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Letter: Coverage of Catholic Church misses mark

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Caroline Luehrmann


Received: March 27

Having faithfully read nearly every article chronicling the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and election of Pope Francis, I am disappointed by how little comprehension of and sensitivity for the matters of the Catholic Church reporters showed.

To begin with, articles spoke often of the “Church in turmoil” and “troubled church,” prompting me to ask my friends, “Did you know we’re a troubled church?”

Other words and terms used also gave a decidedly false impression of the church.

For example, one article said the cardinals were “scrambling” to elect a pope after Pope Benedict’s “unexpected” resignation. Unexpected though it may have been, the pope’s resignation was certainly less sudden than if he had died.

So the cardinals had more time to prepare than usual and were hardly scrambling. I dearly love unique vocabulary, but some of the terms used in the articles reporting on the pope were so ludicrous they made me laugh. It was either that or cry.

However, the continual likening of the papal election to an average political election here in the U.S., with “contenders” for the papacy, was by far the furthest from the mark.

As Pope Francis told reporters in a general audience on March 16: “The church does not have a political nature but a spiritual one.” Until the media truly understand and accept this fact, they cannot understand our supposedly “secretive” church.

In summary, I wholeheartedly join my new Holy Father in encouraging all members of the media to continue trying “to discover the true nature of the church and its journey through the world, with its virtues as well as its sins.”

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