Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Trial balloon

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Jan 03, 2005

Time magazine announces that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is now a leading candidate to succeed Pope John Paul II.

What a wonderful idea!

But there's a problem with the Time story: It's based on not one single discernible fact. The Time story is based on perceptions offered by a few "Vatican sources." But Time's quirky selection of two other alleged "front runners" does not inspire much confidence in the quality of the magazine's sources.

In a word, this looks very much like a case in which someone has floated a story, to see how other people will react.

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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