Thursday, April 07, 2005

Resentments Surface

In the overwheming cases of media coverage of the pope, I find it to be powerful and compelling. One can find some small errors but nothing too much. The huge outpouring is, of course, a news event of staggering proportions and the media has to cover it. In a small number of instances, there have been some nasty expressions of what I sense is a real resentment of the great appeal of the pope and his life and death, but especially the impact of his faith and prayer life. Two of these resentful outbursts appeared exactly where you might expect - my beloved New York Times. One was a very ungenerous and really pathetic editorial which was put on the last page of the special section on the pope last Sun. The other was a nasty and very inaccurate tirade by the otherwise fine writer, Thomas Cahill, on the op-ed page. Now neither item had much effect on anyone but it confirms the real resentment among many at the TIMES that their power has not brought down the Catholic Church, but they are forced by reality, in their straight news coverage, to cover extensively the enormous power of this pope's death. It is clear that much of this is propelled by a militant, ideological secularism and the lingering bitterness of self-loathing ex-Catholics who grandly thought that their defections were the vanguard of the end of the church. The pictures, on the TV screens and in the TIMES itself, would suggest otherwise.