How ridiculous are things getting in the wake of The Francis Effect™?

Here is a headline from Reuters.  I really hope that the otherwise bright Phil Pullella didn’t impose this:

Pope, in nod to conservatives, calls abortion ‘horrific’

What a shocker!   The Pope is against abortion!

But wait.  There’s more.  Someone at Reuters figured out that this was absurd.   They revised the headline to:

“Pope, after conservatives’ criticism, calls abortion “horrific”

Hang on.  Isn’t this worse?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Francis and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Facta Non Verba says:

    I’m not the first to ask: does this mean the Pope is Catholic?

  2. JimGB says:

    Yup. The Pope would never have said abortion is horrific but for the criticism of “conservatives,” never, ever. It is beyond ridiculous but shows the extent to which the MSM is trying to portray the Pope as someone who is forceful and independent in his thought when he does someting they approve of, and a tool of conservatives in the Church when he does or says something they frown upon. But hey, who am I to judge.

  3. Evidently, the view motivating such headlines is that the pope is at heart a flaming liberal but, in the usual way of liberal politicians, occasionally makes conservative noises when necessary to quiet complaints.

  4. John of Chicago says:

    Headlines are inherently troublesome because, in their brevity, they usually mislead. What is worse about this Reuters dispatch and so many others that reported the Pope’s remarks to the diplomatic corp is the selection of this one phrase from a much longer, passionate and densely packed eight paragraph exhortation. Context, context, context. Here is the full paragraph in which the Pope speaks of the horror of abortion.

    “Peace is also threatened by every denial of human dignity, firstly the lack of access to
    adequate nutrition. We cannot be indifferent to those suffering from hunger, especially children, when we think of how much food is wasted every day in many parts of the world immersed in what I have often termed “the throwaway culture”. Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as “unnecessary”. For
    example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day; children being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; and children being bought and sold in that terrible form of modern slavery which is human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity.”

    I wish Reuters, et al., would report at length on the Pope’s entire speech?

  5. Gretchen says:

    Don’t worry, the press is just entering into the spirit of lio that the Pope called for.

  6. alexandra88 says:

    “Breaking news coming in from the Vatican. Yes, this has just been handed down, and it appears that the pope is a Catholic. So without any further ado, let’s wheel in our talking heads on-screen…”

  7. disco says:

    In order to appease ultra traditionalist neo nazis, pope concedes murdering children is problematic.

  8. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    I remember observing (in a similar context) that the real news headline (and I have my parka in the attic and a herd of swine in aviation camps, training, just in case) would be “news media report position of Catholic church accurately”.

  9. Spade says:

    Reuters is gonna flip out when they hear about that whole transubstantiation thing

  10. teomatteo says:

    from the AP, Nicole Winfield.
    “In remarks that were less diplomatic and more a reflection of his own priorities, Francis called for the elderly to be treated with respect that their wisdom warrants, and for children to be protected from exploitation, slavery and hunger.”
    ” he prefers to speak less about the church’s moralizing rules and more about its positive, welcoming message”
    It’s those darn ‘moralizing rules’. They are not positive, certainly not welcoming. They are the Church Rules. But he does somehow prefer to speak for the protection of children. The child in the womb? Well that must be the ‘less diplomatic’ Pope. Help…….. me……..

  11. McCall1981 says:

    I went to Fishwrap’s site to see if they would even mention this, and was greeted by one of their headline stories (which is a couple of days old) titled “With few words on abortion, Pope Francis shows new way to be pro-life”. Given his recent statement, I wonder how long that story will be up.

  12. Nicholas Shaler says:

    I’m sorry Father Z, but everyone with a liberated brain knows the sun rises at dusk.

    We must now send you to an uber-liberal reeducation camp to be corrected for saying something so anti-liberal.

    /Sarcasm off/

    Well said Father, well said.

  13. Vecchio di Londra says:

    This might almost be seen as (shock, horror) ‘proselytizing’.

  14. Vecchio di Londra says:

    In other breaking news, ‘Bears Apparently Still Active in Woods!’

  15. wolfeken says:

    Is it really too far off? I can’t blame the secular media on this one. Even the USCCB’s news service, just a few days ago, wrote a piece on how Francis has hardly mentioned the issue in ten months.

  16. Mike says:

    It’s tiresome constantly to have to push back at AP, Reuters, the New York Times, et al., for the human brain craves information from a source that it can consider to be objective. But the economies of new-media competition and decades of prior diminution of adult control have left those outlets of most of the few conscientious editors (and editorial standards) they ever had.

    Intelligent, active participants in the conversation — in whose number one hopes most or all of Fr. Z’s readers can be included — need to resign themselves to the need to debunk these sources and their lies, which imperil souls. Meanwhile, getting accurate news will require more digging into primary sources than we’re used to having had to do, lest we occasion the grave sin of deliberate ignorance.

  17. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Did you hear the one about the time the MSM got a religion story right?

    No, how’s it go?

    I dunno, I’ve never heard of them getting a religion story right.

  18. celpar says:

    The BBC picked this up and said it came after the Pope had ‘been criticised by some conservative Catholics’. The impression given was that the Pope is an OK guy, who’s fine with abortion as much else (‘Who am I to judge’ and remarks about ‘obsessives’ will haunt the rest of this pontificate), but felt the need to give us right-wingers (not approved of by the BBC) a concession. And of course it also gave the impression that there are plenty of Catholics who don’t have a problem with abortion. That can’t be so- can it?

  19. jm says:

    Let’s see: the Pope, via his rhetoric, creates such an impression that he is lenient and non-judgmental that the gay magazine ADVOCATE makes him Man of the Year and AP thinks his abortion comments are a nod to conservatives. And the stalwart com-boxers all are taking the media to task?! No, it could not possibly be tragically tone-deaf messaging on the part of His Holiness, right? This is a soft Ultramonatism that is almost comical to watch in terms of impact. The Pope is attempting to to give Catholicism a progressive image makeover, and we are stunned when a media and soundbite culture takes him at his spin?

  20. vetusta ecclesia says:

    Despite the facts that every Archbishop of Westminster has been made a Cardinal and that his predecessor has only recently left the Congregation for Bishops, the announcement of the red hat for Archbishop Nicholls and his appointment to the C. for Bishops was greeted by The Times (of London) as demonstrating the” new openness ” in the Church under Pope Francis!

  21. Geoffrey says:

    “Pope, after conservatives’ criticism, calls abortion ‘horrific'”.

    I didn’t know “conservatives” wielded so much power.

  22. Johnno says:


    Did Conservatives also force poor ol’ Pope Francis to hop in his popemobile and cheerfully greet the pro-life crowds around Rome too? He looked pretty happy to me… Mabye he was hiding his disgust really well…

  23. BigCath22 says:

    Pope, in nod to Catholics, promulgates Catholic teaching.

  24. benedetta says:

    Ah, the mainstream media, besotted by that mind-altering nostalgia for halcyon days that never were, when men and women could just eliminate that pesky life created by their free love, without any ethical, moral, humanist, or legal ramifications whatsoever…?

  25. StJude says:

    WHAT!!!???!!! Why its almost as if Pope Francis is….. oh what’s the word…..oh yeah, Catholic.

  26. BLB Oregon says:

    Is it possible that it was only back in March when the world was “meeting” the new Pope, and the online news outlets such as TMZ described Cardinal Bergoglio in this way–that is, with his unequivocal opposition to both abortion and gay marriage as the first items on the list? The press has always known this about the Holy Father, then. It is since then that they have tried to obscure it, even going so far as to twist his point whenever he has cautioned Catholics not to concentrate on one demand of the Gospel at the expense of any others.

    From March 13, 2013 (yes! it has barely been nine months!! Does that seem possible?)
    “Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been elected the new Pope. He has chosen the papal name Pope Francis.

    Here are the facts:
    — He staunchly opposes gay marriage and abortion
    — He’s from Argentina
    — He’s 76 years old
    — He’s the son of Italian immigrants
    — He’s the first Latin-American pope … and the first from the Americas
    — He’s known for his advocacy on behalf of the poor, primarily in his home country

    Read more:

Comments are closed.