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Martha MacCallum Pimps Pope John Paul II Sainthood

Reported by Priscilla - January 14, 2011 -

Martha MacCallum is yet another member of the mythical Fox "fair & balanced" news team. But she's also a Catholic who just gushes over books by Catholic author and Vice-Chair of the radical anti-choice group "Priests for Life" Anthony DeStefano. Anti-choice zealot Jill Stanek praised MacCallum for her rebuttals to "fallen" Catholic Phil Donohue in a discussion about President Obama's speech at Notre Dame in which MaCallum, according to Stanek, was on "our side." So it wasn't surprising to see Martha positively overflow with effusive validation for Washington DC's Catholic Cardinal Wuerl's effusive commentary about why Pope John Paul II is on the fast track to Catholic sainthood. As a very conservative Catholic prelate who was active in the fight against same sex marriage in DC (now the law), Wuerl is perfect for Fox "News" and Ms. MacCallum certainly gave him a pulpit from which to promote the candidacy of John Paul II for sainthood. And despite MacCallum's supposed commitment to "fair & balanced" news, she didn't offer anything in the way of rebuttal when Wuerl made some statements that certainly deserved at least some skepticism. But then Fox News (Vatican Media?) is very faith based so I can understand why none was forthcoming.

Fox News, as I have noted, does seem to pander to right wing Catholics. Roger Ailes has close ties to the radical right wing Catholic Ave Maria University and Fox "News," despite the religious diversity of American, utilizes the services of only one member of the clergy - a Roman Catholic priest, Father Jonathan Morris. Wuerl recently appeared on Chris Wallace's Sunday show where he whined about having been "forced" to end the DC Catholic foster care program - when in reality, the Diocese shut it down because the Diocesan policy of refusing to allow gay parents access to their foster/adoption system would have been illegal under the DC law legalizing same sex marriage. But he is a big supporter of sainthood for the late Pope John Paul II which seems to be proceeding quite rapidly.

MacCallum began by making the debatable claim that JPII was "one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century." She reported that he is rapidly proceeding on the path to sainthood. She introduced Cardinal Wuerl who had "a close relationship" with the late pontiff. She gushed that "it was a real honor" to have him on the show. Wuerl said that "everybody recognizes" what an "exciting moment this is." (Sorry padre, non Catholics don't really care). Wuerl continued "everyone saw in him that he truly was a man of God." Now this would have been a perfect opportunity for MacCallum to have said that "SNAP" (The Survivors of Those Abused by Priests) claim that this Pope took few steps towards protecting children. But no, Wuerl continued to praise JP II. MacCallum smiled beatifically and aske Wuerl to explain about the process of sainthood which includes requisite miracles one of which, according to the church, has been confirmed. More pope praise from Wuerl who said that the sainthood process has been speeded up because "everybody has recognized, in Pope John Paul, his sanctity, his holiness, his closeness to God..." More pope praise. More pope gushing from MacCallum.

Comment: While Pope John Paul II was obviously a well respected person, not everybody is thrilled about the "fast track." "The National Catholic Reporter," in an article titled "Madness In Rome" cautions against moving too fast as there "remains an open question as to how Pope John Paul II dealt with the clergy sex abuse." There are still questions about the Pope's good friend, Father Marcel Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ, whose bad behavior (including sexual abuse) was problematic for the Vatican. So while Wuerl is entitled to praise the pontiff, MacCallum might have alluded to some impediments to the process. But then she might have had to have said an "act of contrition" to Roger Ailes so it's all good.

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