Action Alert!

gone fishin'

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Oct 22, 2009

The BBC explains why so many people were caught off guard by this week's news from Rome:

Only last week the Vatican's senior spokesman on relations with other churches, Cardinal Walter Kasper, said "full visible unity" with Anglicans was Rome's long-term goal.

"We are not fishing in the Anglican pond," he insisted.

A nice turn of phrase. Reporters liked it. Editors liked it. The BBC story from which the above quotation is taken carried this highly original headline:

Rome goes fishing in Anglican pond

Thanks, Your Eminence, for giving the press another way to poke fun at the Holy See.

But wait. Do you see what that BBC headline is doing? It's calling attention to the fact that Cardinal Kasper-- thought to be the Vatican point man on this issue-- gave the media bad information. Is that an embarrassment to the Vatican, or to Cardinal Kasper?

If Cardinal Kasper had been in attendance at the Tuesday press conference, the contradiction between his words and the Pope's policies would have been an embarrassment to the Holy See; it would have shown that the Vatican's representative had been concealing facts from the public.

But Cardinal Kasper wasn't at the press conference. He wasn't even in Rome. No competent reporter failed to notice his absence. Judging by his own words of hte previous week, he wasn't even aware that a blockbuster announcement was pending. Now each time his cute phrase is repeated, the reader is reminded that this cardinal-- who should in theory be at the center of all ecumenical planning at the Vatican-- was out of town, out of touch, and out of the loop when the biggest ecumenical initiative of year was announced.

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