Catholic Media

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

Archbishop Chaput and the Media

One of the most irritating aspects of life for faithful American Catholics over the past several decades has been how quiet most of our bishops have been in the face of outrageous attacks on the Church.  Too many of our bishops have acted as if they had their spines surgically removed upon consecration.  Fortunately there have always been a handful who have been willing to speak out and suffer the media attacks that then ensue, along with the ambushes of heterodox Catholics frequently eager to lend a hand to anti-Catholics in their ceaseless war against the Church.  One of the more outspoken bishops is Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who has never been afraid to proclaim the truth, and to do so eloquently.  He is at it again over at First Things.

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Cross & Eagle Award for Most Improved Blog

The Cross & Eagle Awards (C&EA) will be recognizing another legend and this particular blogger is in the field of apologetics.

This defensor fidei travels the country evangelizing both Catholics and non-Catholics alike, educating in the Catholic faith, and defending the eternal Truths.

In my estimation, he probably created his blog with minimal thought, not knowing what a tremendous tool it could be to evangelize.

Imagine not having to travel to another parish hall or hotel to do another presentation in person.  Not that he has stopped doing this, it’s that he can now reach a wider audience.

Unfortunately his blog wasn’t one of the best out there.

This all changed recently.

He changed the layout, improved the graphics by leaps and bounds, and made it much more interactive.  Yes, he improved the look of his blog overall.

Who is this mustachioed Catholic?

I am happy to present the 2011 Cross & Eagle Award for the Most Improved Blog in the Catholic Blogosphere to. . .

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Cross & Eagle Award for Most Prolific Blogger

The Cross & Eagle Awards (C&EA) will be honoring a true legend in Catholic Blogosphere history.

To qualify even for consideration you need not only be talented in writing and knowledgeable about our Catholic faith, you need to write often.  That is the kicker.

Many a Catholic blogger has stopped blogging due to an increase in the family unit, new job, blogging fatigue, carpal tunnel affliction, and even death.  And that’s just a short list.

This particular blogger didn’t allow a growing family nor inclement weather stop him.  Not even a beard that has gotten out of control has slowed down this convert.

Being a warrior for Christ, he is horizontally integrated in various forms of media battling heresy and anti-Catholicism in it’s many forms as well as educating the faithful and non-Catholic in our rich and long Catholic Tradition.

Even when his template was no longer supported or his antiquated version of blogger, he stayed the course, WordPress be damned!

Don’t know who this character of the Wild, Wild Web is?

Here is only a sample of the many publications he writes for online:

Crisis Magazine, National Catholic Register, Catholic Exchange, Inside Catholic, and a whole lot more.

I am happy to present the 2011 Cross & Eagle Award for the Most Prolific Blogger in the Catholic Blogosphere to. . .

Continue reading, The Social Network for Young Adult Catholics

I’d like to announce a new Catholic website targeted for Young Adults: will be providing Catholic perspectives on every topic that matters to young adults–life, religion, relationships, and fun.

We have gathered 30 of some of the brightest young adult Catholics in the world that are already providing insightful articles ranging from current events to poetry.

Please click on the pic above or click here to see what it’s all about!


Catholic Advocacy of Torture: A Teaching Moment for the Catholic Bishops?

Writing at Vox Nova, the author known as “Morning’s Minion” has published a post calling for consistency in the application of canon 915 — the denial of Holy Communion to those who “obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin” — in this particular case, the public advocacy of abortion and torture. The post was occasioned by the recent appearance of Mark Thiessien on Raymond Arroyo’s “The World Over”, in which the duo lobbied vigorously in defense of waterboarding:

I think the analogy is clear. Arroyo and Thiessen are both Catholic public figures, and Arroyo in particular is a TV personality on a Catholic TV channel, making the scandal all the more grave. They are clearly “obstinately persevering” in support for an intrinsically evil act. Worse, they actually try to justify it on Catholic grounds. Thiessen has made it his life’s work to claim that some forms of torture are virtuous. Arroyo, again and again, invites defenders of torture onto his show, and instead of confronting them with clear Church teaching, voices his agreement. As [Archbishop Raymond] Burke says, this is “public conduct” that is gravely sinful. I would go further and argue that it is even more scandalous than support for legalized abortion. Most public supporters of abortion do not go on television extolling the great virtues of abortion for women and society. Their argument is more with how it should be treated under the law. But the Arroyo-Thiessen-Sirico cabal are (i) claiming to the faithful Catholics while (ii) making public pronouncements on the positive value of torture.

Catholic debate over torture (and/or what the Bush administration has termed “extreme interrogation”) has been going strong for several years now. It’s online manifestation initiated — to my recollection — with the publication of Mark Shea’s article in Crisis, “Toying with Evil: May a Catholic Advocate Torture?” and subsequent discussion at Amy Welborn’s, in March 2005. From time to time I’ve personally blogged on the various vollies and controversies between various camps as the debate has asserted itself, time and again, over half a decade (has it really been that long?)

That EWTN (“Eternal Word Television Network”) has hosted two explicit defenses of waterboarding — most recently by Thiessien, as well as Fr. Joseph Sirico of the Acton Institute, not to mention Q&A from Judy Brown of the American Life League questioning whether torture should be considered “intrinsically evil” — does not surprise me in the least. As I noted recently, there has been open dispute as to whether waterboarding constitutes torture from many prominent Catholics, including editor Deal Hudson, Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin, and Fr. Brian Harrison (in the pages of This Rock — the flagship publication of Catholic Answers, the largest largest lay-run apostolates of Catholic apologetics and evangelization in the United States). [Note: Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a newcomer to the debate, has likewise made it known in the comments of this post where he stands on the matter].

Little wonder that a Pew Forum survey examining “the religious dimensions of the torture debate” found many white Roman Catholics, along with most frequent churchgoers, affirming that the use of torture against terrorists is “sometimes” or “often” justifiable.

With respect to abortion, readers may recall a number of opportune moments during the 2008 presidential elections when Catholic bishops were obliged to speak out, publicly, forcefully and collectively, in correction of blatantly false presentations of Catholic teaching on abortion by Nancy Pelosi and (then) Senator Joseph Biden.

There have been numerous missed “teaching moments” for our bishops and the Catholic Church on the matter of torture.

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