Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

News coverage of the Vatican: the blind leading the blind

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jun 18, 2013

This gem comes to us from USA Today, in an article that—jumping the gun a bit—reflects on the first 100 days of the new pontificate:

"Tackling the Roman Curia — the Vatican's main administrative bureaucracy — will probably wait until October, when Francis is likely to appoint a Vatican secretary of state and the eight members of the College of Bishops."

Now what, do you suppose, is the “College of Bishops?” There are thousands of bishops in the universal Church, with new bishops appointed every week. But there is no body known as the College of Bishops. Does the writer mean the Synod of Bishops? The Pope could conceivably appoint 8 prelates to that body, but there has been no discussion of that possibility in Rome, and it is difficult to see how such a handful of appointments would have any impact on the Roman Curia. Does he mean the College of Cardinals? There are 204 members of that body, and no new appointments are currently anticipated. Or is he referring to the group of 8 cardinals who will provide the Pontiff with advice on Vatican reforms? They were appointed in April; didn't anyone notify USA Today?

Here’s a hot tip for news editors: If you want to inform readers about what’s happening at the Vatican, you should start by finding a reporter who knows, or can find out, what’s happening at the Vatican.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($17,660 to go):
$35,000.00 $17,340.48
50% 50%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Jun. 22, 2013 3:46 PM ET USA

    I think he means the college of perpetual knowledge... The lack in knowledge about our Church remains insulting and a bit humorous at the same time. The sad part is professionals, presumably educated at our finest institutions, apparently have little respect for "due diligence". Hmmm.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jun. 18, 2013 1:32 PM ET USA

    The problem is, the media think they know.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism 10 hours ago
Relax; the Pope didn't change Church teaching with a phone call 12 hours ago
Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20