Lies, damn lies and media misreporting of Pope Benedict and WYD 2011

Predictably the liberal media are already misreporting the upcoming World Youth Day at Madrid and Pope Benedict’s trip to join young people celebrating their Catholic faith.

The big lie being spread this week is that the Spanish government is spending 60 million euros on Pope Benedict’s four day visit. This is the line taken by anti-Catholic paper, The Guardian:

‘Spanish priests join opposition to costly papal visit. Madrid group says €60m fee cannot be justified at time of state cuts, neither can choice of sponsors for World Youth Day. More than 100 priests from Madrid’s poorest parishes have added their voices to the growing protest at the cost of Pope Benedict’s visit to Madrid next week. An umbrella group – the Priest’s Forum – says the estimated €60m (£53m) cost of the papal visit, not counting security, cannot be justified at a time of massive public sector cuts and 20% unemployment in Spain.’

‘Europa Laica plans to march under the slogans “Not a penny of my taxes for the pope” and “For a secular state”. There is particular ire that the some 500,000 pilgrims expected in the city will get free transport. Madrid metro fares rose by 50% on Monday.

“With the economic crisis we are going through, we can’t pay for this. The church should set the example,” said a spokesman for the Indignados movement, which has staged high-profile protests in central Madrid. “They propose to spend €60m when the regional government has just cut €40m from the education budget.”

The truth is that Pope Benedict’s visit to Spain will not cost 60 million euros. The whole week of WYD events for up to a million young people will cost 60 million euros.

The Catholic Church will cover the 60 million euro bill for WYD. Young people’s registrations fees will cover 70% of the costs. The other 30% will come from corporate sponsors and individual donors.

Furthermore, it has been estimated  that the influx of young Catholics from all over the world will inject nearly $140 million into the ailing Spanish economy.

Yago de la Cierva, WYD’s executive director stated:

“The pope’s visit does not cost Spain anything. It creates employment and is attracting tourism. It also proves Spain can host a large-scale event which puts it in good stead for the 2020 Olympic bid.”

Protect the Pope comment: The liberal media, such as The Guardian and The Independent, have an ingrained habit of printing lies, half-truths and misrepresentations of Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church. Once these lies are in print they become ‘truths’ that are churned up constantly by anti-Catholic blogs and news reports on the web.

All we can do is put the spot light on these lies and challenge them with the truth. This is one of the basic roles of Protect the Pope.–127444783.html



34 comments to Lies, damn lies and media misreporting of Pope Benedict and WYD 2011

  • fd

    Good work !
    I’m sure the media will hit the roof when they have to report the joy, the seriousness , the partecipation and the grandeur of the event that is taking place in Madrid next week.
    I’ll be checking the websites of the Italian anti-C paper so as to to report falsehoods to you. For the time being, they seem to be curiously quiet.
    For those who can read Italian here is the link to the Avvenire newspaper website. On the right you find DIRETTA DA MADRID( i.e live from Madrid) and beneath constant updates. To see previous posts you have to click on “continua” at the end. Some Avvenire journalists have reached their Spain correspondent and have already been in Madrid for some days and have been writing all the updates there (some of them are information about various things including the weather and other comments are tongue in cheek and funny) There are photos as well.
    I suggest you have a look

    On the right of the online paper under DIRETTA DA MADRID

  • fd

    In some posts they have written whole sentences in Spanish ( Written Italian and written Spanish are so similar that readers shouldn’t find it difficult to understant them :) )

  • fd

    I read the article on the Guardian you posted: at the end it says that the visit to Barcelona last november was “poorly received” and the Papamobile rode along “empty streets” ??????????????????????
    This is not destorting the news :this is a new level! This is living in and reporting from a parallel world.
    The crowds in Barcelona were huge and enthusiastic. We also saw the photos and watched the news,come on !
    This Guardian journalist should have his head checked, for God’s sake!

  • fd

    I forgot to mention that today,at the Angelus prayer at Castel Gandolfo, the pope asked the people gathered to listen to him to pray for his visit to Madrid

  • Lionel (Paris)

    Dear Nick,
    Bravo! what you write on the issue is the truth; you are totally right! (bien vu!)
    However, their reaction was expected and does not impress honest people…

  • Teresa

    The Catholic News Agency link quotes Archbishop Rodriguez as saying; “Why are freethinkers, atheists and secularists more right than others?”

    I would add to that – why do they consider themselves more “freethinking”? Catholics are denounced and even ostracised for not accepting secularist ideals? Where is the “freethinking” in that?!

    Sorry Nick – I know that comment wasn’t directly related to the news item.

  • Karla

    I heard two million people are attending on EWTN. People coming to Madrid all over the world, paying for airfares, food, etc. Not only that WYD will be aired on television to millions, Madrid advertised to the world, I bet many more people will go to Madrid after seeing WYD aired there. But ultimatly this is not about how much money the visit will cost, or how much money is gained for Madrid in tourism, this is about the Catholic youth of the world gathering with Pope Benedict to express Christian faith and grow in faith.

  • fd

    The RAI 1 8 o clock news bullettin has just showed a report on Madrid with interviews to young Italians who have gone there.
    Well after all one would expect that all Itlian news outlets should do that since 110,000 young Italians have already made it to Madrid for youth day.
    Nevertheless I took a look at the main Italian news websites a couple of minutes ago and here is what I found on Madrid world youth day :
    Corriere della Sera : nothing
    La Repubblica :nothing
    RAI NEWS 24 : nothing
    RAI 3rd channel news : nothing
    La 7 news: nothing.
    Of course there’s plenty on the popular Famiglia Cristiana magazine’s website and above all on Avvenire and TV (Catholic channel)
    It seems that, for the time being,the media are playing the “don’t ask don’t tell strategy”.As they have found no controversy (apart from the Guardian which invents the news) they prefer not to say anything, but they’ll have to very soon. I’ve just watched the images I talked to you about and Madrid is already awash with scores of Catholics in a joyous environment.
    I like the expression which has been used by El Pais and has been reported by the RAI 1 correspondent: “it will be the week of Catholic Pride” ..IT SURELY WILL…

  • fd

    La Stampa website has got news and photos from Madrid.
    I’ll post the photos here

  • fd

    And here, if you allow me, I’ll post the part of Famiglia Cristiana’s website which is devoted to Madrid.
    There are articles, videos,photos,interviews, maps and much more…

    p.s GMG means WYD in Italian
    And in Spanish it is JMJ

  • Tim

    I love the way that the Pope’s visit is being opposed by (some) Spanish preists and yet the “liberal media” are the ones to blame.

    How about the Vatican gets the local clergy on board before it organises one of these events? Just an idea, but it is a bit rich complaining about anti-catholicism outside the Church when there seems to be opposition to this event inside the Church too.

  • fd

    Dear Tim,
    thousands of enthusiastic priests the world over( and surely from all over Italy and Spain ) have travelled to Madrid together with 1 million young Catholics.
    So, what are you talking about ?
    La Repubblica headline on the website is : The Pope in Madrid: protesters take to the streets .
    The headline is totally misleading because the main event is the 1 million young Catholics who have made it to Madrid for the Pope, not the local 5,000 (or much less) protesters who have got out of their homes to protest.
    La Repubblica wants to tell us that the main event are some local protester and, of course, at the end of the article it reminds us that , by any chance, hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic young Catholic have made it to Madrid.
    The editor of La Repubblica,Ezio Mauro, likes to quote the great Aldo Moro (who was the greatest Italian Catholic politician of all) and he often says that ,as Moro said, we have to get to the “intelligence of the events” .
    Here La Repubblica is either unable to get to the intelligence of the events and give things the right priority( which would mean giving a honest headline and telling the reality: huge number of joyous young people for the Pope first and few protesters as well second) or it is unwilling to get to it and makes use of the news as it pleases them, as newspapers tend to do more and more.

    • Tim

      I am talking about the “more than 100 priests” from Madrid who go under the name “the priest’s forum”. Not a huge number compared with those who are there to participate in the event, but surely a significant proportion of Madrid’s clergy.

      My point is that it is not completely honest to blame the disent wholely on the liberals or the secularists or some other outside group, when there appears to be dissent within the clergy also.

  • fd

    On the DIRETTA DA MADRID (LIVE FROM MADRID) section of the Avvenire website a journalist has posted a comment where he praises the young people in Madrid ” who sing , dance and pray in the open in spite of a sun which would normally prompt people to lie around and not to do anything. ” And he added ” You are great, guys!”

  • fd

    while I’ve just checked in the website of the leftist Il Fatto Quotidiano and L’Unità
    and world youth day doesn’t exist at all in their websites , Il Manifesto defines WyD a “show concocted by John Paul the II”. Hey this is not a show: it involves joyous moments but also a number of serious moments and reflection !
    Another Roman left wing and anti-Catholic daily, Liberazione,has an OUTRAGEOUS HEADLINE : now you know that apparently one person wanted to attack an anti -Pope rally (we still don’t know wheter that was just chatters,like the workers in London who had allegedly plotted against the Pope and then they had been released)
    Their outrageous headline is :Spain : little Brevicks grow up : Catholic plotted attempt
    (Too bad they have forgot that Brevick , the Norwegian lunatic, hated the Pope and in his messages which have been envisioned by the police he had threatened the Pope.
    Liberazione’s headline is outrageous because it seems to suggest that the hundreds of thousands of young people( many of them Italian ) who are in Madrid are not commited young people,but potential criminals.
    They don’t say a word about them and they just talk about this episode which seems fishy to me anyway

  • fd

    Here is a photo where Italian Madrid pilgrims are taking a break from the heat and are reading ” Avvenire ” , my favourite newspaper

  • fd

    And, should you read the skimpy article on Il Fatto Quotidiano website , you would think that there are only protesters in Madrid and just a handful of faithfutl. Amazing up to what extent the news can be distorted.

  • Tim

    It looks like things have turned nasty in Madrid. First a Mexican Catholic has been arrested in connection with an alleged plot to gas the protesters and then there have been reports of pilgrims having abuse shouted at them as they arrive at the metro station and violent clashes and arrests with teh police at one point charging the protestors in an attempt to restore order in the square.

    None of this is good

    • Deacon Nick

      Tim, this is terrible news and I’ll be covering it on Protect the Pope when I get time. Sadly my mum-in-law died unexpectedly yesterday in the Intensive Care Unit.

  • Tim

    Very sorry to hear that Nick. This forum is not your priority right now.

  • fd

    I’m sorry Deacon Nick. My condolances and my prayers to you and your wife.

    Tim,you’re very disinformed it is not your fault. It’s the media.
    The day has been gorgeous (I’ve been watching live some parts)
    lots of joy and peace ! I wish I were there. It’s just amazing !

  • savvy


    The Mexican student was cleared of charges, because it turns out he was joking. Those protesting priests should be happy for the amount of vocations and revival in churches that come from WYD.

    I am watching the coverage of the event. The pilgrims are happy. The protestors are nasty and angry. I think sane people can tell who the nuts actually are.

  • fd

    I know you have other priorities Nick and I renew my condolances.
    However , I wanted to reassure you as far as what Tim said is concerned.
    I also want to reassure Tim
    I’ve been watching live some parts of wyd and I have read trusted newspapers , not just the ones which have been distorting evertything since WYD began
    between 500,000 and 1 milion young pilgrims are in Madrid for the Pope
    Yesterday they all cheered on the Pope when he arrived
    As I’ve learnt from TV and as unbiased journalists report there is joy peace and cheerfulness in the streets.
    As we know wyd is not just fun. It’also reflection.
    Catecheses have been done in different languages for different speaking groups
    However nasty episodes did occur. On wednesday night, when the pilgrims were already in bed (every day at world youth day is absolutely tiresome if not exhausting) some protesters ( 5,000) clashed with the police
    The following day there wasn’t any protester in the street but ” just” over 500,000 happy young pilgrims from all over the world who were absolutely over the moon when they saw the Pope.
    Zapatero has also shaken hands with the Pope and he seemed to be happy to meet him.
    Last night ,when the pilgrims were already in bed, 100 protesters took to the streets and hurled object at the police.
    Another nasty episode occured when a handful of protesters spat on pilgrimas and started shouting “you fool ! God doesn’t exist! The Pope is a nazi”
    The pilgrims did not respond to provocations and just spelled out loud “Benedetto Benedetto! Viva il Papa” Those young pilgrims involved in the unpleasant incident were south American.
    They behaved in an examplary way and need to be commended.
    In a BBC video the Madrid correspondent says that the Catholic pilgrims “called them names” it is a lie.From that very BBC video you clearly hear that they just kept on saying “Benedetto Benedetto”
    As far as the spits and insults from protesters are concerned the Spanish daily La Gaceta says that the Spanish police is investigating whether they can be charged with “insults and harassment against minors”
    Some italian papers said ” clashes between pilgrims and protesters”
    Infact there were no clashes at all. As I’ve said before and as SKY TG 24 reports the South American Catholic pilgrims did not respond ,as it emerges from the BBCvideo itself.
    So, there is an uncapacity or worse an unvwillingness to say things as they are. They mix up everyting in an uneatable “insalata mista” and they give us to eat this stuff, that’s what large sections of the world media are good at.
    Avvenire says that Madrid local people feel ashamed for the protesters.
    Anyway it is good to put things in perspective and keep the numbers in mind 500,000 up to a million people young cheerful pilgrims who are absolutely enthusiastic about what they are living , have a tight shcedule during the day and go to bed in the evening and less than 5,000 violent protesters on Wednesday night and 100 or so on thursday night for whom Madrid people feel ashamed, and in whom the media trust their hopes.

  • fd

    Dear Savy, can you believe that a Roman daily,Liberazione (fortunately it doesn’t sell many copies) has not reported about the cheerful crowds but has headlined on its website: “Little Brevicks grow up” in reference to that Mexican student on whom too many media have been concentrating their effort in order to sway the attention. Liberazione has basically labelled those young people in Madrid as lunatics and criminals.
    That’s outrageous as it’s outrageous how the protesters in Madrid screamed” Ratzinger is a nazi” . All Germans should be offended and outraged at that.
    A RAI 1 NEWS correspondent has praise the young people who are doing the Via Crucis right now for being serious and being very much concentrated and in prayer, so they have showed they can sing and dance when it’s time to do that but also they can stay silent and listen when it is time (as it always happen in this Catholic events)
    Here I post some photographs which show the retiring Archbishop of Milan Tettamanzi and the former Archbishop of Venice and next Milan Archbishop Scola who have hugged today in Madrid before thousands of young Italians from Lombardy (the most popolous Italian region whose capital is Milan” who cheered on them and wished Archbishop Scola good luck in Milan !
    So the young have met their news Archbishop before the adults have (“let the children come to me”) Isn’t that great?
    Here are the photos

  • Karla

    My condolences, Deacon.

  • Karla

    Lies exposed by the protestors: Spain isn’t paying for the papal visit. All the fees are being met by regristration fees by the pilgrims, private donors, and corporate sponsors like Coca Cola. The goverment is not paying for anything. The million or so pilgrims are expected to inject 140 million euroes in to the Madrid economy:

  • fd

    While most Italian media (including all RAI news channels and La Repubblica ) are now giving a more than decent coverage to WYD , there are few Roman newspapers (which have small a publication though) which are showing all their hatred and grudge on the Church and Catholics . Those newspapers are Il Manifesto, Liberazione (which had compared WYD pilgrims to the Norway terrorist Brevick) and Il Fatto Quotidiano.
    All of these three newspapers are not reporting anything about Madrid (they have just talked about the protests) and now on their website they attack the Church and they say that all Church institutions in Italy should be made to pay a huge sum of money to the State because of the crisis.
    They are out of their mind. CARITAS, the oratori and so on are the very institutions which keep our country going,the only institutions which take care of the poor and the immigrants (and for free) , and assist marginalised people as well as former addicts for free.
    Liberazione, Il Fatto Q and Il Manifesto would basically want those institutions to disappear.
    On Il Fatto Quotidiano website right now this is the “news” which is more emphasized.
    Their grudge is so huge that they would like to see scores of poor people succumb in order to make the Church pay…and pay for what…pay because they would like to see young people smash shop windows here in Italy and I’m not joking that’s what they would like,and instead so many Italian young people are in Madrid to pray to a God in Whom they don’t believe and Whom they blame for all their mishaps and to see and cheer one of the men they hate most on earth :the great beloved Benedict XVI.
    It’s like the cartoons we watched when we were little: there are good people and there are the vicious ones,who have maybe had a difficult life or maybe a too easy one and they hate the good people and would like to see them gone.
    But just look at Pope Benedict and his smile : if you think about the cross he has to bear well then only a person who fully entrusts himself to God can have that smile.
    I would also like to praise the BBC because on their website they have featured many opinions on WYD including those of many Catholics who, on the BBC news website, explain well why the protests by those few people are based on nothing.

  • fd

    Delirium ! After the attacks by those rag newspapers I talked about today one of the leading grudgeful anti-Catholic and Pope-bashing in Italy, Odifreddi ,writes today on La Repubblica that now that banks are in troubles the only rich in Italy is now the Catholic Church and that it should quit talking about the poor and pay an awful lot of money . He is just a vile ignorant. While he rests on his money which he earns for writing bul…it on one of Italy’s most influential dailies, the Church is out there among the poor. Would he really like to see homeless centers shut down in order to see the Church go down?

  • fd


  • fd

    La Repubblica says that tonight prayer was Spain’s most partecipated event ever.
    The photos:

  • fd

    I’ve just seen on the skytg24 press preview that Il Manifesto, (one of the few grudgeful Italian papers that have deliberately ignored WYD and have only talked about the protests and the alleged plotter – the other two newspapers which have done the same are Il Fatto Quotidiano and Liberazione)opens tomorrow with this big headline :THERE IS NO FUTURE. IT HAS BEEN STOLEN.
    Poor Manifesto. If only it had had the patience to listen to the Pope’s message to the youth today( “don’tbe afraid of the world don’t be afraid of the future. Help your friends who feel lost in the dark !Seek the light”)and to look at those 2 million young people in Madrid, well if it had done that it would kno that there is future. Right now it is in Madrid.
    I want to say that the vast majority of the Italian media (including La Repubblica) have been covering WYD fairly and in a very good way.

  • Gerald-Paul

    Good job deacon Nick, on exposing the partial media.

  • david

    I wrote recently – please provide feedback for me! It’s based on the same topic, thanks.

  • fd

    Thank you David. Great report

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