The Pope, the Church, and the Media
As thousands of people line up to see the Pope lying in state, I heard a quote from Christianne Amanpour on CNN, something along the lines of "this is a turning point for the church" and "the church must become relevant for the next century or at least the next generation", of course meaning that the church must change its stand on abortion, homosexuality, contraception, priests marrying, etc.
Lester Holt on NBC's Today show charged that "some believe [the Pope's] unyielding stand," in refusing "to even discuss" opening the priesthood to married men and women, "alienated American Catholics." Holt insisted that "within the hierarchy, more progressive voices have been marginalized" and argued: "Pope John Paul II's legacy in the world's most powerful country may be that of a house divided. A man who changed the world, but in many ways, was unwilling to change his church."
(from the Media Research Center
Well, may I ask why should he?
I have a sneaking suspicion, after hearing much of the coverage of the Pope's death, that a majority of the media just don't get it. They are seeing the Church as a political entity. It is not, though it does have political influence. Politics may change with the times, but the core views of the Church should not. Politics looks at right now, or at the most the next election. Politicians use polls to determine their next move. The Church is looking at thousands of years of history, and more importantly, eternity. Why should it change its views to accomodate what seems convenient or popular today? Last I checked, Jesus' words haven't changed, and neither have Moses's. Or Paul's.
If anyone thinks that changing doctrine to become more "liberal" is going to increase church attendance, they're sorely mistaken. Just look at the Episcopalian
church. People want to see the church standing for something, not shifting and changing according to polling data. Rather than making the Church relevant, constantly changing views would only make it irrelavant. One more political entity vying for top spot in the media popularity contest.
I'm not a Catholic, but I admire John Paul II's leadership, and his legacy of reaching out to people all over the world. I'm looking forward to meeting him in Heaven someday.
P.S: Here's an article
about the Pope that I enjoyed.