Jack Valero, co-founder of Catholic Voices, doesn’t believe the media are anti-Catholic

Jack Valero, leader of Catholic Voices and spokesman for Newman’s beatification,    makes the staggering admission in an interview with Zenit that he doesn’t believe that the media are anti-Catholic.

Here’s the excerpt from the Zenit interview:

Zenit: ‘Did the “anti-Catholicism” of the English media make it especially complicated to report on the visit? Is it difficult to break myths and taboos about the Catholic faith?’

Valero: I don’t believe in that “anti-Catholicism” of the media. As I said, there is much religious ignorance and much indifference. On the other hand, the media is interested in dramas and controversies, and not in happy stories: this is how they function. That is why the majority of religious news that appears has a negative context — sexual or financial scandals, hypocrisy, etc.

In Catholic Voices, we have studied how to do a “re-framing” of news to speak of the subject in positive terms and hence communicate better the message of the Catholic Church, but without evading the question.’

Protect the Pope is a big fan of Jack Valero, and Catholic Voices, and readily acknowledges the important role they played in presenting a positive message about Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church.

However, Jack Valero’s denial of the media’s anti-Catholicism is incredible, and a denial of the reality of the past year of unprecedented attacks on the Church in the run up to the Holy Father’s visit. Evidence shows that there is institutional anti-Christian, and anti-Catholic bias in the media in the UK and Europe.

For example a BBC internal document was leaked in 2006 to the press which shows that senior management and journalists are aware of their ant-Christian bias.

Lifesite news report that Andrew Marr, a journalist, political commentator and political editor of BBC News between 2000 and 2005, said at that meeting that the BBC “has a cultural liberal bias.” The leaked document showed that the BBC’s highest placed news stars and executives believed that the network’s news coverage is overly dominated by a bias against Christianity and in favor of “multiculturalism” and Islam. The executives admitted that this had led the broadcaster to heavily slant its reporting on religious subjects as well as on the global threat of Islamic terrorism.’

‘The document quoted Marr saying, “The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.’

Peter Seewald, a former journalist on leading German magazines such as Stern and Suddeutsche Zeitung provides an insight into the the institutional anti-Catholicism in the German media, which is most probably typical of the majority of European journalists judging by their coverage of Pope Benedict and the Church.

‘As far as Ratzinger was concerned, I had noticed (as I have already said) how with the choice of photo in the picture editor’s office a corresponding sorting was practised. It was seen as perfectly normal to applaud Fidel Castro, in whose country all the critics landed in prison cells. But there was another standard for Ratzinger. Out of thirty photos lying on the desk, five landed in the bag, and twenty-five bad ones in the waste basket. And the bad ones were those that were good. They were sorted out because in them Ratzinger was either laughing or showing far too friendly a face for a grand inquisitor.’ p.164 ( Peter Seewald, Benedict XVI: An intimate Portrait.)

(Peter Seewald converted to Catholicism as a result of conducting a number of lengthy interviews with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.)

Protect the Pope comment: Part of the success of Catholic Voices has been their positive, calm, balanced response to hard questions put to them by the media. However, Jack Valero is taking this positive attitude to the media way too far when he denies that they are anti-Catholic. Hasn’t he read Julie Burchill or Johann Hari? or listened to Robert Piggott, just for starters?



8 comments to Jack Valero, co-founder of Catholic Voices, doesn’t believe the media are anti-Catholic

  • Karla

    You’ve got to be having a joke. The media is very anti catholic. Even Bernard Henri Levy saw this. There is a bias against the catholic church in the mainstream media. Look at all the articles on Protect the Pope that have had to be refuted because of their lies.

  • if the Media wasn’t anti-Catholic, why was it necessary to form ‘Catholic Voices’ in the first place? Come on Uncle Jack, who are you trying to kid?

  • Karolina

    Fulton J. Sheen once said “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”

    Most media hate what they think the Church is. They do not have all the facts (nor do they seem interested in obtaining them). The bias is against the false perception of the Church. I can understand what Valero is saying, if you consider it in this way.

    Although, there will always be those individuals who know the truth, yet still harbour a great hatred towards it. This is because it makes them uncomfortable because their lifestyles are so directly opposed to it.

  • I think he’s trying to stay positive. There IS a lot of anti-Catholicism in the media but there is probably a lot more laziness which takes up prefabricated opinions and runs with them. Many of the media assumptions about Pope Benedict long predate his election as Pope and are the products of enemies INSIDE the Church.

  • ninoinoz

    Excuse me?

    Why, then, was it necessary to found Catholic Voices if the media aren’t anti-Catholic?

    All I can say is obviously Jack Valero has been spared reading the Guardian for the last month. Now the Holy Father is safely back in Rome, I’ve stopped buying it as I no longer have to keep a wary eye over those [Insert your own expletive here]s.

  • John

    Sigh… Jack Valero sounds like one of those abused women who, no matter how many times her abusive husband keeps beating her, she convinces herself “He really does love me…”

    The media are anti-Catholic and the sooner we create Catholic media alternatives, the sooner we’ll be out of the lamestream media’s hands. We must attack the media where it hurts most – their wallet – and instead fund Catholic media outlets, so that they can expand, hire new people, write more stories, attract more mainstream advertisers and grow larger.

    There’s no use in continuing to convince ourselves that our abusive media loves us.

    It’s time for a new media – Catholic media.

  • SpeSalvi23

    Peter Seewald actually ‘came back’ to the Catholic Church. He was, as just about every native Bavarian, baptized Catholic.
    He had left the Church after turning communist / atheist / anti-Church.

    Then he had the opportunity to spend a few secluded days with Card. Ratzinger, who was somehow able to show him, and his readers through the book, what the Catholic Church looks like through the eyes of a high ranking Vatican official – responsible for its doctrine.

    Salt of the Earth is very personal and has actually lead many people to convert, or to change their minds about the Church and/or Card. Ratzinger who has ALWAYS been the no. 1 hate-reference for the German media (since 1982) which is hugely anti-Catholic!
    Good side effect: if anybody is resistant to appeasing the media it’s Benedict XVI.

    Ever since P. Seewald ‘came back’ he’s been very outspoken against the obvious media bias, which he knows quite well, since he was a part of it for years.

    I can only recommend his books with and about Joseph Ratzinger. They’re outstanding.

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