A US website, the stltoday.com, have posted an article by Colleen Carroll Campbell, under the title, ‘What the Pope really said in Spain’ that criticises the US and European media for misrepresenting and totally distorting Pope Benedict’s addresses during his visit to Spain.
Ms Carroll Campbell writes:
‘From the screeching headlines and sour press reports, you would think Pope Benedict XVI’s recent trip to Spain was a colossal flop. What else could you call a visit from an 83-year-old cleric who spent two straight days ranting against gays and abortion amid swarms of angry protesters? And we all know that’s what happened, because the mainstream media told us so.
Never mind that little in the transcripts or live television coverage of the papal visit supported that storyline. Or that those anti-pope protests trumpeted as the trip’s most newsworthy event were more minuscule than massive. The gay rights activists who staged a “kiss-in” against Benedict in Barcelona numbered about 200. The pilgrims who gathered to cheer him numbered a quarter million.
Let’s not dwell on numbers. What matters are words, and according to the Associated Press, Benedict devoted his to “attacking” and “blasting” Spain’s lax abortion and marriage laws.’
Ms Carroll Campbell then makes the telling point that the journalists interpretations and explanations of the Holy Father’s addresses bore little resemblance to his actual words.
‘The AP spared readers all that papal mumbo jumbo about the beauty of faith and family and cut to the chase, saying Benedict “railed against same-sex marriage and divorce” and “criticized policies allowing for abortions.”
What were the actual words that generated this synopsis of the pope’s homily, one echoed in news reports across Western Europe and America? Here they are, buried in Benedict’s call for more support for working families: “The generous and indissoluble love of a man and a woman is the effective context and foundation of human life in its gestation, birth, growth and natural end.”
Simply put, the pope believes that faithful, lifelong, man-woman marriage is the ideal context for bearing and rearing children. His belief is buttressed by four decades of social science studies showing that children raised by their married mothers and fathers fare better than those raised in other types of families on nearly every measure available.’
‘Benedict sounded these themes Sunday, in a 1,900-word homily of which only about 100 words related to the hot-button issues that received all the press.