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a firm grasp of the blatantly obvious

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Mar 22, 2009

 The London Times, whose coverage of Catholic affairs is consistently flavored by bias and sensationalism, has cooked up a special treat for weekend readers. Religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill speculates about the appointment of a new Archbishop of Westminster, and the headline reads: "Pope may impose his man as English Catholic leader."

That's a provocative way of saying that the Pope might choose the next Archbishop of Westminster. Well, who else would make the choice? 

The report-- which contains no new information, but demonstrates that Gledhill has been talking with her clerical friends-- begins: 

The Pope has been forced to intervene in a damaging power struggle over who will become the next spiritual head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.

There we go again. The Pope is "forced to intervene" to appoint a bishop? But it's the Pope's job to appoint bishops. 

(And where is the evidence that a "damaging power struggle" is taking place? No doubt many British prelates have strong opinions, and some have strong ambitions as well. But the clerical politicking is not self-evidently "damaging" to anyone other than those who will emerge as losers. Gledhill is setting up her readers to hear that much "damage" has been done if she is not pleased with the Holy Father's appointment.)

Just to make things a bit juicier, Gledhill instructs her readers that "the need for decision is urgent as Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor is retiring soon." And exactly when is Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor going to retire? When the new archbishop is selected. 


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