Loading
Supreme Knight rejects idea of contrast between Francis, Benedict
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson addresses the membership seminar during the 130th Supreme Convention. Credit: Knights of Columbus.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson addresses the membership seminar during the 130th Supreme Convention. Credit: Knights of Columbus.

.- Media narratives about Pope Francis have led to a misunderstanding of his interview with Jesuit magazines, as well as a false perceived contrast between him and his predecessor, according to Carl Anderson.

“The media’s narrative of Francis is something else. We are told he is a progressive, taking the Catholic Church in a profoundly new direction – uninterested in Church teaching on moral issues,” reflected Anderson, the head of the Knights of Columbus, in a Sept. 22 essay in National Review Online.

“Benedict, we are told, is conservative, doctrinaire, and old-fashioned — focused on moral issues. Neither narrative is true, because each leaves out half of the story.”

Pope Francis' comments in his 12,000-word interview that the proclamation of God’s “saving love” should come before “moral and religious imperatives,” and that Catholics should not insist “only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods” were treated in the media as though “the Church was suddenly charting a new course,” Anderson said.

He noted that in 2006, Benedict XVI similarly replied to a question about why he had not addressed same-sex marriage, abortion or contraception in a speech. He said, “Catholicism isn’t a collection of prohibitions; it’s a positive opinion.”

Benedict XVI also denounced violence against homosexual persons and encouraged compassion and mercy towards women who had had abortions. These statement “garnered little media attention,” however.

“It didn’t fit the narrative, so it wasn’t widely reported.”

Anderson rejected claims that the interview shows that Pope Francis is “uninterested in Church teaching on moral issues” or that he is diverging with Benedict XVI.

He noted that Pope Francis has praised the work of pro-life groups; on  Sept. 20, he told a gathering of Catholic doctors that the right to life is “fundamental.”

Pope Francis has also urged the Knights of Columbus to “bear witness to the authentic nature of marriage and the family, the sanctity and inviolable dignity of human life, and the beauty and truth of human sexuality.”

After criticizing the supposed contrast between Roman Pontiffs portrayed in mainstream media, Anderson went on to affirm with the Popes that “Catholic teaching on moral issues isn’t the totality of the Church’s message. It never has been.”

“And our popes, bishops, priests, and laity have always spent far more time on charity, prayer, and pastoral outreach than on public policy issues. If the public doesn’t know that, it’s because the media prefer to cover controversies.”

Anderson said that Pope Francis’ interview touched on many subjects, but many media outlets are focusing too much on the small sections on abortion and contraception.

“Ironically, this coverage comes after the Pope said in that same interview that the Church has a broader focus. It is increasingly apparent that it is the media, more often than Catholics themselves, who place a disproportionate focus on Church teaching about sexuality and abortion.”

Anderson cited the Pope’s comparison of the Church to “a field hospital after battle” where the Church must help the seriously injured person and “heal his wounds.”

He said the Pope has presented a “stark and dramatic assessment of our cultural situation” and has proposed in response “a bold, self-sacrificing personal witness.”

Anderson said there is a danger that media coverage “narrowly focuses on social issues.” He noted that news coverage neglects the massive charitable and volunteer work of the Knights of Columbus, but focuses on its minor funding of some social issues advocacy.

This kind of coverage “warps public perceptions and misleads” and could have severe consequences, he warned.

“Wrongly portrayed as singularly focused on a narrow set of issues, believers run the risk of being misunderstood and marginalized.”

“If the media truly want to embrace Pope Francis’ message, they can begin by heeding his call not to focus too narrowly on just one or two issues in their coverage of faith.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: