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 Romereports.com 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.”