Pope Benedict XVI's decision to step down hasn't exactly triggered glowing praise in prominent news outlets. Actually, coverage has been irrationally hostile, writes Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post's "Right Turn" blogger.
That's because journalists are out of touch with the Catholic Church on abortion, contraception, women priests and a range of other social issues. "As they do with Supreme Court judges, the liberal punditocracy treats the pope as a political entity in which the goal is to encourage support for an agenda that corresponds with its own," Rubin writes.
The tone of papal coverage is downright offensive, Rubin adds. "On what basis do secular journalists assert the authority to lecture a religion on its tenets? Imagine instructing rabbis to lighten up on the Ten Commandments or evangelicals to stop being so, you know, literal."
In The Telegraph, historian Tim Stanley has similar gripes about coverage of the pope's retirement announcement. Stanley, author of a sympathetic biography of Pat Buchanan, says journalists have wrongly labeled Benedict a "conservative". "In Catholicism there is no Right or Left but only truth and error. A Pope is there to articulate doctrine, not to 'turn the clock back' or 'embrace progress.'"
Stanley also suggests reporters have paid too much attention to church critics, particularly lapsed Catholics. "We've seen the usual suspects wheeled out to give commentary on the abdication - campaigners for women priests, defrocked Marxists, 'humanists' and, worst of all, the ubiquitous disgruntled cradle Catholics."
Via The Washington Post and The Telegraph.