Pope Francis prays at St. Mary Major on 3-14-2013
Video Courtesy of Catholic News Service
In a previous article (see here), I pointed out the boorish predictability of the mainstream press in their dealings with the papal conclave. Equally crude and reliable will be their dealings with the new pope. Why? Because we've seen it all before. We saw it with the way the press dealt with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and the late Pope John Paul II. Of course, this is how it played out in the conclave as well.
So almost immediately after His Holiness Benedict XVI announced his abdication, they went to work, putting forward the so-called "frontrunners" that the news media decided should be the "frontrunners," along with ignoring any cardinal who may not fit the media's ideal profile. So what is the media's ideal profile? Well for starters, none of the current cardinal electors fit it, so that must be a bit frustrating to the press. Instead they have to focus on ignoring, or downplaying, anyone who overtly contradicts it. Their profile is a man who is charismatic and likeable -- which is a virtuous character by any standard really -- but also one who is open to "change," and this "change" is the devil in the details of the media's thought process. Most news people are overt liberals, and a good number are militant about it. That's just a statistical fact. They want the Catholic Church to become more "politically correct" in its business, and so that means they want women-priests, more homosexual clergy, as well as an openness to artificial contraception, abortion, and same-sex "marriage." They know they're not going to see any of that happen any time soon. This is not the Episcopal Church USA, or the Anglican Communion, but if they could see the Catholic Church just give an inch on these matters, an entire army of progressives within the Church eagerly await the opportunity to take a mile. So the man the media wants as pope is a man who seems most likely to be willing to "give in a little" on this issue or that. Now that doesn't mean they are right in their presumed selection of "frontrunners," as a cardinal may say one thing in public, but then hold to a much more strict view behind closed doors, but it does give some insight into the mindset of the people reporting the news. They're putting forward their favourites, and hoping the cardinal electors are reading and watching what they report...So let's just get down to the heart of the matter, shall we? According to the mainstream press, the only good Catholic is a bad Catholic, meaning one who doesn't believe or practice the faith. Catholics who break the rules are pushed to the forefront in the media, and made out to be the spokespeople for "most Catholics," who just happen to want the exact same thing the mainstream press wants. While those who actually believe, practice and defend the religion are made out to be some kind of backward medieval inquisitors, who still believe the world is flat. Worse yet, the majority of Catholic faithful (especially in the third world) are made out to be "prisoners" of a religious system that "controls them like cattle," with the assumption that if only these people could be "enlightened" they would throw off this "heavy yoke" of Catholicism at the first opportunity, becoming more like their liberal American counterparts. "Why won't the Church let women use contraception? Why won't the Church let priests get married? Why won't the Church stop discriminating against homosexuals?" etc. Such questions are commonplace in the mainstream press. Then when anyone dares to retort this portrayal, the subject of the clergy sex-abuse scandal immediately comes up, with the news commenter throwing in the word "credibility" a few times just to make sure the point is made. This is the template anyway, the way Catholics are portrayed, and it's almost universal now. It didn't just play out during the conclave. It plays out all the time, constantly, with incredible predictability, and as I said, it's terribly rude. No, it's worse then rude actually -- it's wicked.
It seems that CNN, and many other mainstream news networks, newspapers, and media outlets have peppered themselves with "cafeteria Catholics," the likes of Piers Morgan, who are really liberal Anglicans with an identity crisis. Before Morgan encourages the bishops to "come out of the closet" on matters related to human sexuality, he may do well to come out of the closet himself, and finally face the fact of what he has become -- a Protestant of the very liberal persuasion -- but the same could be said of many on the CNN staff, as well as other news outlets. It is incredibly rude, disrespectful and downright wicked, to attempt to change another man's religion to suit your own fancies. Yet this is exactly what the Borgias in the mainstream press have attempted in recent weeks, as in 2005 and perhaps even 1978. They have an agenda, they find "cafeteria Catholics" (really closet Anglicans I suppose) who agree with them on it, and then trot them out in front of the cameras, like the 1960s dinosaurs they are, to tell the world how the Catholic Church ought to do things. All the while, they hope the cardinal electors are listening.
So that being said, allow me to do a little prognostication here. Currently, as of the writing of this article, it's been just two days since the selection of the new pope. The "new" hasn't quite worn off yet, but don't worry, it will. It's too early, as of yet, for the mainstream press to level any kind of serious criticism of the new pontiff. In fact, it only makes sense right now for the media to play along actually. They'll build this guy up for a while, and sing his praises with the rest of them, but keep in mind this is only an illusion. (They've already let quite a few things slide actually. Things they would normally have pounced on.) Then, in time, after all the excitement has died down, the pope will say something. It might be a pronouncement of orthodox teaching. Maybe it will be an apostolic letter. Something will happen, and I guarantee, it will be something perfectly normal for any Catholic pope to do. However, it will go against the "politically correct" orthodoxy of the mainstream press and liberalism in general. Once that happens, the fangs will begin to come out. It will start very subtle you see. The press will begin talking about what a "disappointment" this is, as they suggest the idea that this hopeful reformer appears to now be "taken over" by the "Vatican machine." (Of course, the media's idea of the "Vatican machine" is nothing more than Catholic orthodoxy.) Then will come the editorials, wherein supposedly "devout Catholics" (really liberal Cafeteria Catholics) will opine that they "fear for the future of the Church." They'll lament that the Church appears to be "going backwards" with this new pope, and they will "hope" that the Church doesn't become "irrelevant" in the process. (Of course, they'll just assume that nobody is smart enough to catch on that the very fact they're writing these editorials about the Church only proves the Church is more relevant than ever.) So, once the seeds of doubt are carefully planted, then they'll subtly attempt to disassemble his papacy. They have to be coy about these things you see. They can't just come out and attack him, like many liberal activist groups do. No, that would be too obvious. They might lose their credibility you see. So the strategy of the press is to introduce doubt and uncertainty. Then, just as soon as the first whiff of a scandal arises, whether it's really a scandal or not, the media will play it up to the fullest! After all, they're good at it, and that is; what.. they.. do..
There is no use trying to prevent this from happening. It's going to happen. It always does. As I said, it's rude and it's predictable. They always do it. What remains to be seen, however, is how our new pope will handle it. I can't even begin to speculate on that.
For faithful Catholics, this is just part of the game. Jesus had to deal with the Pharisees, and we have to deal with the mainstream press. Get used to it. If you are a faithful Catholic, I can give you some good advice about how to deal with the way the press treats our religion. Turn it off! That's right; just ignore it. Tune into EWTN or Catholic radio for news about the Church instead. Don't worry, they won't be afraid to address tough issues like scandal. Nobody there is going to fluff what's really going on in the Church. However, they will deal with the topics in a way that doesn't undermine or berate what the Church actually teaches in regards to faith and morals. In other words, you'll get the news about the Church (the good, the bad and the ugly) in a way that doesn't attack or insult your Catholic faith.
Some time ago I decided to stop watching CNN and FoxNews entirely, especially about any matters related to the Catholic Church. I am able to acquire most of my secular news from various Internet websites, and for Church news, I look to EWTN (television, radio and Internet feeds), Pewsitter.com, and various Catholic blogs. I cannot begin to tell you how much better I feel as a result. I mean, I actually feel better, physically. That's how much of a drain the mainstream press was putting on me. I had no idea how bad it really was until I turned it all off. These news networks are toxic to the soul: CNN, FoxNews, NBC, ABC and CBS -- all of them! It's not just television media, but radio and print media as well. I turned off all the AM talk radio. I refuse to even look at certain newspapers and magazines. It is all very liberating and refreshing! I encourage every faithful Catholic to just do the same. It's the most powerful way to fight back ever devised. Just turn them off -- all of them. You will hurt their ratings, cost them money, and feel better in the process. I know it's hard to believe that the solution could really be so simple, but it really is. They lose their power of influence when their audience gets smaller. Just do it. You'll be glad you did.
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