That the alleged "Fair & Balanced" Fox News is a propaganda vehicle for the conservative positions of the Catholic Church isn't a surprise given that, along with the many Catholics in the ranks of *Fox hosts, there is a conservative Catholic near the top of the Fox News hierarchy. John Moody, Fox News Executive Vice President and executive editor is a staunch conservative Catholic who once wrote an article about how offended he was by Rev. Jeremiah Wright's black liberation theology. And as Fox's top RC, he used the alleged Fox News show "America's Newsroom," today, to discuss Pope Benedict's resignation and, in so doing, positively gush over the awesomeness of the Pope. Alleged news host and conservative Catholic Martha MacCallum shared the love.
In introducing Moody, fellow Catholic Martha MacCallum noted that he wrote a biography of Pope John Paul II and interviewed the current pope. Moody, who wrote an article for the Fox website, "As Vatican Leader, Pope Benedict Never Had a Chance," was just bursting with praise about the outgoing pontiff. He said that the resignation "was one of the bravest things I have ever heard of" and that this "reflects the kind of man and the kind of leader of the Church that he insisted on being." (Right, offered an apology and not penalties for sexual abuse.)
MacCallum said that while Benedict didn't have the vitality of the preceding Pope, he considered his infirmities as part of his worship to God. Moody praised Benedict as a "thinker, scholar, and theologian" who "didn't want the limelight." He added that Benedict wanted to continue John Paul's legacy and "make sure nothing radical happened" because "radicalism" to both John Paul and Benedict was "anathema." (Unlike clergy sexual abuse?) To MacCallum's question of what will come next, Moody speculated that the choice might be younger and "more robust."
MacCallum cited speculation about Fox pal, Cardinal Dolan, being in line for the papacy and asked Moody if those voting for a new pope might go outside Europe. Moody's response was that the Catholic Church "has internationalized itself" and "can't go back to being a little Italian conclave" and that Cardinal Dolan should be in "any serious consideration" and if so, Yankee fans would "celebrate." (And of course, Dolan has got some sexual abuse junk in his trunk but you won't hear about that on Fox.) Moody added that Dolan is a "wonderful man." (And one for whom Fox News pulled out all the propaganda stops with regard to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops', of which Dolan is the head, opposition to the HHS birth control mandate).
As in the earlier Fox & Friends discussion with Fr. Jonathan Morris, the whole issue of clergy sexual abuse was swept under the rug (a Vatican tradition!) And rather than discuss how a future pope might want to address modernizing the Church and stopping the decline in membership by admitting married and woman priests and rethinking the almost universally ignored prohibition on "artificial" birth control, Moody talked about the "anathema" of "radicalization." There was certainly no mention of the Pope's progressive views on climate change, an equitable economy, immigration, and health care as those views are "anathema" to the GOP right wing for whom Fox News serves as a mouthpiece. Fox News "fair & balanced" as always!
I’m sure that a flock of jesuit spin-doctors (they’re by far the best) has already entered the Vatican through a back door to start analysing this event.
My grandmother probably never opened a bible in her entire life but that didn’t stop her from knowing it pretty well because she listened carefully during daily mass. She still argued that the Church’s position on contraception was criminally wrong.
My mother had also never read the Bible until the mid fifties when she picked up a Gideon’s bible in a motel room and it flipped open in the Song of Solomon (golly). When she asked her mother about that book, Granny claimed she’d never heard about it at mass.
An epic struggle between the forces of the past and the forces of the future. The previous pope’s lengthy period of pretty much total incapability allowed the former to put down some pretty powerful roots and the resigning pope may have realised that he may have signed the Church’s death certificate by continuing along the same lines of “no change, no way!”, against “relativism”. The civil war within the Vatican has been an open secret for a couple of decades and Benedict 16 may simply have grown a conscience of just how evil some of his colleagues (himself, included, perhaps: I have mixed feelings about that) have been in the name of Peter and Christ.
The Church is losing ground all over the world – even in Latin America and The Philippines, which says a lot – because of its tolerance towards so many things perceived as unacceptable for a true Christian (upper case intended).
Not so much paedophelia and lust (which have always existed) as (the equally persistent but less visible) weaknesses of the soul as corruption, pandering to the powerful and wealthy, “do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do”, a total lack of democracy and equity, a cave-man attitude towards women.
And many of the so-called “pope-ables” come from the most conservative of conservative wings of the organisation, namely Africa and the USA. At risk of being contested by others better versed in the history of the Church, we may be witnessing today’s version of the infamous Council of Trento that laid the foundations for the Church that Benedict wanted so desperately to make eternal.
Pass the popcorn, willya? This is going to be interesting.