WDTPRS POLL on Pope Benedict’s interview

Here is a couple quick WDTPRS poll:

Is it a good idea for Popes to do interviews?

View Results

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Please give your reasons in the combox.

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  1. wchoag says:

    It is undignified and beneath the place of the Roman Pontiff to grant interviews to the media.

    At a time when information and news is becoming more and more democratised and easily available, the papal household ought to be pulling in the opposite direction

  2. Christo et Ecclesiae says:

    We can’t expect to avoid interviews in today’s society. Although they may cause some controversy at times, it is important that the public understands that the Pope is still a man, a normal person, with opinions, feelings, hobbies, etc. I think it helps bring a more human aspect to the papacy and Church – but not a bad one. What most people need to understand is that our deacons, priests, bishops, and our Holy Father share in our human experience and can relate to the Church which they have taken as a bride. The Vicar of Christ seated in the Throne of Saint Peter is a person, too. God gave his keys to heaven and earth to man, not angels. And what better way to exemplify this than sitting down with the Popes and learning more about them?

  3. pseudomodo says:

    Isn’t this how Borgia Pope Alexander VI admitted to the existence of four children by his mistress?

    That being said, Blessed John XXIII probably gave the best interview: He was asked by a journalist how many people worked in the Vatican and he replied, “About half”.

  4. teomatteo says:

    Yes, the interview was important…. And he did it without a teleprompter…..impressive i say.

  5. catholicmidwest says:

    Only idiots need to use teleprompters constantly.

  6. anna 6 says:

    It is very good…
    People pay attention to what the pope says in interviews…the same people who are not going to read documents and encyclicals.
    The book form is especially good because it allows for the examination of something in greater depth with the opportunity of seeing it in the wider context.

  7. chcrix says:

    Well, I voted yes. But the truth is that I am really voting yes for BXVI, not necessarily for any pope. I think he really knows how to express himself in a nuanced way and his comparative lack of showmanship (no disrespect to JPII intended) takes time for relatively thoughtless moderns to get used to. That said, they need to accustom themselves to seeing real thought and argument. So while there is risk of a short term mis-representation of the Pope’s remarks, over the longer haul he is building up a reserve of intellectual ‘credit’ among people who are unfamiliar with him. That ‘credit’ enhances the moral leadership that the papacy can exhibit in the world.

    It seems to me that PXII would have been good as well. I’m not at all sure about PVI though.

  8. Seraphic Spouse says:

    The Queen of England doesn’t. I wonder why not. (Well, not really. I can guess.)

  9. catholicmidwest says:

    LOL, Seraphic. I’d like to know your guess.

    My guess is that she’s an intelligent woman and the Queen, and once they spouted their usual idiotic tripe in her face, she’d have to live up to her inheritance and slay them bare-handed right there. It’d serve them right, too. So it’s an act of extreme bravery and forbearance on her part not even to let them get close enough to her to interview her. That’s my guess. ;) [only partly tongue in cheek]

  10. Jaybirdnbham says:

    I voted yes, but just barely. The reason for the yes vote is that the Vicar of Christ should be willing to risk much for the goal of reaching “lost sheep” by a wide variety of means. But the interviewer should be carefully chosen for obvious reasons. Pope Benedict chose well. He also has the intelligence and the courage to take on something risky, even with the certainty that the secular media is going to twist it out of any semblance of truth.

  11. Giambattista says:

    No, it is a bad idea for a pope to give interviews. Not necesarily because of the pope, but rather, the media. The media has an agenda (which doesn’t include the Catholic faith). They will take the words of the pope, or anybody else they see fit, repackage them, put a spin on it and then present it to the public. We just watched this happen with the condom fiasco. I would imagine there are now more than a few Catholics who believe the whole doctrine of the Church has changed in terms birth control. It’s just not worth the risk for a pope to give off-the-cuff remarks to a reporter.

  12. kallman says:

    He does not need to give interviews to communicate his messages. There are enough ways to do that already. Interviews involve the bias of the interviewer and misinterpretation of the conversation. Interviewers can be wicked.

  13. Geoffrey says:

    I voted yes. I think it is important to the faithful to know all they can about their Most Holy Father, in order to better unite his sufferings, hopes, and prayers to theirs. Something dignified like a book-length interview is most appropriate, as opposed to a generic “press conference”, etc. with the Holy Father standing at a podium taking random questions.

  14. AquinasGirl says:

    I think that the Pope should grant interviews, largely for the same reason that anna 6 articulated earlier.

    No matter what the medium is, be it encyclical, book, weekly audience, or interview, what the Pope says can always be taken out of context and done violence to.

  15. Agnes says:

    I voted yes and echo Christo et Ecclesiae’s opinion. The Holy Father, the cardinals, bishops, and priests, however sacred their office, are human. We need pastors who can relate to their people while still retaining the dignity of their office. I love to catch glimpses of their everyday lives. And as I live mine out, continually keep them in prayer.

  16. catholicmidwest says:

    Interviews are a 20th century invention, predicated on the idea that a subject matter expert has “new” news to impart because things have changed and you should know about it.

    When exactly does this actually apply in the Catholic church? When should it apply?

  17. Jayna says:

    The pope’s words can be misinterpreted and twisted whether they are presented in interview format or not. I think he should do interviews. But some of the problem with Benedict is that there are usually different levels of meaning in what he says. The media just can’t handle that kind of nuance. However, if he totally shut himself off and didn’t speak to reporters, the media would have something to say about that too.

  18. catholicmidwest says:

    Agnes, you said, “We need pastors who can relate to their people while still retaining the dignity of their office.”

    Do you think the church doesn’t relate to its people naturally? I mean without a kind of pandering by its leaders to make you think you’re the same as them?

  19. Agnes says:

    Catholicmidwest, for the Catholic Church, we could could say “There is new news, GOOD news, and people should know about it.” and use the media as a method of evangelization. When the mud is flung, admit the failures and the sins, but always point to the Redemption. No smoke and mirrors. No covering up. High road, high road, high road – the highest there is.

  20. Belinda says:

    I voted yes. I agree with the qualifications expressed by chcrix, above. Also, the interviewer ought to be sympathetic and well-known to the pope, as Peter Seewald is to Benedict XVI, and the interview ought to be of a sufficient length – no sound bites.

    I think in the case of this pope the good far outweighs the risks. The book-length interviews he gave as a cardinal were edifying and impressive and helped me ‘get to know’ the new Holy Father after his election. I am really looking forward to reading Light of the World.

    I would like to add that, although of course we all cringe at how the Pope and the Church are portrayed in the media, we shouldn’t spend too much energy worrying about it. There are still plenty of people outside the Catholic Church who deserve to be called ‘men of good will’, who are open to reason and who have enough sense to take what they read in the papers with a big grain of salt. They just aren’t as vocal as the anti-Catholics.

  21. trentecoastal39 says:

    NO! Because The Pope has to Cut Himself some Bad Publicity!! Nuff Said!

  22. irishgirl says:

    I voted no, in the wake of the condom fiasco.
    The secular media is not interested in anything the Holy Father would say….the secular media only twists and distorts his words.

  23. catholicmidwest says:

    I agree with irishgirl.

    In lieu of an interview, I think the Holy Father should insist that if the media wants to see him, they should join him in prayers. In latin. No interview included. Nothing new to report.

  24. amont says:

    No matter what the Holy Father says ; the media will always report what they wish, losing whatever message he might wish to convey in the process. One can hark back to the 1960’s and the furor over the abandonment (so it was reported) of meatless Fridays, for example. One has ceased to look for any accuracy in anything the mainstream media might utter on the Church or anything to do with the Church for several decades. They will always get it wrong ! Far better to issue a statement , and retain some sort of control.

  25. prairie says:

    You need an option for “It depends on the pope.”

  26. Benjamin says:

    I said “yes” and that simply for personal reasons. Our Holy Father is a brilliant mind & I simply enjoy reading his answers. Do not know whether it will be a good idea to do interviews for ANOTHER Pope, but this present Benedict surely must do it again.

  27. anilwang says:

    Yes of course. He has to engage the culture.

    But it must be done intelligently. Anyone who has ever done an interview knows that if you get an inexperienced interviewer or an unethical interviewer or if you do not have veto power on the edited interview (most interviews are edited to capture the main points since the full interview is often too long), then he’s begging for trouble.

    No matter what form the Pope speaks to the media, the media will misunderstand, deliberately distort, or sound-byte the message until the message is lost. It’s bad in today’s media, but even a hundred years ago, the art of proof-texting was refined to the point where clear repeated words could be turned into their opposite meaning. For instance, Jesus’s repeatedly said “this is my body” and “unless you eat this bread in drink my blood you have no life in you”, but this is understood as being symbolic. Why because he said to do this in remember of him once. It doesn’t matter that remembrance *never* implies symbolism. The words mean what you want them to mean as long as you repeat the interpretation often enough.

    Similarly, one extremely clear paragraph in a full book has been proof-texted by the modernists. Is it really so surprising that the entire books meaning has been so distorted?

    We as faithful Catholics need to do what we always do…push back and show the world the clear message of God since the wisdom of God is foolishness to the world. Just as the secularists eventually gave up their smear against the Pope when he visited England, the will give up if we persevere in repeating and living the message.

  28. Fr Matthew says:

    Yes, because it can be a very effective way of communicating the faith to the world and helping people to understand the Church’s way of seeing and acting in the world. Of course, the interviewer should be well chosen, and the the readiness of the individual pontiff should be taken into account when considering the possibility and the circumstances of an interview. Pope Benedict XVI has a history of giving long interviews, and he is good at it.

    I don’t think the “condom incident” is an any way a counter-argument. The actual interviewer didn’t twist the pope’s words; other media outlets did – just the same as they distort papal discourses, Vatican press releases, the actions of the CDF, etc.

  29. JPManning says:

    Yes. The truth will set us free. The commentators who have misunderstood or misrepresented his words have exposed themselves as incompetent. Interviews provoke debate in which non-catholic friends will question me about this topic and allow me to (hopefully, please God) explain more about the Gospel to them. Perhaps people who are interested after this controversy might come along to an RCIA class to learn a bit about the Church’s teaching. There they might discern God speaking to their heart and be baptised.

    On a secular note, eventually we might stop wondering why the Pope and politicians and scientists are so bad at handling the media. When we understand the issues we might start to realise that instead it is the media who are very bad at their job – communicating the truth – and then we can begin to think for ourselves again.

  30. PghCath says:

    Yes(!) for two reasons. First, the Holy Father’s mind is simply incredible, and I’d like to see as much of his thought recorded as possible. Reason two is much more important: the Pope’s role has changed (in my view) from head of the Roman Curia to international moral authority. We all know that the Pope is not the CEO of Catholic, Inc. and that local bishops have responsibility for managing problems and teaching morals on their turf. Yet when most bishops speak, the only people who listen are the hardcore Catholics who read blogs like this and diocesan newspapers. When the Pope speaks, on the other hand, the world listens – Hell’s Bible included. Put simply, if the Church wants to grow, its leader needs to be visible. What a bonus that our current Pope is so intelligent and well spoken.

    Will the media misinterpret the Holy Father’s words? Of course. Still, the need for “papal damage control” means that people are listening to the Pope. In my view, that’s always a good thing.

    I think this all goes back to the tiara/mitre debate. While I like the tiara for historical reasons, I think that the Holy Father is trying to emphasize that modern Popes need to be warriors for souls rather than distant and delicate monarchs.

  31. rakesvines says:

    There is no more Cardinal Ratziner with his opinion safter the papal installation, only Benedict – the Vicar of the Incarnate God. The world does not distinguish the various levels of authoritativeness in the Papal statements. So to prevent any erroneous perceptions, it would be prudent if the Pope limit himself to prepared statements.

  32. catholicmidwest says:

    This was not ex cathedra, rakesvines. Relax.

  33. catholicmidwest says:

    I do think you’re right about attribution though, rakesvines.
    Who knows where the media gets the “scoops” they claim are from Vatican officials. And they print those as if they were fact, no matter where they got them. We’ve all seen that. The media doesn’t understand how the line or command works, and for that matter, I’m pretty sure most catholics don’t either.

  34. Andy Milam says:

    I voted no.

    My reasoning…The intention of doing an interview is 99% for promotion of something. The other 1% is for clarification. The Holy Father has personnel who can do these things for him. His role is to be pastor for the Universal Church. He should (and for the most part) does this. If there is a need for promotion of the Church, he has literally 1 Billion people who can do this. If he needs clarification, that is why he has a press office.

    I am not saying that he is above it all, but there has always been a layer of protection for the Holy Father. Just because the MSM expects EVERYONE to jump when they call for an interview, doesn’t mean that it has to happen or that a particular leader has to.

    The Holy Father is not in the business of justification. The Holy Father is in the business of salvation. Leave the justification to the Lutherans.

    That is my opinion on the issue.

  35. Clinton says:

    ‘Humanae Vitae’ came out in 1968, and I believe because of the uproar it engendered Paul VI
    never wrote another encyclical in the ten years remaining to his pontificate. As we see now, in
    2010, HV was 100% spot-on and prophetic. Say what you will about other aspects of that
    pontificate, Paul VI understood the evil afoot in those days. Would it have been better for the
    Church and the world if the Holy Father hadn’t clammed up for the last 10 years of his life?

    I understand that an encyclical is a very different thing from a mere interview. Yet we’ve seen
    both forms distorted and derided by the media. Should a Pope wash his hands of either means
    of bringing truth to the world just because it gets a rough reception? I believe that this or any
    other Pope should use whatever means he thinks best to bring the Good News to the world.

  36. thefeds says:

    I say yes to interviews because even if we don’t always understand the purpose if a comment, with an effort, we learn more about our faith and it’s depth of meaning than a bunch of mindless photo ops. The MSM wants a simple Pope and Faith that they can reduce to a charicature!

  37. catholicmidwest says:

    @ rakesvines,
    Do you really think anybody is actually saying that? [I kinda doubt it.]

  38. LorrieRob says:

    As I was moving some books out of a bookcase that I am changing out to make room for the Christmas tree and related decorations…I came across a book that I had forgotten I had…The Best of “The Public Square”…a collection of Richard John Neuhaus’s columns… and as I perused the table of contents, I saw “a Pope of the First Millenium at the Threshold of the Third”…a wonderful analysis and review of Pope John Paul II’s “Threshold of Hope”…apparently his book was developed from what was initially going to be an interview of the Pope that for whatever reason did not take place…life is about engagement of the heart and for the Lord…Pope Benedict XVI is simply following the Holy Spirit as he must…

  39. Charles E Flynn says:

    If the pope had not caused so much reaction by his comments about condoms in the book, I would never, after dozens of mouse clicks, found myself at the Website of Communio: International Catholic Review at http://communionews.wordpress.com/ . I would have missed two profound articles about music:

    Music, Science, and Technology, by Fr. Jonah Lynch

    Mirth and Freedom in The Magic Flute by Fr. Jonah Lynch

  40. gambletrainman says:

    Andy Milam:

    I agree with you 150%, which is why I voted “no”

  41. catholicmidwest says:

    Wow, neocon central.

  42. I didn’t vote because it is not my place to decide what the Vicar of Christ should do, the Holy Spirit already has that covered.

  43. Torkay says:

    The question is poorly phrased: it depends on who is doing the interview. If it is a trustworthy (i.e. orthodox) Catholic newspaper or periodical, then of course it’s OK. If it is one of the Freemason-controlled outlets – i.e. the “mainstream” press – then definitely not.

  44. tzard says:

    He needs to teach using all the new media – not just the old media.

    If people are concerned he’ll be misconstrued or his worlds will be twisted – well, get used to it. That will happen anyway.

  45. Miriam says:

    I voted yes even though I am not all that fond of the question.

    Pope Benedict XVI is so good at explaining the church and the majesty of Catholicism. As a convert I am so thankful that God brought me here and our Pope gives me more reasons every day to do my best to bring others home as well.

    Pray for our Pope, he has many enemies.

  46. Prof. Basto says:

    I voted no.

    In my opinion, Popes should stick to the traditional, established ways of making their voices heard.

    And, if and when they decide to grant an interview, they should not use this opportunity to launch a debate on controversial, polemical issues (issues regarding which fine, acute distinctions perhaps need to be made within the general teaching of the magisterium); instead, they should use such occasion to explain anew the reasons behind the Church’s general moral requirements.

    That’s why I don’t share your view, Father, as expressed in this blog, that this polemic was intended, that the pope wants debate and that that’s why the pope decided to make subtle distinctions in an interview.

    In my opinion, that was not a deliberate action but rather a miscalculation and a mistake. A mistake that wouldn’t have happened if the pope simply adhered to the norm of not granting interviews.

    But those thinking that the pope’s condom comment was his worst comment are simply wrong; instead, the pope’s comment on the 2008 TLM Good Friday prayer for the Jews is the actual worst comment; and it proves the point that popes should only speak when they speak publicly for the Church, protected by the graces of state. If no interview were granted, the quasi-herectical comments on the Church’s only wanting the eschatologiclal conversion of the jews and not a missionary one wouldn’t have taken place.

  47. LorrieRob says:

    Pretty funny Catholicmidwest:-) Actually, this whole exercise sort of proves the positive point that the Pope did well in allowing the interview…this is fun and engaging…and I might be a “neocon” on this particular issue though I have been a solid conservative on all others I can think of forever!

  48. Microtouch says:

    The Pope doing an interview with satan’s henchmen gives them an oppourtunity to mis-quote, mis-represent, mis-characterize etc. all in an effort to destroy Mother Church. Though the Vicar of Christ is on to them and can handle himself just fine the problem lies with the public who willfully swallow the pablum the msm dishes out. Sadly, yes even our fellow Catholics.

  49. amylpav22 says:

    I voted a resounding “YES”!

    I don’t see why the Holy Father *shouldn’t* give interviews. Our presence here indicates media – be it television, radio, or the Internet – plays a role in our lives. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that we should use media (a good thing) to further the faith and share the Gospel and the teachings of the Church with the whole world.

    Yes, the media will twist the Holy Father’s words. That is NOT his fault. The media who does it is to blame. Remember a few years ago when the Holy Father gave a homily on stewardship of the earth that this was the same media who breathlessly reported the Holy Father wore green vestments in “solidarity with the environmental movement”…when he simply wore green vestments in accordance with Ordinary Time.

    The world will dislike our teachings, our faith, and the Holy Father no matter what we do, really. Why should we hide and be afraid to talk about our faith simply because others will misconstrue it for their own gain?

  50. Dan says:

    Yes. When lawyers, pharisees, etc. came to our Lord and asked him questions, even in attempts to make Him look bad, he answered them and spoke the truth. After all, the Pope is the Servant of the Servants of God- as such, he should be ready and willing to engage with the media in order to spread the gospel. As H.H. BXVI has demonstrated, much can be accomplished with a humble, courageous, and forthright approach to the Petrine office.

  51. Nothing wrong with giving interviews just as long as the questions to be asked of the Holy Father have been pre-screened and pre-approved. If possible, even the transcript of the interview can be pre-screened before it is published.

    The Pope is the pope. Even if he does not say things “ex cathedra”, liberals will twist and turn the facts and shout their heads off.

    Take it from a guy who does PR work.

  52. Mike says:

    “If no interview were granted, the quasi-herectical comments on the Church’s only wanting the eschatologiclal conversion of the jews and not a missionary one wouldn’t have taken place.”

    I’m not so sure it was quasi-heretical. In regard to persons outside the Church, charity and wisdom demand that we desire the highest good for them in this life and the next (ie, God) through the most secure means (the RCC). However, charity also means accepting this person as he or she is, loving the person in front of me, despite their sins and errors, hoping for their eventual coming to know the truth about God–that he is in Christ for the world’s salvation through his Church. I think missionary here means something less than the tact and patience that the Holy Father believes the Church’s prayer should give voice to. The Jews are not alone in what they have suffered in the 20th century, but they have suffered, mightily, and often at the hands of professed Christians. I think Benedict is trying to recognize this, and as supreme pontiff, he has every right to make small changes in some liturgical prayers.

  53. Joseph says:

    No, the Holy Father is no politician. What’s next (in order to engage the youth) he has his own facebook page and I can read up what he had for dinner? I’d rather he’d use the 6 hours to pick a good bishop, say for the Diocese of Basel, Switzerland, instead of a liberal.

  54. Andy Milam says:

    @ Clinton,

    “I understand that an encyclical is a very different thing from a mere interview.”

    I disagree. I believe that an encyclical is a kind of press release for the Holy Father. As is a Motu Proprio, which would be closer to an interview….

  55. JonM says:


    The Vicar of Christ is not a quarterback or senatorial candidate. The Fourth Estate is ranked below the Holy Father; allowing a journalist to ‘call to task’ Peter is a contradiction in itself.

    From a practical standpoint, interviews can (almost always) distort the message. This need not be out of malice, it is just the nature of how reporting works. It is best to communicate to the faithful through the hierarchy in a clear, formal manner. Further, avoiding interviews also means avoid ‘gotcha’ questions.

  56. michelelyl says:

    I voted yes- the head of the Church needs to use all available media to draw more people to the Roman Catholic Church. The more the Pope expresses the message of the Church in clear terms, the more people will be drawn to the Church. In my humble opinion, of course.

  57. Geoffrey says:

    “I didn’t vote because it is not my place to decide what the Vicar of Christ should do, the Holy Spirit already has that covered.”

    Great response!

  58. Tony from Oz says:

    Voted No to this one. Especially as most catholics don’t know their magisterium from their posterior – let alone the savvy to interpret complicatedly nuanced questions of morality. Let alone the fact that this was NOT, and by the Pope’s own admission (even if that was required), a valid example of a papl exercise of his magisterium. And most Catholics won’t ever grasp that, either!

  59. Stvsmith2009 says:

    I voted yes. I think it important that the Holy Father be able to expouns on the his positions and Church teaching, something that is not readily apparent to many of the faithful who do not bother to read encyclicals. I think people tend to forget that the interviewer for the book was a journalist whom Pope Benedict XVI respects and trusts, and the questions seem to be far from the “gotcha” types of questions. The “gotcha” came in to play when the less than truthful and forthcoming main stream media took a portion of the answer and turned it into a “gotcha” all on their own. If people of weak or wavering faith laeve the Church because os something said by Pope Benedict XVI or any other pope, they are just using that as an excuse to “justify” their reason for leaving. They’d leave anyway, whether it was something said by a pope, a bishop, a priest, or because they don’t like the way the person in the next pew looked at them.

  60. catholicuspater says:

    I’m all for the Pope giving interviews, however, this is conditioned on the fact that the Holy Father is able to articulate the Church’s position on condoms in such a way that a) a billion Catholics don’t get the wrong idea that the Pope is reforming Catholic teaching. b) we don’t have to listen to a second layer of Catholic pundits interpret for us later what the Pope really said.

    In other words, if the Pope is going to give an interview, his words need to be phrased in such a way that they’re perfectly clear for ALL to understand. If we’re left with the present crisis of billions of people thinking the Pope just endorsed condoms then we can form circular firing squads all we want and call for the resignation of any Vatican official we choose to, but in the end we all have to admit maybe it would have been better if the Pope hadn’t talked to Peter Seewald in the first place.

    Maybe the Pope should have just said in the interview something simple and easy to understand like, for instance: “With or without a condom, prostitutes can go to hell if they don’t change their lifestyle. So, maybe, instead of focusing on a lesser or higher place in hell, we should encourage them to give up their sinful occupation and choose complete liberation from sin instead.”

    If the Pope had spoken like this, nobody would have been confused. If we need “experts” and “commentators” to properly interpret the words of the Pope given in an interview, then maybe those words should have been formulated more clearly.

  61. Melody says:

    Yes, but he should appoint people to screen his questions and who is allowed to interview him. People who are “wise as serpents” so his words aren’t twisted.

  62. Titus says:

    Interviews aren’t the problem. Interviews about moral theology are the problem. His Holiness should give interviews about his cats, or Mozart. But then again, His Holiness should also be able to discharge his office without having someone like me say what he ought to do.

  63. isnowhere says:

    I can not imagine having intellectual conversation during an interview and expect to keep nuanced conversation clear and strait forward.

  64. Titus says:

    I support my “no” vote by pointing to the fact that even the guys who keep Notre Dame football fan blogs have been successfully confused. (see #2)

  65. isnowhere says:

    (I can’t even get my spelling right in a comment box)

  66. Lynn Diane says:

    I voted yes for much the same reason as Dan. Christ allowed Himself to be interviewed by the most hostile of questioners, who were openly looking for a chance to trap Him with His own words. Our German shepherd is doing the same as his Master and is being treated in the same way because the servant is not greater than the Master. Benedict XVI hears his Master’s voice as no one else on earth does. Now the MSM is in the process of being clearly exposed as modern-day pharisees for all the world to see, while the Holy Father is sparking an intense discussion of the Church’s position in the heart of the enemy’s territory among people who have little knowledge of Church teaching. Win-win for the Church.

  67. Athanasius says:

    One of the things marveled about our Lord in the Gospels, is that He taught with authority, not as the scribes or pharisees who wrote opinions on the law.

    The Pope is the vicar of Christ, to whom the office of ruling, teaching and guiding not just Christians but the whole world is given. He has power and authority over the whole world, not just Vatican city. He should be teaching with authority, not as a mere thinker, but as the visible head of the Church. Not as the head of one among several different important churches, but with the magisterial authority of Christ Himself. If the world will not hear it, better for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that city which heareth not.

  68. David Collins says:

    Well said, Lynn Diane, well said.

  69. I think it’s ok. The problem is some people don’t understand what he says or are ill intentioned.
    Anyway, what ever we say, the world twists it and if it is the Pope saying it, it’s even worse.
    But we like to read what he says so, it’s ok.

  70. shadowlands says:

    I voted yes. Impulsively. I love the Pope, so anything he has to say is of interest to me.

    Then I read what Titus commented:
    “But then again, His Holiness should also be able to discharge his office without having someone like me say what he ought to do.”

    That is my true answer too. In other words, none of my business. Not to say other folks opinions are incorrect. I’m just aware of my own personal place in all this furore ( is that how you spell furore?).

  71. Imho the Pope has to give interviews as part of his duty to teach the faithful and to seek as shepherd the unfaithful. That does not necessarily mean that he has to give interviews to MAD-Magazin or the Fishwrap, where he can be pretty sure, that his, the pope’s message, Christ the way, the truth and the eternal life is rephrased, falsly emphasized, distractingly interpreted or deliberately misunderstood.

    Especially in questions of morale, he has to speak and spread the teaching of the church, elsewise he would be guilty “in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do“. Silencing the voice of the church in moral issues is the main tactic of the devil.

    This is why most of the mainstream media still reports that Pope Benedict has “allowed” the use of condoms. The know the message, but don’t want to hear it and don’t want to get it spread to the readers.

  72. avecrux says:

    I said “yes” – let those who have ears hear.

  73. catholicmidwest says:

    The interview format is an invention of the 20th century. There are plenty of ways for the Pope to get his teaching to everyone-just not in interview format. He has books, encyclicals, a press office, homilies, the Wednesday audience. It’s very easy for him to speak in public without being questioned by a journalist.

  74. @catholicmidwest

    To write an encyclica is one way as you said. I presume, that you know about the encyclica
    Humanae Vitae and the aftermath of it.

    It was not the interviewer Seewald who ridiculed the Popes message in the book,
    but the reception of the interview by the MSM. I can’t imagine a way for the Pope to get heared, that can’t be abused by the MSM, when they interpret messages in it, that the Pope never gave and said.

    So I don’t get the point to abstain from giving interviews, when the other methods of spreading the truths are equally in danger of being compromised by the MSM.

  75. catholicmidwest says:

    Well, maybe he should watch how much speculative opinion he puts out there, then, eh? Knowing that it’s going to get picked up and filed in peoples’ brains as official church teaching, just because he said it.

  76. catholicmidwest says:

    And you can’t argue that it’s not causing concrete actual damage, because it is. See my link above RE the mess in the Philippines.

  77. AnnAsher says:

    No. The Pope should carefully draft and redraft his statements for clarity and conformity of language to intended meaning.

  78. ampaxx says:

    I voted yes because too many Catholics no nothing about the Pope, and I believe that an interview helps them to see him in a new light. In my own experience, I knew nothing about my local bishop until he did an informal Q &A at a youth retreat, and this lead me to have much more respect and admiration for him. This interview has the potential to really help some lukewarm Catholics gain a new appreciation for their faith.

  79. rfox2 says:

    No. The entire world is media crazed, and those wishing to use the pope’s authority for their own positions will distort whatever he says. The Holy Father is best understood through the regular magisterial channels, and can be easily misunderstood in private interviews.

  80. trentecoastal39 says:

    What a Shame that such Confusion an Interview would Do,to My Country The Philippines!!

  81. Mitchell NY says:

    I think it can be helpful to give interviews but I think they should cover perhaps one topic and one topic only at a time. Especially when there is confusion over such a things. But sometimes I think topics which really need clarification go left untouched. We all know of the many things that go wrong in Liturgy, and what the documents from Vat II have wrought when misinterpreted or misapplied. An encylical or interview devoted to once and for all correcting the most blatant of wrongs whould be done. Those things affect the guy in the pew directly. So they can have a positive use (interviews) but really should be devoted to the most important ambiguities that exist and influence the way we worship. Especially if we are doing things wrong. An encylical devoted entirely to Liturgy would be a great treasure the Pope could leave to the Church for all time. My prayers continue for a long Pontificate and the Health of the Pope. He has brought much good.

  82. Agnes says:

    I apologize for being so late in reply.

    catholicmidwest says: Agnes, you said, “We need pastors who can relate to their people while still retaining the dignity of their office.” Do you think the church doesn’t relate to its people naturally? I mean without a kind of pandering by its leaders to make you think you’re the same as them?”

    The Church, of course, relates to us just fine – she’s our mother. But I think (some) leaders, because of the power they hold, tend toward pandering. I don’t think there’s much difference between ecclesial politics or lay politics because it all comes down to the same fallen nature of humanity. My complaint comes down to a desire for authenticity.

    No, we are not the same and yet we’re people. What is it that sets them apart? And does that setting apart require a pedestal? The lines, over the decades, have become so blurred we’re left scratching our heads wondering (about the pope or holy orders or the teaching magisterium in general) what is it?

  83. asophist says:

    I voted no. I agree with Prof. Basto.

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