What the Pope Has To Say

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Benedict1.jpgWhen popes come to America, so comes the inevitable criticism, pre- and post-visit, heaped upon the media for not understanding what the pope is really doing here. This is all rather wearying, especially since much of it is no more than partisan spinning by Catholic commentators eager to pretend that the pontiff is really on their side. At the moment, not surprisingly, the whipping boy is media interest in what the pope might have to say of relevance to the current election cycle (check out Mattingly here).
Well, okay. Journalists owe the public at least some indication of what the pope considers his main business to be, if such a thing can be discerned. But, in the end, why is it more important to focus, say, on Benedict’s desire to let Americans in on his conviction that there is such a thing as absolute truth than, say, on a stray but pointed remark on the obligations of Catholic voters? In my humble opinion, the pope should no more get to determine what is newsworthy about Himself than any other object of journalistic attention.