Should the next pope be a nun? a group of nuns? a non-Catholic? David Mills picks apart the refrains that have typified much of the press coverage of Benedict in a column for the Pittsburgh Catholic:
Some of these supposed experts just get things wrong, like the television reporter who solemnly told his viewers that Catholics wouldn’t know who to pray to this Easter and the Protestant magazine that explained Catholics believe in “the divinity of the pope.”
For some reason journalists can make almost any mistake about the church or religion in general and no one says “boo.” No editor would hire a guy who said the Steelers were going to draft a point guard to help improve their relief pitching, but religion? There it’s “OK, whatever, just say something.”
Too true, though David holds out hope that some good will come from the coverage:
As G.K. Chesterton said in his great little book “The Catholic Church and Conversion,” the first stage of conversion is often feeling that someone’s being unfair to the church. Many people, reading this kind of thing, will feel some sympathy for Pope Benedict and his church, and from there they may find their way in. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, as Tertullian said in the second century, and the bruises of the popes may be, too.