Monday, September 23, 2013

It’s Cardinal Dolan Who’s Giving Us the Media Spin

Timothy Cardinal Dolan throws the papacies of John Paul the Great, “German Shepherd Ratzinger”, under the bus.

A Roman Catholic below said, “The only disappointment I have is in those who have run with the liberal media spin, and those who have run with that spin should be disappointed in themselves. They should recant and publish what the Pope REALLY said.”

The fact is, “what the Pope REALLY said” is available in transcript form. And it’s the surprised Cardinals who are “spinning”.

Ratzinger’s not even dead yet, and JPII is newly “Blessed”. And yet, Dolan is saying, “Pope Francis is the direction we needed to go all along”. In the interview below, watch how Dolan throws them under the bus.

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The reporter says “you and I have met before on the occasion of the pope making headlines, and we always observe that he’s not changing church doctrine. But this does seem like a radical change in emphasis. Do you agree?” Dolan then says,
“I’d agree. And radical is a good word. It comes from the Latin word for “root”. He’s getting back to the roots. He’s getting back to the Gospel. He’s going back to Jesus. Simplicity, a dare, a surprise, invitation, mercy and embrace. This man, yesterday, it was the [six month] anniversary. You and I were together in March 19th, as he began his ministry as the successor of St. Peter … Six month anniversary yesterday, this guy’s battin’ 1000”.
Couple of things about Dolan’s quote here. The reporter asked a question, and it’s Dolan who’s trying to spin. It’s Dolan who’s trying to say, “we needed this all along”. This is following 28 years of a “John Paul the Great” papacy, and seven years by Ratzinger, who was hailed as the greatest scholar/theologian pope in a millennium.

 Now, after six months of “this guy”, JPGreat and Ratzinger get thrown under the bus. John Paul II devoted his papacy to “the culture of life” and “theology of the body”. After six months of “this guy”, “A Big Heart Open to God”, “The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.”

 Ratzinger, the “German Shepherd”, spent 20-some years trying to roll back the liberals of Vatican II during his years at the CDF, and then as pope, he even brought back “the Latin Mass”. But “this guy” throws him under the bus with another simple statement: “… one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible.”

Neither of these statements actually changes a doctrine. However, Dolan’s been working for the other two guys for a long time. Now “this guy” comes along, and Dolan just completely flips his position – a la 1984 – “Oceania has always been at war with East Asia” – the actual facts of the case morph with what Dolan feels like he needs to spin.

Reporter: Do you view it as a course correction?

Dolan: “We [the infallible church] always need correctives. I think so. Every pope gives us a correction. This one is doing it very effectively and I’m glad he is”.

More Dolan: “Sometimes if we come off as negative, as complaining too much (“Theology of the body, culture of life”), we lose the folks. We gotta be positive (Pope Robert Schuller?), we gotta be fresh, we gotta be affirming. And if we emphasize the essentials (“a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently”), other principles, practical applications, are going to flow from it. I think he’s onto something, I think he’s a good teacher.”

The transcript is available at the Today Show site – the media is hoping that this pope will change some dogmas – he won’t – as a Jesuit, he’ll spin his words in just such a way that every party will hear what they want to hear.

And Dolan and anyone else who’s got to clean up after “this guy” is going to end up looking as ridiculous as spin-meisterish and as sycophantic as Dolan comes off in this interview.

This is not “the Church that Christ Founded™”. This is a step above Sideshow Bob.


  1. "This is a step above Sideshow Bob."

    Not so fast, John. Intentions count in Catholic theology. Sideshow Bob was trying to be funny. I think he gets the nod here.

    1. EA, I think you've got me on this one.

  2. John,

    I missed where anyone got thrown under a bus. I hadn’t seen this interview, but what a great interview. I don’t think that Cardinal Dolan could have given a better response to any of the questions he was asked. He didn’t appear to be any of the things you accused him of. Galatians 5:15 and Hebrews 12:15 come to mind. I caution you, brother.

    With love in Christ,