We have $161,864 to go in our Fall Campaign. Every penny is used to strengthen the Church. See details!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

English newspaper headlines twist the Pope's words—again

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Sep 12, 2013

The Pope’s actual words were that “the mercy of God has no limits if one turns to him with a sincere and contrite heart.”

The headline for the story in The Independent was: “Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven.”

How would a responsible journalist get from those words to that headline? He wouldn’t.

The venerable London Times didn’t do much better. Today’s headline reads: “Catholic priests maybe allowed to marry amid Papal changes.” The story begins: “The Vatican has opened the door to the possibility of married priests, a move that would go against an established Church tradition.” The next paragraph provides the actual facts: Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the incoming Secretary of State, told a Venezuelan newspaper that priestly celibacy is not a matter of Church doctrine.

So where are the papal changes? Where is the open door? Nowhere. An archbishop said what every informed Catholic already knows. No policy has been changed, no discipline has been relaxed.

A piece of advice for discerning readers: Never, ever rely on English newspapers for objective—or even competent—coverage of the Catholic Church.

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 seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($161,864 to go):
$200,000.00 $38,135.72
81% 19%
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: geoffreysmith1 - Sep. 12, 2013 6:53 PM ET USA

    "A piece of advice for discerning readers: Never, ever rely on English newspapers for objective—or even competent—coverage of the Catholic Church." Even better, never, ever rely on English newspapers for objective - or even competent - coverage of any sort of news. Surely no one has forgotten the Rupert Murdoch debacle?

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Sep. 12, 2013 4:48 PM ET USA

    And I wrote to The Independent a comment saying their headline was "rubbish" and explained that Francis never said this. That said, can it be just coincidence or bad luck that Francis has now given the world's press many openings like this? That he phrases things in a manner lending itself to repeated misinterpretations and misrepresentations by the Church's enemies in the press? For the life of me, I cannot see the wisdom in his approach to date.

Fall Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Synod Continues 2 hours ago
Why Pope Francis cannot win on sexual abuse 3 hours ago
A secret plot to control the Synod? No; it's not secret at all. 24 hours ago
What about Catholic affirmation for those in false marriages? October 8
Free eBook: Pope Francis' Catechesis on the Family October 7

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
In Cuba, Pope emphasizes service to the vulnerable, praises thaw in US-Cuban relations CWN - September 21
Pope challenges America in speech to US Congress CWN - September 24
As Synod opens, Pope calls on Church to defend ‘unity and indissolubility’ of marriage bond CWN - October 5