Hearing and Listening

Is Pope Francis doing a crazy thing weaning Catholics off every word uttered by the Bishop of Rome? Phil Lawler thinks little of the lawless approach, especially giving interviews to less-than-respectable organs. (I notice that he doesn’t bother to link the original, which was linked on CatholicCulture Monday.)

It must be difficult for a subset of Catholics who traditionally (read: last eight to thirty-five years) have hung on every word of the pope, especially in the internet age, to suddenly find themselves high and dry by some pronouncements.

Are two percent of Catholic priests pedophiles? Is that really true? My guess would be that the number was a bit higher fifty years ago, and it had always been, more or less, at that level for centuries prior. Child sexual abuse is less a matter of sexual attraction than it is the use of sex to dominate another person. It is an addiction, a cruelty, and I seriously doubt that the phenomenon of outing such behavior corresponds to any increase in such behavior. I suspect that in, say, 1570, sexual abuse was, as it is today, a crime of opportunity. If abusers had access to women, children, or anyone they could overpower, they would do it.

Mr Lawler asks:

Why was Pope Francis speaking with Scalfari without having first established clear ground rules for the conversation—rules that would certainly include recording and verification of any quotes?

Mr Lawler is a son of his age, the age of reason. Thanks to the modernism of the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution, many people, included good and holy church people, are very concerned about accurate communication. In case somebody does some digging. In case something needs proof. In case some lawyers come digging. Or internet newshounds.

I suspect that Pope Francis knows what he’s doing with these “interviews.” He doesn’t see the need to be filtered.

That said, I do think there’s plenty of food for thought in what’s coming out of the pope’s mouth or coming from his general vicinity these days. Maybe it’s an example worth following. I’d love to see, for example, two journalists sit down without recorders and only their memories. Then take back to the NCRep and NCReg what they got out of the meeting. Those would be two articles worth comparing and contrasting.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Hearing and Listening

  1. I think there is something to be said for spending less time focusing on what the pope says in each and every interview about each and every subject.

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