Good Catholics like Father Z insist that the Pope has made a comment that could be taken out of context or misquoted in a press that traditionally looks for ways to smear Christians at Easter time, so they snapped up the comment and ran with it.
Never mind that we don't know the context or the exact words, as Father Z reminds us.
You read the confusing headline. You peruse the article. You get mad. Shake it off and say “Blessed be the name of the Lord!” and then get back to the duties of your vocation.
David Warren, an ex reporter, however, is a bit more cynical.
I have been around for some time. I know at first hand how the media work, and I know that Bergoglio came to Rome (from Argentina of all places) with a reputation as an adept media manipulator, fond of playing the crowd.
He is no babe in the woods. He must know as I do that if a journalist seriously misrepresents what you say, you don’t give him another opportunity. Moreover, you publicly correct him in a way not only unambiguous, but sharp enough to get everyone’s attention — at speed, I should think, if you have millions of Catholics hanging on your words. Instead he lets the outrage stand.
So what should we do (aside from writing blog posts and saying our rosary for the conversion of sinners?)
Warren in another essay notes the problem of the no more hell statement:
But now we have a “new” Christ, of comprehensive “mercy”; a sweetheart, who will forgive anything; who is not hung up on theology at all; and dispenses the Host like candy. A Christ for our ironical times.
This cannot stand. It is too wicked. The reversal will itself be reversed, and has, in fact, already been reversed. For the truth was, is, and will be, that Christ rises!
But he continues:
A naïve correspondent, citing the latest, asks if I will leave the Church like so many others whose faith and intelligence this pope has insulted. Let him leave; I’m staying Catholic.