Monday, April 12, 2010

The Media Magisterium

If there's one thing that I've learned from the recent coverage of the abuse scandal, it's that the mass media, without a doubt, believes in the dogma of infallibility. Their own.

Consider the flood of articles and opinion pieces that have erupted into the public on this topic. What does all of this pseudo-intellectual feces have in common? It's the pervasive use of the words "need" and "must."

"The Church NEEDS to abolish celibacy."
"The Pope NEEDS to resign."
"Catholicism MUST embrace modernity."
"Women MUST be ordained."

Blah, blah, blah, yakity-shmakity. (If you need any concrete examples, just check any of the lunacy currently being spewed by Lisa Miller at Newsweek. I'd give a link, but the liars on these issues are getting enough exposure as it is.)

Am I the only guy finding this ironic? The people who are blasting the Church for its claim as a teaching authority are presuming to lecture said authority as though they themselves held such a position. To paraphrase Al Czervik, "Who died and made them pope?"

Of course, the media's behavior is also hypocritical beyond measure. Consider how such comments are usually presented in the context of how people should be free to do and believe how they wish, ie- if women want to be priests, they should be allowed to do so. The only thing that can't be permitted is for Catholics to believe and practice as Catholics.

Back to the original point on infallibility, though. I'm not sure that I've ever seen such a unified chorus of media voices before, all totally convinced of their own rightness. Not even the Obama love-fest matches up to the current ubiquitous rancor directed at the Catholic Church, and especially at Pope Benedict. Was this what the days of Thomas Nast were like? I have to believe so.

Anyways, it's just very striking to me that a group of individuals who tend to reject the notion of Truth altogether, who claim that the idea of an infallible teacher is nonsense, who consistently misstate (or lie) regarding the most basic facts, and who have no real standing or expertise other than the command of mass distribution, are able to opine so forcefully and without qualification that their own views are right.

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