"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Bishop of Rome on being the Bishop of Rome

As I noted during the interregnum in 2005, coverage of the papacy by the so-called mainstream media--always a dim lot at the best of times--is invariably tendentious and unreliable. I cannot improve on Conrad Black's acerbic description of most journalists as
ignorant, lazy, opinionated, and intellectually dishonest. The profession is heavily cluttered with aged hacks toiling through a miasma of mounting decrepitude and...arrogant and abrasive youngsters who substitute 'commitment' for insight. The product of their impassioned intervention in public affairs is more often confusion than lucidity.

So it is completely unsurprising that the media has seized on excerpts from this forthcoming book:

Peter Seewald, Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times (Ignatius, 2010). 

and then propagated aggressively the myth that the pope has launched a wholesale change in Catholic teaching on contraception. This stupidity is too tedious to refute, especially when it has been done in such a pitch-perfect polemic as you can read here.

I look forward to reading this book and then discussing it on here. To my great surprise, Benedict's papacy has done more to advance Orthodox-Catholic rapprochement, and more quickly, than I think even the most wild-eyed optimist expected. We shall see what, if anything, he has to say about the East in this book-length interview--one of several he has done over the years with Seewald, who was prompted to a conversion (reversion?) based on how moved he was by Ratzinger's gracious life and absorbing faith.

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