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Why Did the Mainstream Catholic Media Get the Commie Crucifix Story So Wrong?

Commie Crucifix


Pat Archbold at OnePeter5 asks a very interesting question:  Why did the Catholic Mainstream Media get the Commie Crucifix story so wrong?


It is immensely troubling, therefore, that many of the primary sources of Catholic journalism completely misreported the events surrounding the gift of the hammer and sickle crucifix of Bolivian President Evo Morales to Pope Francis on Thursday July 9, 2015.  Worse, even as facts about the events themselves were clarified, and subsequent to additional clarifications from the Holy See spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, some of Catholic media outlets refused to correct what was shown to be a false narrative, leaving stories with erroneous reporting on their websites without correction for days after updated information was available.

In any situation like this, it’s important to understand the timeline of events:

Following the publication of video of Pope Francis smiling while holding the gift of the troubling crucifix early on Thursday morning, initial reactions from Catholics could largely be characterized as confused and negative. Criticism began mounting, with many suggesting that the Pope should have rejected the blasphemous object.

On the video, when the gift is first presented to him, Pope Francis appears to register some slight surprise at the crucifix. He quietly says something, shaking his head slightly, but because of the poor audio quality, it is unclear what the Pope said.  Later that same morning, some suggested after examining the video that what the Pope might have said was “No está bien eso,” or “that’s not right.” Soon after, an article at suggested the same comment by the Pope. Catholic social media fired back at those criticizing the pope’s response, wielding this new development. Critics were accused of jumping the gun.

But as we moved later into the day on Thursday, better quality audio of the incident became available and it quickly became clear that instead of saying “No está bien eso,” that the Pope actually said, “No sabía eso,” or, “I didn’t know that.”  It became clear that the Pope was not rejecting the item, but rather reacting to something President Evo Morales had said to him. Coupled with his subsequent reactions – all smiles – it was obvious that the Pope had indeed accepted the gift without rebuke or concern.

This sequence of events was largely confirmed later on that same Thursday, July 9, when Holy See spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope had expressed “I didn’t know” in reaction to the gift because he was unaware the crucifix was a replica of the one carved by Jesuit Father Luis Espinal Camps.

All of this occurred on that Thursday. By the end of the day, a clear and verifiable sequence of events of events had emerged, a sequence of events that made clear the Pope happily received the gift, and in no way rejected or expressed any concern about it.  These facts, confirmed by the Holy See, were widely known and discussed across Catholic social media by Thursday afternoon.

So it came as quite a shock to me when on Friday, reports began to emerge on prominent Catholic media outlets reiterating the erroneous reports that the Pope expressed dissatisfaction at the blasphemous object saying, “That’s not right.” Continue reading

Yes, I am Really Getting Tired of It




Steve Skojec at his blog takes aim at the endless excuses many Catholic commentators come up with to ignore the obvious:


Is anyone else getting really, really tired of this game?

Pope Francis consistently says things that cause serious concern among Catholics who know what the Church teaches. No sooner have the words left his mouth (and of course, been reported on far and wide) than the spin machine goes into high gear – powered in large part by Catholic bloggers who make a living promoting the status quo within the Church (no conflict of interest there!) — telling us why we should not worry about the obviously controversial thing because of one of the following reasons:

  1. It’s a translation issue
  2. It’s a contextual issue
  3. When he said “X” it’s clear that he probably meant “Y”
  4. The source is unreliable
  5. The information is not first-hand
  6. We must look at the issue through the Argentinian cultural lens
  7. The media is misrepresenting what he said
  8. He contradicted himself in another thing that he said during a homily last week
  9. Fr. Lombardi says it ain’t true

Take your pick. There are probably others. I imagine the Catholic apologists in the tank for this nonsense have a sort of flow chart they pass around every time they add a new option. “Did the Pope speak in Italian? –> IF YES, it’s not his native language. Lost in Translation. IF NO…”

It’s a spin-the-wheel sort of system. Maybe there’s a papal 8-ball out there (in white, of course) where you shake it up and it gives you a series of half-believable reasons why whatever he said wasn’t really heterodox. Across the spectrum of Catholic publications and social media, it’s become a giant excuse-making enterprise. Almost like the Pope Francis edition of whack-a-mole.

You’ll have to excuse my sarcasm. I’m starting to find this all incredibly offensive, and insulting to the collective intelligence of Catholics who see what is really going on. Continue reading

Our Vicars of Bray

I have been roaming around Saint Blogs since 2003 and have become familiar with the work of most of the major Catholic bloggers.  Since the election of Pope Francis I have noticed a curious phenomenon, especially among Catholic bloggers who make their livelihood by hocking books, speaking before parishes, etc:    A  swift reversal of long held positions, combined with a sudden desire to denounce “reactionaries” and a new found respect for liberal Catholics.   No doubt such conversions are heartfelt and not merely time serving, transparent attempts to stay in lockstep with the powers that be.  However, if any such sudden conversions are not heartfelt, I dedicate this poem to them:

“In good King Charles’s golden days,

 When Loyalty no harm meant;

 A Furious High-Church man I was,

 And so I gain’d Preferment.

 Unto my Flock I daily Preach’d,

 Kings are by God appointed,

 And Damn’d are those who dare resist,

 Or touch the Lord’s Anointed.


And this is law, I will maintain

 Unto my Dying Day, Sir.

 That whatsoever King may reign,

 I will be the Vicar of Bray, Sir!

When Royal James possest the crown,

 And popery grew in fashion;

 The Penal Law I shouted down,

 And read the Declaration:

 The Church of Rome I found would fit

 Full well my Constitution,

 And I had been a Jesuit,

 But for the Revolution. Continue reading

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