Archbishop: MSM can’t be trusted on matters of faith

posted at 4:45 pm on August 25, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Christians (and presumably non-Christians, too!) “make a very serious mistake” if they turn to news outlets like The New York Times, Newsweek, CNN and MSNBC for “reliable news about religion,” the incoming bishop of Philadelphia told a crowd of young people in Spain last week. LifeSiteNews reports:

“Being uninformed about the world and its problems and issues is a sin against our vocation as disciple[s],” Archbishop Charles Chaput told his audience during a special World Youth Day session in Madrid. And yet, he went on to note, the Christian believer is faced with a unique challenge in finding accurate sources of information on key issues.

“In the United States, our battles over abortion, family life, same-sex marriage and other sensitive issues have led to ferocious public smears and legal threats not only of Catholics, but also against Mormons, evangelicals and other religious believers,” he said.

“And with relatively few exceptions, the mass media tend to cover these disputed issues with a combination of ignorance, laziness, and bias against traditional Christian belief.” …

“These news media simply don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith,” he said. “These are secular operations focused on making a profit. … They have very little sympathy for the Catholic faith, and quite a lot of aggressive skepticism toward any religious community that claims to preach and teach God’s truth.”

In case you have any doubts as to the accuracy of Chaput’s criticisms, the latest example of the double standard at play in the columns of at least one NYT writer (who just happens to be the executive editor!) might help to resolve them.

Of course, no one asks that the NYT or MSNBC demonstrate “sympathy” for the Catholic or any other faith — but a fair shake would be welcome. All the news media needs to do is state accurately and openly what the Catholic Church or any other religion teaches on an issue and allow readers to decide for themselves. In the case of Catholicism, it should be especially easy to do, as the Church publishes an official catechism that serves as the final word on Church doctrine. Reporters could store that volume in their desks right along with the AP style guide and refer to it anytime they want to provide the Church’s position on an issue. I imagine other religious faiths publish similar materials.

Or, the MSM could abandon all pretense to objectivity. That, at least, would alert readers to the reality that they need to diversify their sources to ensure a well-rounded perspective. But until news sources like Newsweek and CNN speak the truth about themselves, Chaput and others will continue to call them out.

On a related note, the MSM is not the only segment of society that has “a lot of aggressive skepticism toward any religious community that claims to preach and teach God’s truth.” Academia, too — in my limited experience, at least — seems to operate from assumptions of religious falsehood rather than religious truth. Studies show higher education liberalizes believers’ faith, leaving few completely sure of their convictions. But I’d be curious to know if additional education about what various religions actually teach (and not just “higher education,” in general) leads students to reject religion or soften their stances on objective truth (embracing relativism) at similarly high rates. In other words, among the highly educated set, how many are also highly educated about a wide variety of religious doctrines and yet reject religion? Just a question.


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Or matters of politics, or matters of science, or matters of social change, or…

Socratease on August 25, 2011 at 4:48 PM

There’s a message the church could have picked up on a little sooner.

Speakup on August 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

MSM can’t be trusted on matters of ANYTHING!

carbon_footprint on August 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

And that goes double when it comes the RoP.

Urban Infidel on August 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Archbishop: MSM can’t be trusted on matters of faith

DUH!!!!!

SayNo2-O on August 25, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Christians (and presumably non-Christians, too!) “make a very serious mistake” if they turn to news outlets like The New York Times, Newsweek, CNN and MSNBC for “reliable news about religion,” the incoming bishop of Philadelphia told a crowd of young people in Spain last week.

Wait until he encounters the Philadelphia Inquirer. I’d guess every story on Chaput will lead with something like, “Taking over a diocese wracked by sex scandals…”

Exaggerated, but that’s the Inky.

And then there is the Inky “cartoonist” Tony Auth, a nasty little man.

Wethal on August 25, 2011 at 4:52 PM

I don’t need an archbishop to tell me that.

p40tiger on August 25, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Actually, on the matter of the modern pagan faith known as environmentalism and its worship of the goddess Gaia, the MSM is pretty reliable…

Wethal on August 25, 2011 at 4:53 PM

I bet the Church as no problem with the media’s narrative on:

unions
welfare
social assistance
capital punishment
tip toeing around muslim sensibilities, and
global warming

In those cases . . .

keep the change on August 25, 2011 at 4:54 PM

In other words, among the highly educated set, how many are also highly educated about a wide variety of religious doctrines and yet reject religion?

Very Good question.

jaime on August 25, 2011 at 4:56 PM

But Nancy Pelosi assures me that Catholicism and Jesus demand that the public fund abortions and social justice programs!

gwelf on August 25, 2011 at 4:56 PM

keep the change on August 25, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I think the pope has been replacing the retiring liberal “social justice” archbishops with conservatives.

Wethal on August 25, 2011 at 4:57 PM

news outlets like The New York Times, Newsweek, CNN and MSNBC

Oh, you mean those with an agenda, who present THEIR VIEW and describe it as “news” or as “the vast majorities opinion”?

GarandFan on August 25, 2011 at 4:59 PM

keep the change on August 25, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Exactly. More and more we’re hearing…give the man a fish, rather than teach him how to fish.

capejasmine on August 25, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Archbishop: MSM can’t be trusted on matters of faith

And you can, probably the most socialistic organization, besides the socialist party, in the world.
They support most every dictator in the world…

right2bright on August 25, 2011 at 4:59 PM

He holds his beliefs as infallibly true, of course he’s going to see anything less than pious agreement with church doctrine as biased.

RightOFLeft on August 25, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Tolerance for everything except a dissenting opinion.

John Deaux on August 25, 2011 at 5:00 PM

keep the change on August 25, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Exactly…and add illegal immigration support…

right2bright on August 25, 2011 at 5:01 PM

keep the change on August 25, 2011 at 4:54 PM

So you’re arguing the Church should get more involved in political matters?

strictnein on August 25, 2011 at 5:01 PM

God bless Archbishop Chaput. We need a thousand more just like him.

xrayiiis on August 25, 2011 at 5:01 PM

They have very little sympathy for the Catholic faith, and quite a lot of aggressive skepticism toward any religious community that claims to preach and teach God’s truth.”

Unless, of course, that community convincingly threatens to kill any reporter who writes disparagingly about their religion. Then their coverage is surprisingly sympathetic and lacking in skepticism.

Socratease on August 25, 2011 at 5:02 PM

True enough, one also has to be as “wise as serpents” when listening to certain politicized elements within the Church -It seems more than a few often appear to have the same secular agenda of social justice provided by Caesar’s master state.

Don L on August 25, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Or matters of politics, or matters of science, or matters of social change, or…

Socratease on August 25, 2011 at 4:48 PM

On the other hand, they’re real good a pushing the matters of Marxism and the dissolution of a moral society..

Chip on August 25, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Look at the morons they have covering religion. It seems like it is a requirement that they not only be atheists but that they hate religion, too.

Blake on August 25, 2011 at 5:05 PM

With very rare exceptions (such as Mollie Ziegler-Hemmingway), journalists are incredibly ignorant of the basic teachings of religion in general. Our educated classes today have great gaping holes where basic theology, Bible literacy, and even the basics of how one goes about speaking about religion in former generations were found.

Scribbler on August 25, 2011 at 5:08 PM

I think the pope has been replacing the retiring liberal “social justice” archbishops with conservatives.

Wethal on August 25, 2011 at 4:57 PM

This. And Chaput is an excellent example, as is the archbishop in the Twin Cities, John Nienstedt. It’s going to take time, but things are changing.

Mr. D on August 25, 2011 at 5:08 PM

No they can’t be trusted. Trust the guy in a dress instead….

lexhamfox on August 25, 2011 at 5:11 PM

I’d be curious to know if additional education about what various religions actually teach (and not just “higher education,” in general) leads students to reject religion or soften their stances on objective truth (embracing relativism) at similarly high rates.

I can speak from experience about Judaism. Those who know more will tend to be more “Orthodox”. There is a quip about modern day “heretics”. They are not heretics, just ignorami. Most people (in any religion) will tend to have frozen their knowledge at the level of the last religious classes that they attended. This means that often, all they know are the children’s stories that they learned and do not understand what the religion actually means.

sabbahillel on August 25, 2011 at 5:14 PM

The New York Times is great for putting on the garage floor when changing the oil or the kitchen floor when you have a puppy who has not been house broken yet. It never occurred to me that people read and actually believe it. That is scary!

jeffn21 on August 25, 2011 at 5:16 PM

So you’re arguing the Church should get more involved in political matters?

strictnein on August 25, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Actually less.

keep the change on August 25, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Duh. This is news?

More non-news: Churches (of any denomination) with a monetary interest in maintaining or increasing the size of their congregations, also can’t be trusted on matters of faith. Which is to say, pretty much all of them. The Bible itself is the only trustworthy source of truth.

Splashman on August 25, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Pardon me your Highness but I knew that the msm couldn’t be trusted while you were in diapers. What took you so long?

mixplix on August 25, 2011 at 5:22 PM

The NYT doesn’t like that the Catholic Church is not a democracy, but twenty-five years ago, neither was the Soviet Union, and the NYT had no problem with that. In fact, they couldn’t bend over backwards far enough to tolerate the top-down authority of an anti-American Soviet President, or Castro. It’s only when it cramps their hedonist style that it bothers them.

RBMN on August 25, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Archbishop: MSM can’t be trusted on matters of faith

As a Protestant, I’m just trying to help my brother, the Archbishop.

oldleprechaun on August 25, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Archbishop: MSM can’t be trusted on matters of faith

archbishop can’t be trusted on investigating child rape claims.

sesquipedalian on August 25, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Pardon me your Highness but I knew that the msm couldn’t be trusted while you were in diapers. What took you so long?

mixplix on August 25, 2011 at 5:22 PM

My thoughts exactly.

Splashman on August 25, 2011 at 5:26 PM

This. And Chaput is an excellent example, as is the archbishop in the Twin Cities, John Nienstedt. It’s going to take time, but things are changing.

Mr. D on August 25, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Cardinal Roger “amnesty for aliens” Mahoney of LA is retiring, too.

Wethal on August 25, 2011 at 5:27 PM

God bless Archbishop Chaput. We need a thousand more just like him.

xrayiiis on August 25, 2011 at 5:01 PM

+1

I’m really going to miss him when he leaves Denver.

tastes like chicken on August 25, 2011 at 5:27 PM

These news media simply don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith

Could have stopped after “information”.

malclave on August 25, 2011 at 5:30 PM

archbishop can’t be trusted on investigating child rape claims.

sesquipedalian on August 25, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Don’t you think that’s a job for the police? That’s who you report rape to.

RBMN on August 25, 2011 at 5:31 PM

These news media simply don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith,” he said. “These are secular operations focused on making a profit.

Trust me, that isn’t the problem.

Count to 10 on August 25, 2011 at 5:33 PM

I think the pope has been replacing the retiring liberal “social justice” archbishops with conservatives.

Wethal on August 25, 2011 at 4:57 PM

I think the Pope needs to go a little faster. In Alabama, the Catholic church (of which I am a member) has sued the State on its new illegal immigration law under the auspices that it “interferes in the free practice of religion.” Specifically, the church is complaining that it is illegal to harbor, transport and financially aid illegals, which the church claims God calls them to do. Our Bishop is particularly aggressive in courting hispanics (legal or no) to fill the church pews. I guess they figure since they’re losing whites in droves they’ll make it up with the illegals. The only problem is that the folks they are courting are unable to fill the church’s money coffers in the manner to which it has become accustomed, so the call has gone out for everyone that can give to give more, of course. The Catholic church’s social justice push which flies in contradiction of state and federal law makes me sick. I’m not alone either, I have several friends who are thinking of leaving the Catholic church because they are sick of the pandering to illegals with everyone else footing the bill.

That is not to say that other faiths don’t have the same problem.

KickandSwimMom on August 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Pardon me your Highness but I knew that the msm couldn’t be trusted while you were in diapers. What took you so long?

mixplix on August 25, 2011 at 5:22 PM

He was speaking to young people at World Youth Day and instructing them. The Archbishop himself has long known this. It will come as news to some of these young people that the NYT is not the “Gospel” even though most of their teachers have probably acted as if it were.

My daughter had a college professor who would not allow newspaper citations in papers written for his class, except from the NYT, because it is America’s Paper of Record.

Lily on August 25, 2011 at 5:38 PM

archbishop can’t be trusted on investigating child rape claims.

sesquipedalian on August 25, 2011 at 5:24 PM

As I wrote above, nobody can be trusted on anything in which they have a vested interest.

Catholicism is unBiblical. Jesus is our intercessor now; he tore down the temporary divider (symbolized by the temple curtain) between God and man, allowing man to talk directly to God instead of through the High Priest (and other religious authorities). Catholicism decided God was wrong, that a human authority structure (pope, archbishops, etc.) was needed between God and the peons, just like the High Priests & Levites of old. Throughout history, such organizations (Catholic & protestant) have manipulated Biblical truth like Silly Putty for their own purposes, with tragic results to their followers and the world at large.

Don’t trust your pastor, priest, rabbi, archbishop or pope. Read the Bible for yourself. Don’t be part of any religious organization that has a monetary interest in your participation.

Splashman on August 25, 2011 at 5:40 PM

He holds his beliefs as infallibly true, of course he’s going to see anything less than pious agreement with church doctrine as biased.

BS. He’s talking about the press willingly mis-stating Church doctrine. He’s talking about the press unquestionably pushing the talking points of militant atheists and anti-Catholic organizations.

Crawford on August 25, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Protestan/catholic arguments get so strange.

Count to 10 on August 25, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Splashman, please take your Know-Nothing BS, fold it into corners, and put it someplace private. Making enemies out of Catholics is not the way to further liberty.

Crawford on August 25, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Archbishop Chaput was our bishop in the Rocky Mountain region and he will be missed. He is a staunch Catholic of the old school, which means liberal priests cower in fear of him. All I can say is: Thank God. And God Bless this important shepherd. We need men like him right now, and we need them badly.

bonnie_ on August 25, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Splashman on August 25, 2011 at 5:40 PM

So, which of the thousands of Protestant denominations is the right one…the one with all the answers? They obviously disagree on the Scriptures, or they wouldn’t have all split up in the first place. Very little is over ethnic differences. It’s mostly about doctrine. Who’s the referee?

RBMN on August 25, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Chaput ftw.

AbaddonsReign on August 25, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Glad the Archbishop spoke so candidly, and truthfully, but the Pope needs to do so as well. It’s time the Church go on offense against its enemies.

TXUS on August 25, 2011 at 6:06 PM

They have very little sympathy for the Catholic faith, and quite a lot of aggressive skepticism toward any religious community that claims to preach and teach God’s truth.”

Good. Catholic institutions worldwide has shown time and time again that they are not to be trusted, from WW2 to present-day.

In other words, among the highly educated set, how many are also highly educated about a wide variety of religious doctrines and yet reject religion? Just a question.

I’d wager a great many.

mythicknight on August 25, 2011 at 6:25 PM

They obviously disagree on the Scriptures, or they wouldn’t have all split up in the first place. Very little is over ethnic differences. It’s mostly about doctrine. Who’s the referee?
RBMN on August 25, 2011 at 5:51 PM

That’s not necessarily true. Church split over liturgical differences every bit as much as doctrinal differences.

tommyboy on August 25, 2011 at 6:26 PM

The churches are doing a fine job of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted:

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/08/21/inequality-grows-as-poor-ignorant-atheists-swamp-us/

Bruno Strozek on August 25, 2011 at 6:27 PM

God bless Archbishop Chaput. We need a thousand more just like him.

xrayiiis on August 25, 2011 at 5:01 PM

He’s a great bishop, plus he’s a Steeler fan.

/bwahahahahaha!

Ward Cleaver on August 25, 2011 at 6:28 PM

As a Philadelphia Catholic I am very please that Archbishop Chaput is here. What he says is correct: the media have no interest in reporting objectively on the Catholic Church. As to the question relating to education level and religious belief, I do not think that religious faith can be taught, the tenants of a religion can be taught, but belief comes through life experience.

PhillyUnion on August 25, 2011 at 6:32 PM

In other words, among the highly educated set, how many are also highly educated about a wide variety of religious doctrines and yet reject religion?

As a product of many years of Catholic education (including a Jesuit H.S and University)who evolved into an agnostic, I’ve always felt I was an example of the Jesuit moto: “Given the education of the boy, we will be accountable for the beliefs of the Man.”

hippiepunk on August 25, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Peer pressure has a lot to do with the “highly educated set” rejecting religion. There are many highly educated people who are able to reject peer pressure and retain their faith. My husband has a master’s degree in History from a state university and said that the anti-Christian bias permeates the teaching. However, he has been studying the Bible for years and could see the falacy of the teacher’s views. Those without a strong foundation in Biblical studies would succomb to the bias.

Rose on August 25, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Why not a pic of Father Jonathan Morris? The shame!!!/

ProudPalinFan on August 25, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Anything the MSM tells me, I automatically assume they’re lying about it until proven differently. You’d think they’d be a little ashamed that their reporting is regarded as so unreliable.

But then, I’m only one of the little people, and I sure as heck don’t read any of their publications, or watch their shows. I only catch their reports by accident, so I guess I’m one of those gun-toting, bible-thumping bitter clingers with sloping foreheads that infest non-liberal areas of the country.

hachiban on August 25, 2011 at 7:23 PM

I bet the Church as no problem with the media’s narrative on:

unions
welfare
social assistance
capital punishment
tip toeing around muslim sensibilities, and
global warming

In those cases . . .

keep the change on August 25, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Please, oh please enlighten us from you intensive study and knowledge of the Catholic catechism, exactly what the catechism says on these issues. Or are you just another uninformed Catholic basher? Thought so.

Trafalgar on August 25, 2011 at 7:26 PM

What a great day! The snark and potshots directed toward the Church by a number of the posters here -skip the MSM- only makes me admire Archbishop Chaput all the more. What a guy. Denver’s loss is Philadelphia’s gain.

Mason on August 25, 2011 at 7:26 PM

I don’t need an archbishop to tell me that.

p40tiger on August 25, 2011 at 4:53 PM

The Archbishop was speaking at the World Youth Day celebration in Madrid. His audience was almost entirely young people; high school and college age, and young adults into their mid-twenties. While what he said isn’t news to our über-informed audience here, it IS news to many of them.

Chaput is one of the more intelligent bishops in the United States, with the ability to think on his feet in an interview, even on complex theological matters. He is less likely to be caught saying something he’ll live to regret later — which is more than I can say for most of them.

manwithblackhat on August 25, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Don’t trust your pastor, priest, rabbi, archbishop or pope. Read the Bible for yourself. Don’t be part of any religious organization that has a monetary interest in your participation.

Splashman on August 25, 2011 at 5:40 PM

And who decided what books belonged in the Bible? Or did it just drop out of the sky at the end of the first century in on piece? No, those books were determined by a council of bishops in the early fourth century.

manwithblackhat on August 25, 2011 at 7:32 PM

archbishop can’t be trusted on investigating child rape claims.

sesquipedalian on August 25, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Oh, go crawl back in your hole and pull the rock back over it! Catholics reject absolutely the corporal offenses committed by some members of the clergy in the past. We are disgusted and ashamed by their actions. You cannot conflate the catechism and beliefs of the Church with the actions of the vile men who committed those acts. The Catholic Church does not preach or advocate the sexual abuse of children or anyone.

Trafalgar on August 25, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Catholicism is unBiblical.

Read the Bible for yourself. Don’t be part of any religious organization that has a monetary interest in your participation.

Splashman on August 25, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Funny, when I read the Bible I see Catholicism all through it.

This is not a discussion about the church, but about the media’s relentless skewing of news stories designed to discourage the faithful. As Christians, it is in the best interest of all of us if this country remembers and returns to her roots, which are Judeo-Christian values.

When Christians attack each other, there is not winner but evil.

Jvette on August 25, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Don’t trust your pastor, priest, rabbi, archbishop or pope. Read the Bible for yourself. Don’t be part of any religious organization that has a monetary interest in your participation.

Splashman on August 25, 2011 at 5:40 PM

I take it you believe Peter was just some dude and the whole “what you bind in heaven shall be bound in heaven, and what you bind on earth shall be bond on earth” was Jesus’ little joke on the poor man.

That’s the basis for Apostolic Succession in the Catholic Church. The entirety of Acts is basically a giant narrative for spreading the teaching of Christ through expanding the priesthood. Jesus lays hands on The Twelve, Judas is cast out and replaced, The Twelve go out and lay hands on others. It’s all there in the Bible.

Or are those passages not savvy with your interpretation? Because the entire basis of most protestant wishy-washy-ness is that they all claim no one can interpret the Bible properly (you’re just supposed to read, I guess), but they all act like they do. Jesus instituted a teaching authority among The Twelve because in His infinite wisdom, he knew mankind would create evils unfathomable to even people familiar with the atrocities of the Romans. Thus the Church has a teaching authority to reaffirm Christ’s message to counteract the infinite number of ways man has imagined to do evil.

BKennedy on August 25, 2011 at 10:32 PM

In the case of Catholicism, it should be especially easy to do, as the Church publishes an official catechism that serves as the final word on Church doctrine.

Uh… no. Journalists reporting on the Catholic Church should be familiar with its contents, sure. The catechism is a teaching tool, yes, but it is not the be all end all of Catholic doctrine.

Vatican Watcher on August 25, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Uh… no. Journalists reporting on the Catholic Church should be familiar with its contents, sure. The catechism is a teaching tool, yes, but it is not the be all end all of Catholic doctrine.

Vatican Watcher on August 25, 2011 at 11:26 PM

That would be the pope, right? The anti-Catholics love that assertion.

gryphon202 on August 26, 2011 at 1:15 AM

Uh… no. Journalists reporting on the Catholic Church should be familiar with its contents, sure. The catechism is a teaching tool, yes, but it is not the be all end all of Catholic doctrine.

Vatican Watcher on August 25, 2011 at 11:26 PM

There are also the encyclicals, true, but the Catholic Church makes zero attempts to hide its teaching. If the New York Times staff can quote chapter and verse of The Communist Manifesto, Humanae Vitae should be a piece of cake.

BKennedy on August 26, 2011 at 3:54 AM

Patrick Coffin often says, “If I don’t know what an RBI is, no paper in the country is going to let me report on baseball. But people who know nothing about the faith or the church are assigned to cover religion all the time.”

MassVictim on August 26, 2011 at 11:01 AM

The catechism … is not the be all end all of Catholic doctrine.

Vatican Watcher on August 25, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Perhaps not, but it’s a darn good place to start. The ideal primer for someone covering the topic in the news.

MassVictim on August 26, 2011 at 11:03 AM

gryphon202 on August 26, 2011 at 1:15 AM

The Pope when he has spoken ex cathedra, yes. But even more so, the ecumenical councils down through history are the most important sources of Catholic doctrine. The catechism sums them up, but it is not a definitive recapitulation of them.

BKennedy on August 26, 2011 at 3:54 AM

The encyclicals are teachings on Catholic doctrine, yes. See my above point.

MassVictim on August 26, 2011 at 11:03 AM

I made that point.

Vatican Watcher on August 26, 2011 at 11:45 AM