Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

Today Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Vatican. Francis was slowly driven around a sun-drenched St. Peter’s Square in an open-top car, shunning the bulletproof, air-conditioned popemobile preferred by his predecessors. At one point, he asked to stop the car and got out to bless a disabled person.

1 Comment

  1. I am very pleased to see the favorable press coverage that Pope Francis is receiving. This extremely holy man deserves fair treatment by the press. However, I am stunned by the bias that seems to be evident in some of the press coverage. Inaccuracies, no matter how favorable, do not serve anyone well.

    For example, there are the Religion News Service’s comments on Pope Francis’ use of an open-air jeep to travel through Saint Peter’s Square prior to his installation. First, while watching the installation on television, I saw that the attendees were wearing coats. As a frequent visitor to Rome, I checked the Rome weater report and noted that it was expected to reach 58 degrees on Tuesday morning in Rome. Second, I have attended outdoor Papal audiences in St. Peter’s square held by both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. In all cases, the weather was so warm that people were using anything they could to shield themselves from the sun and heat. In addition, one of the audiences was Benedict’s first after his unfortunate comments about Islam during his visit to Germany. The Italian newspapers were filled with front page headlines about terrorist threats being made against the Pope, the holy spots in Rome, and the entire city of Rome. Yet, in all of these appearances, the Popes were driven around Saint Peter’s Square in open-air jeeps prior to the audience program on the steps of Saint Peter’s Basilica in spite of the weather or threat to their personal safety.

    The report that Pope Francis shunned the “bulletproof, airconditioned popemobile preferred by his predecessors” was a stunning insult to Popes John Paul (who was nearly assassinated on that very spot) and Pope Benedict who showed amazing courage in face of terrorist threats, both of whom regularly used the open air jeep to greet the faithful in Saint Peter’s Square.

    I am sure that Pope Francis will generate a great deal of favorable reportage. There is no need to embellish the truth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.