went on to say that the next pope needs to start a vatican III and exposed a myriad of fundamental misunderstandings about the Church. I was at work, but pumping, so when I laughed out load nobody heard.

  2. It is - though it should no longer be - utterly mind-boggling to me that people, by and large, Catholic or not, simply do not understand that the Church is NOT.EVER. going to change fundamental teachings. In fact, She cannot.

    That constancy is what makes the Catholic Church stand out in a world where truth is what you want it to be, and also what makes Her a target.

    BTW, I saw Garry Wllls last night on the Colbert Report and was astonished that anyone could still call himself Catholic (or would want to!) who denies transubstantiation and feels priests are pretty worthless. Yikes! Stephen Colbert gave it right back to him, however.

    While this whole development is a stunner, the Holy Spirit will guide the Church, and all will be well.

    God bless!



I love comments and I read every single comment that comes in (and I try to respond when the little ones aren't distracting me to the point that it's impossible!). Please show kindness to each other and our family in the comment box. After all, we're all real people on the other side of the screen!