Friday, July 18, 2008

Lies and Damn Lies

The British press just can't help themselves from lying about the Church. Under the title of "Pope Rides to Rowan's Rescue," The Independent wrote the following piece of bad comedy:

In his first public comments on the Lambeth Conference, Pope Benedict XVI has warned Anglican leaders that they must find a "mature" and faithful way of avoiding "schism". On top of this the Pope has:

* Sent three cardinals to the conference in Canterbury, including one of his top aides from the Vatican, to act as personal intermediaries between the two churches;
* Let it be known that he does not support the defection of conservative Anglicans to the Roman Catholic Church;
* Given behind-the-scenes support to the Archbishop of Canterbury's attempts to hold together the conservative and liberal wings of the Anglican Church, including at face-to-face meetings in Rome.

What do all these bulleted points have in common? That they aren't true. Not even remotely.

Even better:

In a demonstration of the strength of relations between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, Pope Benedict has sent Cardinal Ivan Dias, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and the man who appoints all the bishops in Africa and Asia, to Lambeth from Rome.

He has also sent the theological heavyweight Cardinal Walter Casper who is said to be the "key man" in forging ever-closer relations between the churches.

BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! I don't know which part of this is funnier. Is it (a) that Pope Benedict, who has a history of dumping on Kaspar's major initiatives (see Joint Declaration with Lutherans), would entrust anything this important to him, or (b), that Kaspar is a "theological heavyweight"? Really folks. Who did you find to give you this "key man" quote? Was this the breaking news at the Vatican barbershop?

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