Card. Pell about liberal media on Pope Francis and use of media in the future

I have been saying from Day 2 of Pope Francis’ pontificate that, eventually, the liberal MSM (and ‘c’atholic media as well) would turn on Francis once they figured out he isn’t on their side of their pet issues.

I read now on the site of the UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald, that His Eminence George Card. Pell thinks along the same line.

Cardinal Pell: Pope Francis’s good press won’t last forever

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has said that Pope Francis’s popularity with the media is “too good to last”.

The cardinal, a member of the powerful Group of Eight cardinals appointed to advise Francis, made the remark in a reflection on World Youth Day in Rio. His comment followed the Pope being called “awesome” by the men’s magazine Esquire and his face appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair and Time magazine.

Considering the success of World Youth Day, Cardinal Pell said: “Pope Francis’s reception in the secular press is too good to last, but he has cemented his place in the hearts of young Catholics.”

The cardinal also wondered about the presence of surfers at the Pope’s final Mass in Rio.

He said: “The final Mass was a triumph of prayer and worship. Perhaps 50 or 100 continued their surfing, but I am not sure whether this was a small protest or evidence of religious indifference. Pope Francis made his usual three points in the sermon. [He’s a Jesuit, after all.] The young were urged not to spend their lives as spectators on the balcony as the struggle between good and evil, faith and fear, passes below.”

In an interview with The Catholic Herald in May the cardinal said he would be recommending to Pope Francis an overhaul of Vatican communications. “The Vatican has made giant strides in communications,” he said. “I would like to see that continue and develop.”  [DO I HEAR AN “AMEN!”?  And “communications” here has to include more than technology.  It has to do with “message”.  They need to rethink the Press Office, for one.  May they consult Greg Burke more often!]

He added: “The whole gamut, Vatican Radio, the internet, the Osservatore – every instrument that is used to communicate the Church which is based in the Vatican should be developed further.” [And we need to hone the “message”.]

He also said he was not sure Vatican Radio “needs to be quite so expensive”. [There is that.]

Your Eminence, I would also advocate a deepening of a “theology of communication”.   Some baby steps have been taken in this regard in certain documents of the Holy See, but a great deal more needs to be done with it.  May I advocate as a starting point: Christ the Perfect Communicator (Communio et progressio 11).


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  1. Palladio says:

    The ‘reception’ is interesting for another reason. Good or bad, it costs next to nothing to ‘receive’ the Pope, but at the same generates huge revenue, from advertising more than, in magazines at least, sales. Lady Di or Hitler, a celebrity makes money for media for almost zilch, and the media exist to promote and capitalize on that situation. Ergo, expect no justice from the media, which finds or creates commodities (infotainment, ‘reality’ television, pornography) for cheap and easy money.

  2. If Cardinal Pell turns out to be wrong about progressives eventually turning on Pope Francis, it may be because these are folks for whom “perception is reality”. Having won their approval with mixed messages and body language, whatever he does or says in the future, they may feel his heart is nevertheless still with them. Rather like a progressive politician whose base knows he’s still really still on their side, even if he occasionally finds it opportune to make some conservative noises.

    But I think he’s right that this ambiguity cuts both ways. While strengthening progressives confidence in continuing to do their damage to the Church, it may well have opened young folks more to new evangelization.

  3. JPMedico says:

    I’ve never fully understood Vatican Radio. On my way home from work today, for example, station 5 was playing “Yellow Submarine”. I don’t know… it just seems like there could be more useful things to broadcast.

  4. Bob B. says:

    I always enjoyed listening to Vatican Radio’s shortwave broadcast, but it’s always too short. It was a valuable tool of the Holy See’s during WWII and, given the increasing political correctness of the Internet and the media in general, I think they should keep and expand its operations.
    As for Osservatore Romano, however, since they’ve tried to be “hip” with stories of rock bands, etc, please stop – there aren’t enough Catholic items you can report?

  5. Nancy D. says:

    Cardinal Pell, in a debate with an atheist stated that he believed that there are some-same sex sexual relationships that are worthy of respect.

  6. Traductora says:

    Very good point that it’s not just the technology – it’s the message.

    The Vatican website comes across as giving the faithful day to day accounts…of the bureaucracy.

    Surely Our Lord had something else in mind. What is happening is that Pope Francis has caught the imagination of the world because he is so artless and outspoken, and now they are essentially asking him, “Master, what must I do to be saved (that is, live a life that means something and creates and does good and leads to eternal life).”

    The Vatican website should be more prompt in publishing the bureaucratic “regulatory” stuff, but it should also be realized that Vatican communications are a means of evangelization/formation not only for Catholics but also for the no doubt huge numbers of non-Catholics that visit the website.

  7. eremitaosppe says:

    @Nancy D. I don’t remember same sex “marriages” in the above article. It was about communication. Do start pick and prodding.

  8. eremitaosppe says:

    Sorry DON’T start picking and prodding…. Dang auto correct

  9. Nancy D. says:

    E., I am referring to the “liberal media”, as cardinal Pell takes liberty with the Deposit of Faith, which makes him part of the group of persons who believe The Truth of Love is evolving; the truth is, Jesus Christ Was in The Beginning, Is Now, and Forever Will Be.
    I suppose that by referring to the liberal media, I am actually referring to miscommunication.
    (See YouTube debate at about minute 55 minutes, Pell and Dawkins. Sorry I cannot figure out how to copy and paste. It is important to note that from the moment of conception, nothing has been added to or subtracted from the DNA of a human person, thus from the moment of conception, every son or daughter of a human person is, and can only be, a human person.)

  10. Nancy D. says:

    To condone even one same-sex sexual relationship, is to condone same-sex sexual acts, which demean the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person, created in The Image and Likeness of God, from the moment of conception, equal in Dignity, while being complementary as a son or daughter.

  11. Nancy D. says:

    I was, however, able to figure out how to copy and paste this document, which hopefully, will be put to good use in the near future against those persons who have left Christ’s Church spiritually, but have remained within His Church physically, causing chaos and miscommunication, as they lead many astray.
    The Charitable Anathema exists for the sake of Christ, His Church, all who will come to believe, and those prodigal sons and daughters who, hopefully, will return to Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    Father Z., can you offer your services to clean out the Vatican Press Office of incompetence, Marxists and illiterates? [Are you suggesting a Herculean Labor?] You would like the job of purging and setting up new, real Catholic brains in those jobs, I am sure. And, the Italians like guns, so you could bring yours with you…..

  13. Nancy D. says:

    Perhaps Father should just bring a sword, to separate the wheat from the chaff, thus making it clear who is with Christ, and who is anti Christ.

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