The secular press is going to work on what is known via the Frankfurter Allgemeine‘s pre-release of the Holy Father’s letter to bishops about the SSPX excommunications.
In general great energy was aimed at the Holy Father’s admission that somethings were mishandled.
The headlines give you a sense.
Reuters: "Pope admits Holocaust denier affair was mishandled"
In the Reuters article focuses nearly entirely on the controversy that erupted, on the mishandling of the affair, on the Pope’s "anguish", on the rift in Catholic-Jewish relations. It amazingly does not cover the Pope’s explanation about why he lifted the excommunications, except in a few vague words towards the end of the article.
AP: "Pope writes letter about Holocaust denier"
AP rehashes old news and gives you the impression that the person who wrote the article perhaps didn’t take any account of the text, pre-published in Frankfurter Allgemeine. It cites Il Foglio. AP grinds away at the Williamson interview and the reaction of Jewish groups, Pius XII, blah blah.
The NYT: "Pope’s Letter to Bishops Cites Mistakes"
Again, getting off on the fact that the Pope admits a mistake, the NYT piece depends in Il Folgio and Andrea Tornielli. This article also brings in the issue of Pius XII and the upcoming visit to Jerusalem. At least it meantions that the lifting of the excommunications was meant as "a modest act of mercy".
CNS: "In letter, pope responds to criticisms over Lefebvrite decision"
This article touches on what you might expect, but, as Catholic agency, uses space to cover the reason why Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication. It also covers the Pope’s explaination that the Church cannot be frozen in 1962, nor can Vatican II be viewed as a rupture with the past or as a new beginning. It ends with the Pope’s strong words about tolerance.
CNN is behind the curve and has nothing. FoxNews as well, though it at least picked up AP.
UPDATE 00:58 GMT 12 March
I was sent a link to the Faith World blogs on Reuters. Do check it. "Pope to bishops: check your mail" by Phil Pullella.
This entry delves a bit more into the reason why Pope Benedict lifted the excommunications. It also provides Reuters translation of excerpts from the German text in the Frankfurter Allegemeine. English language blogs have had English translations up for a while, but this has Reuters translation, which is interesting. Pullella also links to Tornielli’s blog.
The blog entry mentions some of the negatives raised by the Pope about the SSPX, namely, that some of them are "arrogant and think they know better than everyone else". But he doesn’t include the other side of the Pope’s observation. Pope also says he "received several moving testimonies of thankfulness that showed an opening of the hearts"…. which is what he was in part trying to accomplish by the move.