Mallon's Media Watch

Mallon's Media Watch

Friday, August 23, 2002

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Your Humble Servant, live and in person at the Catholic Writer's Festival Conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville. (I'm last on the list of presenters in the lower right corner. (And you laughed when I said humble servant...)

I will be speaking on "Crashing the Secular Media: Keeping Alive the C.S. Lewis/G.K. Chesterton Tradition"

By this I mean that Lewis and Chesterton were engaged in the national discussion of their day in the media—the secular press, journals and so forth. Both were engaged in lively discussions and debates with pundits of the day like G.B. Shaw and H.G. Wells. Interestingly, they were dealing with many of the exact same issues we are dealing with today.

I will not be speaking on this era of history, but rather taking a cue from them that Catholic writers spend perhaps too much time writing to each other rather than the general public. Issues touching on Catholic moral issues are in the news everyday with far too little input from informed, orthodox Catholics.

For example, dissenters are having a field day using the recent scandals to further their agenda by conflating the issues. Recently the secular media (Fox News, anyway) has shown a greater willingness to hear from orthodox voices.

Articulate, infomed, orthodox voices must not only sieze this opportunity to speak the truth of the faith on everything from scandals in the priesthood to the ethics of cloning and beyond. We should agressively—and with great charm—make opportunities to be heard. We need to "crash" the secular media—and the world of punditry—as one would crash a party—and join the fun.


Wednesday, August 21, 2002

3 Dimensions of the Papal Trip to Poland As Seen by Vatican Radio Director

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 20, 2002 ( John Paul II's trip to Poland had three dimensions, related to his person, his pastoral mission in his country, and his universal ministry in the world, a Vatican aide says.

Father Pasquale Borgomeo, director general of Vatican Radio, accompanied the Pope on his eighth official visit to Poland from Aug. 16-19. The priest summed up the trip when he returned to Rome.

"The personal dimension was the most perceptible: Gestures and words of the Pope, even the highest and explicitly pastoral, manifested the feelings and emotions of a person who for millions and millions of men and women is close, known and loved," Father Borgomeo said.

This explains "the hours of waiting that people endured to see him even if for only a moment," the priest said. He cited as an example "when [the Pope] visited the house where he lived as a youth, or when he blessed the church of the Salesians, his teachers, many of them deported to concentration camps who then never returned."

"All this was moving and made not only his compatriots reflect but, beyond Poland, the millions of people, whether or not faithful, of all parts of the world," Father Borgomeo said.

"However, this pilgrimage was not a sentimental trip, because its message is far more profound and is addressed to the man of today in all latitudes," the priest explained.

Among the papal events was the dedication of the new Shrine of Divine Mercy.

The proclamation of God's love and mercy, Father Borgomeo said, is the answer "to the anxieties and aspirations" of the man and woman of today, and "points out the way in the midst of the dangers that threaten him."

"The message of Divine Mercy -- the theme of the pilgrimage -- has universal value and, in John Paul II's prophetic vision, assumes the providential character of response to expectations -- including the unconscious -- of a humanity that is so lost at the beginning of the third millennium," the Vatican Radio director said.

Father Borgomeo concluded that this message "has become a dialogue at times explicit, the majority of times silent and uninterrupted, between the Pope and the people of his birthplace -- three days that, despite the exhaustion, seemed very brief to the Pope. In fact, at the moment of farewell, he said with all sincerity: 'I am sad to go.'"


Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Monday, August 19, 2002

"When the noisy propaganda of liberalism, of freedom without truth or responsibility, grows stronger in our country, too, the shepherds of the church cannot fail to proclaim the one fail-proof philosophy of freedom, which is the truth of the cross of Christ"

-- Pope John Paul II, Poland, 2002


letter to the editor of the Arlington Catholic Herald from my old friend Chris Manion:

Questionable Membership

The membership of the bishops' "Sexual Abuse National Review Board" is now complete (ACH 8/1/02, pg. 19). But it includes Robert Bennett, the prominent lawyer who defended Bill Clinton against various allegations of sexual abuse, and Clinton's White House chief of staff, Leon Panetta, a champion of abortion and homosexual rights. When I asked the USCCB spokesman how many of the board members are pro-abortion, he said, "Chris, can I call you right back?" He never did.

This poor chap is in a tough position, and so are most Catholics. The bishops are circling the wagons, stiff-arming many orthodox Catholics who want to support them.

There are more review board problems: according to The New York Times, Dr. McHugh is renowned for his defense of accused child abusers; lawyer Nicholas Cafardi has defended several Church bodies, and Jane Chiles and Michael Bland work for church organizations, so their jobs depend on the people they're supposed to be "reviewing."

These appointments raise two blunt questions: was the Dallas Morning News right, when it reported that a majority of the bishops in the United States have something to hide?

And, if this board is supposed to review the actions of the bishops, where in Canon Law do the bishops get the right to choose their own jury?

This board cannot be expected to defend the Faith or the faithful from predators. It is stacked with professional stonewallers. Alas, it will not prevent another generation of victims of the gay cliques in our clergy and seminaries - something which even the Washington Post has reported on extensively, while the bishops hide their heads in the sand. The Church really has a problem if the Post tells us more than the bishops do.

In Toronto, Pope John Paul II said of the bishops, "Be close to them and support them." How can we be close to them if they hide behind defense lawyers and their spokesmen hang up on us? Who's going to defend the people in the pews?

Christopher Manion

Front Royal


Sunday, August 18, 2002

I apologize to those who may have been coming around and not finding new material lately, life has kept me busy with some other things, but I hope you will keep checking back anyway. Kathy Shaidle at Relapsed Catholic has a little thing on her site (or used to) that sends a message out to those who want it that a new posting has been made. I think I'll look into that, although I am slow at web technology. Would that be helpful? Let me know.

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