Action Alert!

AP puts words in the Pope's mouth

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Oct 02, 2009

 The AP story, which will run in hundreds of American newspapers and on thousands of internet sites, carries this headline:

Pope meets new US envoy, praises Obama

Go ahead: Read the whole story. Do you see where the Pope praised Obama? Neither do I.

Vatican Radio has provided the full text of the Pope's remarks to the new American ambassador. (If the Vatican Radio web site continues to balk, John Allen also has the full text.) If you read carefully, you'll notice that Obama's name is mentioned twice:

  1. The Pope says that it was nice to meet the Obama family, and sends his greetings to the American president.
  2. The Pope mentions that Obama chaired a meeting of the UN Security Council, at which the members passed a resolution favoring work toward nuclear disarmament. 

Nowhere in his talk does the Pope praise Obama. But the AP headline says he did, and millions of readers, skimming the headlines, will be left with that impression. Score another PR victory for the White House. And remind yourself always to question the accuracy of secular reporters covering Vatican news. 

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Travelling - May. 30, 2018 3:51 AM ET USA

    Excellent analysis, the best I have seen. Sadly, many are surprised by the vote, they have not been watching the signs of the times! The only part I may take issue with is the last sentence. Sadly, I think this is already happening.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - May. 30, 2018 12:40 AM ET USA

    This is but the fruits of lax prelates who also were complicit in hiding pedophile and homosexual priests. This event was coming as the youth lost their faith and taught in the colleges to be anti-Catholic. We should take note and BEWARE what is happening in our local schools.

  • Posted by: FredC - May. 29, 2018 6:21 PM ET USA

    Many who discard orthodox Catholicism also discard logic and eventually fall into logical inconsistencies. Instead of logic, their leaders stir emotions, demonstrations, and riots, using catch-word phrases. They teach their approach to life in the public schools and the students emerge uneducated. Catholic evangelization needs to cast its message in a way to which these people can relate -- perhaps using love and beauty.

  • Posted by: MWCooney - May. 29, 2018 4:41 PM ET USA

    The past sinful omissions (and commissions) of the hierarchy are no excuse for their continued shameful failures. The practical impossibility of stemming the rising tide of demonic barbarism they have allowed (and have assisted) to rise requires martyrdom (if only social) on their part, but they content themselves with the worldly security they imagine they have earned for themselves. On the contrary, Deus non irridetur.

  • Posted by: nix898049 - May. 29, 2018 2:28 PM ET USA

    watching this regression to paganism breaks my heart. Because someone somewhere in the not too distant past in the West of Ireland suffered to hold on to the Faith, I was baptized into the Church as a baby. It was a connection I could point to in the history of my family. Broken. Gone. All gone. I hope those murderous wenches dancing with glee at their 'victory' live long enough to regret ever bringing this barbarism on the nation. The faithful remnant is indeed embattled.

  • Posted by: koinonia - May. 28, 2018 10:20 PM ET USA

    The speech of Pope St John XXIII at open of Vatican II might provide the clue to an illusion that was and is a mirage. "But these (errors) are so obviously in contrast with the right norm of honesty, and have produced such lethal fruits, that by now it would seem that men OF THEMSELVES are INCLINED to CONDEMN them, particularly those ways of life which DESPISE God and His law..." But we need Christ and His Church- Even the unbaptized realize this. Men "of themselves" will be men, not angels.