Comments Off on Supreme Knight rejects idea of contrast between Francis, Benedict
Washington D.C., Sep 24, 2013 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Media narratives about Pope Francis have led to a misunderstanding of his interview with Jesuit magazines, as well as a false perceived contrast between him and his predecessor, according to Carl Anderson.
“The media’s narrative of Francis is something else. We are told he is a progressive, taking the Catholic Church in a profoundly new direction – uninterested in Church teaching on moral issues,” reflected Anderson, the head of the Knights of Columbus, in a Sept. 22 essay in National Review Online.
“Benedict, we are told, is conservative, doctrinaire, and old-fashioned — focused on moral issues. Neither narrative is true, because each leaves out half of the story.”
Pope Francis’ comments in his 12,000-word interview that the proclamation of God’s “saving love” should come before “moral and religious imperatives,” and that Catholics should not insist “only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods” were treated in the media as though “the Church was suddenly charting a new course,” Anderson said.
He noted that in 2006, Benedict XVI similarly replied to a question about why he had not addressed same-sex marriage, abortion or contraception in a speech. He said, “Catholicism isn’t a collection of prohibitions; it’s a positive opinion.”
Benedict XVI also denounced violence against homosexual persons and encouraged compassion and mercy towards women who had had abortions. These statement “garnered little media attention,” however.
“It didn’t fit the narrative, so it wasn’t widely reported.”
Anderson rejected claims that the interview shows that Pope Francis is “uninterested in Church teaching on moral issues” or that he is diverging with Benedict XVI.
He noted that Pope Francis has praised the work of pro-life groups; on Sept. 20, he told a gathering of Catholic doctors that the right to life is “fundamental.”
Pope Francis has also urged the Knights of Columbus to “bear witness to the authentic nature of marriage and the family, the sanctity and inviolable dignity of human life, and the beauty and truth of human sexuality.”
After criticizing the supposed contrast between Roman Pontiffs portrayed in mainstream media, Anderson went on to affirm with the Popes that “Catholic teaching on moral issues isn’t the totality of the Church’s message. It never has been.”
“And our popes, bishops, priests, and laity have always spent far more time on charity, prayer, and pastoral outreach than on public policy issues. If the public doesn’t know (Read More)