Spinning the Pope

The Pope gives a homily in a Church in Spain, named for the Holy Family. Daring to be, oh horrors of horrors Catholic, he says:

“This church began as an initiative of the Association of the Friends of Saint Joseph, who wanted to dedicate it to the Holy Family of Nazareth. The home formed by Jesus, Mary and Joseph has always been regarded as a school of love, prayer and work. The promoters of this church wanted to set before the world love, work and service lived in the presence of God, as the Holy Family lived them. Life has changed greatly and with it enormous progress has been made in the technical, social and cultural spheres. We cannot simply remain content with these advances. Alongside them, there also need to be moral advances, such as in care, protection and assistance to families, inasmuch as the generous and indissoluble love of a man and a woman is the effective context and foundation of human life in its gestation, birth, growth and natural end. Only where love and faithfulness are present can true freedom come to birth and endure. For this reason the Church advocates adequate economic and social means so that women may find in the home and at work their full development, that men and women who contract marriage and form a family receive decisive support from the state, that life of children may be defended as sacred and inviolable from the moment of their conception, that the reality of birth be given due respect and receive juridical, social and legislative support. For this reason the Church resists every form of denial of human life and gives its support to everything that would promote the natural order in the sphere of the institution of the family.”

Here is the LA Times/ Associated Press take on the homily:


“Pope Benedict XVI strongly defended traditional families and the rights of the unborn Sunday, directly attacking Spanish laws that allow gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier abortions as he dedicated Barcelona’s iconic church, the Sagrada Familia.”

Wow!  How in the word can they justify such an interpretation of a very Catholic, very Christian homily.  There is no way to justify that the Pope, in this homily, made a direct attack on Spanish laws.

Objective journalism is all but dead.

Over at Get/Religion they have given the “news report” the frisking that it so richly deserves.

“Well, a few things. Those quotes aren’t from an “altar dedication” but the “homily.” And not once does he mention same-sex marriage or divorce. Sure, in his dedication of a temple NAMED AFTER THE HOLY FAMILY, he does talk about how we need to support the family and about the importance of the “generous and indissoluble love of a man and a woman” and that bit about children. If these quotes — pretty standard Christian fare for, oh, the last 2,000 years — are interpreted as “railing against same-sex marriage and divorce,” that might say something about how the reporter interpreted them, but it’s not an accurate description of the homily. Call me old-fashioned but in order to have one’s homily described as “railing against” something, you should actually be “railing” “against” something.” Read more here.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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