Denis Boyles on "The Pope, Faith, and Reason"


Denis Boyles of NRO agrees that the problem with journalists is that they have no idea what Christianity or Islam teaches, much less have a grasp on philosophy:

Part of the problem journalists face when they have to report on complicated, somewhat obscure topics, such as Roman Catholic dogmatic theology, is that graduate journalism courses like JOM926 may stress spelling & grammar, but completely at the expense of “faith & reason.” So maybe it’s not fair to blame journalists for the inanities in the week’s reporting of what was a very complex discussion by a scholarly pope concerning faith and reason in Christianity and in Islam. As you know by now, the pope quoted a 14th-century Byzantine whose millennial empire had been reduced to mere acres and whose people had been dispatched by the hundreds of thousands by Islamic armies who thought death was a suitable end for unrepentant infidels. The emperor, Manuel II Paleologus, ventured to a visiting Persian that surely there must be a better way to do missionary work. Somehow a graduate of JOM926 got hold of the pope’s speech, and that was all it took.
Full article


He's right. Compounding the problem is many j-ists think thry know what Catholicism teaches because their families were cultural Catholics (y'know, Christmas, Easter, first Communion types.) So they're working on what they remember from infrequent family conversations and grade 4 first communion prep. oy, vey.

It would be a very useful thing to make up a "journalists quiz" to identify whether or not a particular journalist understands enough to report on and comment about the Catholic Church. Editors could be encouraged to give the quiz to their religion beat reporters or to their political beat ones when they start feeling tempted to comment on Papal pronouncements that spill over into the secular world (cough, Regensburg, cough).

Ignorance of the Church on the part of reporters doesn't just hurt the Church but also the credibility of the news organizations that misrepresent what She is saying.

Leave a comment

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

You write, we post
unless you state otherwise.


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Eric Johnson published on September 22, 2006 8:31 PM.

If only he'd called me. was the previous entry in this blog.

Holy Molly is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.