September 17, 2010
'Distaste for Popery' New York Times Style
Where to find the "blunder-prone spiritual leader of rigid intellect and uncommunicative soul"? Why, in today's New York Times! Where a remarkable hit piece by someone named Roger Cohen appeared today. His commentary on Pope Benedict's visit to Great Britain brings back a nostalgic feeling, the kind history buffs would associate with the great Know-Nothing Party of the 19th century.
Of the visit in general, Mr. Cohen disapproves. " Seldom has a long-delayed journey been so ill-timed." And, to be sure, he is not alone, for thankfully, "Benedict has not been received with open arms."
And why not? ..." Today, the church's refusal to adapt to modern life - on the use of condoms, on family planning, on gay rights - often looks like no more than the orthodoxy of a stubborn pope convinced of a monopoly on truth at the very moment when his church appears shot through with dissimulation." (Ah! The Pope is mean to gays - whose acceptance as normal explains the Times' current raison d'etre.)
But it is not only Benedict's line on trendy social issues. For, unlike, in, say, their approval for things like expensive Presidential vacations, the Times apparently has discovered concerns about taxpayer costs (among other things). "It's not just historical distaste for popery, or the cost to cash-strapped taxpayers, it's far deeper." How deep? Well, to start, Benedict is a liar. "...While archbishop of Munich and Freising has raised questions about his forthrightness." Also, he is no better than the worst cyber-creep, for he is Pope, "... when the moral absolutes of the church have so often proved no more than a hollow shield - or even a seductive disguise - for predators"
But to be charitable, what can one expect of someone "who found himself in the Hitler Youth in his teen (?)"
How lucky for Benedict that he can be set straight by Cohen. And how unfortunate he doesn't share the great vision of the Times and their columnists, "...this churchman with such ample opportunity to see the darker sides of man's soul has proved arid in comprehension and unbending in doctrine."
And so it goes.
Rarely does one find a hit piece so offensive and unfair in the most disposable rag.
But to find something this execrable, and, further, devoid of context, sense, meaning in a paper of importance, is nothing short of astounding, and deeply pathetic.