Beastly reporting by Barbie

The abdication of Pope Benedict is yet another opportunity to see how ignorant most of those contributing to the mainstream media can be when it comes to the Catholic Church.

A case in point is The Daily Beast who has someone, I am not making this up, named “Barbie” writing about papal “scandal”.  I found this story on the same page with the heading “Viva la Papa!”  Yes, “la”. Did anyone over there go to school? Ever?

Let’s have a brief look at this risible piece by Barbie Latza Nadeau.

American Nuns Hope For Sister-Friendly New Pope

American nuns—fiercely [!] condemned under Pope Benedict for being too “radical”—are looking forward to a fresh start with a new pontiff. [The first factual error: “American nuns” were not condemned, fiercely or even mildly.  And what does “radical” mean?  Probably not like St. Francis of  Assisi.]

Of all the scandals [“scandal”?  I’ll tell you what’s a scandal.  The real scandal is that the Holy See should have to have deal with women religious who have moved “beyond Jesus”.] that have been pinned to Benedict XVI’s papacy, perhaps none has been more divisive [The writer lives in a tiny little world in which, when women religious go off the rails, it is the Pope’s fault when he does his job to bring them back to their senses.] than the so-called clampdown on American nuns last April. Its no wonder, then, [You are just supposed to accept that premise.] that sisters across America [only those of the liberal-loony stamp… which, thank God, are not all sisters across America] are hoping that the next pope gives them a fairer shake. [I’ll bet the writer has a photo of Pres. Obama in her purse.] In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, the head of the largest group of American nuns  shares what she is looking for in a new leader.  [Another factual error.  The LCWR is not the “largest group of American nuns”. It is merely a large group of the leaders of communities of women religious.  The LCWR is the “Leadership Conference”, and it does not represent automatically all the members of the communities represents.]


It is one thing to not appreciate the Catholic Church or the Roman Pontiff.  It is another thing entirely to write about something you know so little about.

Weigel’s contribution is better.  At least it has the virtual of getting the facts right.  HERE.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Scott W. says:

    Faugh. The Holy Father could have justly dissolved the dissident orders, sold off their assets and given the money to traditional orders, struggling dioceses, or even give it to Amway.

    That he didn’t speaks of his mercy.

  2. StJude says:

    There is no journalism anymore.

  3. catholicmidwest says:

    Scott W, I agree. The Church should give them the boot and used the money for evangelization.

  4. PA mom says:

    During the recent election, I joined (anonymously) a chat section on our local newspaper. During the course of this, I found that there were many other topics which lacked a genuine Catholic perspective, or even had a misleading one front and center. Every day, I go and look over the issues of the day. There have been many interested and curious responses from my points which I attempt to keep fairly positive and objective. discussions have included capital punishment, the history and proper understanding of sections of the Bible, the HHS mandate, proper morals and the voice of faithful Christians in this country. I have quoted saints, the Pope, the catechism and formal prayer. The opposition educates the public relentlessly with the assistance of most media, we need to keep trying to do the same.
    Because of the upcoming conclave and such, I expect there will be more opportunity to put proper input into the local discussion. Thank you for everything I have been learning here, I will continue to attempt to pass it along.

  5. Puts me in mind of an incident that took place on or shortly after the day Pope Benedict was elected. I found myself talking to a guy who conveyed to me the dismay of some “very holy” nuns he knew, who were using a picture of the new Pope as a dart board. I gave this guy a piece of my mind and asked him how “holy” these nuns could possibly be if they were using the Holy Father’s face for a dart board.

    It also seemed clear to me that a Pope who drew as many salvos from the sewer as this one did in just the first thirty seconds of his reign had to be good. And so Pope
    Benedict has proven to be, doing great things out of all proportion to the length of his pontificate. He has upset all the right people. God bless him.

  6. mschu528 says:

    On the national news last night (I think it was ABC?) the “reporter” seemed to think it was shocking and odd that the Holy Father kept stating that he had come to the decision “of his own free will,” insinuating that there must be some sort of Vatican-intrigue behind this statement.

    “NO!” I kept shouting at the tv, “It’s because Canon Law requires that a papal abdication be of the Holy Father’s own free will, otherwise it’s INVALID! Do some research, you numskull!”

    I just can’t stand this hyper-secular, anti-Catholic world anymore. Kyrie eleison.

  7. catholicmidwest says:

    I’m not watching any of the dime store coverage from public news agencies. It’s not worth my time. They don’t have the wherewithal to inform me of anything I don’t already know, so why bother with them?

    Anyone who asks me about these things, I’m also sending to reputable Catholic places for real information, instead of the usual gossip and error on the street.

  8. frjim4321 says:

    So often the popular media is way of base in its reporting on the Church.

  9. JacobWall says:

    My favourite line: “Nuns have no voting power in any church matter, especially when it comes to electing the next pope. ” (I read the rest of the article.)

    They say this as though it makes them some sort of oppressed group without rights. I don’t have voting powers in any church matter. In fact, personally, I don’t know any Catholic who does. Most are quite happy with that.

    But the Church should be a good democracy where everybody has a vote in everything. That way wayward “nuns” could use ill-gotten money (from abortion companies, etc.) to fund a campaign, hire strategists that know the right lies to tell and have Obama voted as Pope.

    The state of the Church really is sad. You know, we really should be fair about this stuff and let these people have their way.

  10. StJude says:

    Miss Anita Moore… OMG…Nuns using the Pope’s picture as a dart board?!!

    Sometimes I wonder what planet we are on.

  11. al007italia says:

    I had to laugh at the picture used by the Daily Beast on their “front page” for this article. It was of several Franciscans, in habits in front of the Vatican.
    Of course the “nun” she interviewed called on the next Pope to follow the “spirit of Vatican II” in what he does. I’ll stick with

  12. al007italia says:

    I had to laugh at the picture used by the Daily Beast on their “front page” for this article. It was of several Franciscans, in habits in front of the Vatican.
    Of course the “nun” she interviewed called on the next Pope to follow the “spirit of Vatican II” in what he does. I’ll stick with what Bishop Nickless said about that spirit, it is time to exorcise it. Which is the last thing these rebels want. & what will continue to happen under the next Pope.

  13. Mariana says:

    La Papa? Maybe a friend to Sancta Simplicitus ; ) !

  14. thefeds says:

    What I fail to understand is that if these nuns have “moved beyond Jesus Christ”, why would they care about anything the Holy Father thinks or does? The wheels on the Bus are falling off, falling off, falling off.

  15. HighMass says:

    Dear aloo7italia,

    WE can only Pray the next Holy Father “exorcises the spirit of V II” It is LONG OVERDUE!

    Maybe Pope Benedict XVI set the foundation for that exorcism ….we can only hope and pray we don’t get a liberal in there again…

    Come Holy Spirit, Vene Creator Spiritus!

  16. lucaslaroche says:

    Father Z,
    For your amusement, may I present a local liberal journalist’s understanding of the theology of the papacy.

  17. maryh says:

    I read that article. Most of the usual stuff.

    But there was one thing I didn’t understand. She said that in the “attack” of the CDF on the LCWR “The point man for the attack was none other than Cardinal Bernard F. Law”. Did I miss something?

  18. Scott W. says:

    Did I miss something?

    Yes. There is a rumor going around that Law and Burke were the instigators. But the people passing the rumors are also passing along that hoary porkie pie that Burke was “kicked upstairs” for being embarrassingly hardline.

    It must be Lent. The Evil One and his lying are working overtime.

  19. maryh says:

    @Scott W
    Thanks. In the meantime I found something like that by googling. In the article I read, it just mentioned Law as one of several people who wanted the LCWR investigated, but then it talked about the CDF separately.
    I made the mistake at looking at the responses. If they had just been the usual obscene crap, I wouldn’t have bothered, but I did read some.
    Apparently, the sexual abuse scandal means that the bishops have no right to insist the LCWR shouldn’t move “beyond Jesus.”
    I really do wish Law had removed as a Cardinal and been sent to a very remote monastery somewhere. He could share a cell with Mahoney.

  20. Scott W. says:

    I really do wish Law had removed as a Cardinal and been sent to a very remote monastery somewhere. He could share a cell with Mahoney.

    Me too. The good news is Law can’t vote in the conclave. The bad news is Mahony can. I’m really hoping that before the Holy Father leaves office, one of the things on his last to-do list is take Mahony’s red hat away.

  21. Stumbler but trying says:

    “It must be Lent. The Evil One and his lying are working overtime.”

    Yep…we all know he is gonna be working way overtime this time around. After so much love and support for our Holy Father as has been shown to the dismay of those who work and live in the dark, this article was well, crass, ignorant, and silly in my humble opinion. I could not read it with a straight face.

  22. maryh says:

    @Scott W: you know, it just occurred to me, he won’t. At this point, the action would not be taken as finally enforcing some measure of justice, but as trying to prevent a liberal from voting for someone he didn’t like. It’s the Cardinal Law problem – he didn’t punish a conservative so the only reason he could have for punishing a liberal is politics. Maybe he was actually prepared to take care of Mahoney, but it seems to me he had to push up his plans to abdicate.

    In terms of keeping the children safe from abusive priests and those like Law and Mahoney who cover up for them, I think he’s taken care of that as well as could be done. He’s known from the moment he became Pope that he had limited time and has concentrated on the most important things. Unfortunately, I think that has meant he left justice for Law and Mahoney up to the next Pope or God.

  23. OrthodoxChick says:

    Don’t know where else to place this link, but today, radio vaticana published Pope Benedict XVI’s comments (made today to priests, I believe). It’s pretty interesting and I’m wondering if anyone else has read it or has any thoughts. The Holy Father said that rather than prepare remarks, he decided to comment on his experience during the Vatican II Council. It reads as though his comments were totally off-the-cuff. If this link doesn’t work for some reason, just google “radio vaticana” and when you get there, select “English World”. The article is on top of the front page of the website. Here’s the link:'s_last_great_master_class:_vatican_ii,_as_i_saw_it_%5Bfull/en1-665030

  24. Clinton says:

    Why assume that the media’s incompetence and lack of professionalism in covering Catholic
    news is confined to that topic alone? Lack of objectivity, the obvious neglect of even minimal
    research, the absence of basic editorial oversight– who among us thinks these failures are
    confined to coverage of the Church?

    I’d rather see my children grow up to become telemarketers than today’s sort of ‘journalist’.
    That the so-called profession is failing to criticize itself signals that its decadence will only worsen.

  25. Random Friar says:

    ¿Viva la papa? Long live the… potato?

    Well, I do love a good potato. Just not that much.
    (Spanish lesson for the day: “la papa”=”potato” (L. Am., “patata” in Spain), “el” papa=”pope”

  26. DavidR says:


    Right you are; I’ve noticed, along with C. S. Lewis, that when the media has an article on a topic with which I am familiar they invariably either get it wrong, or completely invert the truth.

    This is why I don’t use tv, radio, “news” magazines, or newspapers. For 30 years. And haven’t missed them at all.

  27. Chumly says:

    Barbie doesn’t speak for all the Nadeaus. Sainte Marie priez pour nous.

  28. Shamrock says:

    @ PA mom…I applaud your efforts to evangelize ….this is a ministry for sure and those who
    have a solid faith and knowledge of the Church would do well to speak out, in charity of course
    but in truth. Thanks! Most of the world is in total ignorance of what the Church stands for…and
    sadly, a large number of Catholics!

  29. pmullane says:

    “Of all the scandals that have been pinned to Benedict XVI’s papacy, perhaps none has been more divisive than the so-called clampdown on American nuns last April.”

    I hearby demand of our learned friend Barbie Girl that she provides us with 10 examples of ‘scandals’ ‘pinned’ to Benedicts Papacy.

    In fact make it 5.

    Even money says that she wont get passed ‘the clampdown on the nuns’; ‘the butler’; and ‘something about child abuse’.

  30. Kerry says:

    Fr Jim, I know it meant to say “way off base”, but journalists are also following the ‘way of base’. Heh.

  31. Pingback: Pope Benedict XVI's Hebephrenic Media Maelstrom

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