Monday, 15 April 2013

Media Interview During Mass

I am really annoyed about the recent Mail & Guardian interview entitled “Napier: I don't know any gays”.  I am angry that Cardinal Napier was portrayed in the manner in which they did by using that ridiculous and unethical sound bite.  

I am also obviously angry at all those non-Catholics who used that unethical sound bite to have a go at Cardinal Napier.  However, I didn't expect anything less from them or the Media.  

On the other hand I am deeply hurt by those who are Catholic who jumped on the bandwagon and did not take the time to read the full article.  It seems to me that many Catholics allowed their prejudices against the Church to affect their understanding of what Cardinal Napier said. They allowed those prejudices to drive their public commentary on twitter. 

I am also deeply hurt because Cardinal Napier elected to trust the media again.

Your Eminence,

I am upset that you trusted the media again and that you actually let them into your office for another interview. 

I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you are a very good, trusting, holy man.  However the world in which we operate is not like this!

The bottom line is that the media simply cannot grasp the concepts that you are trying to convey to them because they have long forgotten that language.  Neither do they have any interest in the message that you or the Church wishes to give to the world through them.  They feel no compulsion or obligation to you or Catholics to convey that message as you intend it to be conveyed.

You see your message, the Church’s message, unfortunately does not sell their newspapers. 

Selling newspapers is all that most editors and journalists really care about.  They, like most in the corporate world, are slaves to that hungry monster that lives off a diet of pure cash.  That monster doesn’t care how many wrongs were righted, or even how many rights were wronged.  It only cares about keeping itself fed on cash.

And don’t be fooled, if it is not the drive to feed the monster, it’s the drive to feed their personal egos and get recognition that drives their behaviour.

So, you can explain to them all that you like when they interview you.  You may even think that you are succeeding.  But you are not.

When all is said and done and they leave your office, know this; they are going to go back to their fancy offices to sift through all that you said until they find just that one line. 

That’s all that they need; that’s all that they want; just one little line. 

You see, all that it takes for them to generate a media storm is one oversimplified, even misleading line; a media storm, which will send you scurrying around in vain to put out the fires and restore the damages that they have created. 

Not only will they send you scurrying, they will also send many Catholics scurrying into cover too; confused, possibly ashamed, maybe angry, even frustrated.  Catholics who have no idea of what just hit them, again. 

Please remember that Catholics, as loyal as we are, can only work with what we are given. 

Yet when you talk to the media, in the privacy of your office, guess who is controlling the giving? 

Yes, it’s the same media that you trusted and let into your office for that interview.  The same bunch that smiled sweetly in your office and drank your coffee.  The same bunch that sifted through your full interview, wherein you went to such great lengths to carefully explain so that they would properly understand, yet which they reduced to just one horrendously oversimplified misleading line.  

When it comes to the secular media, it is better, Eminence, that you leave them alone.  Wash your hands of them.  In fact, better still, shake the dust off your feet, as Jesus says in Luke 9: 3 - 5.  (“‘… when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.’”)

Please, Eminence, if the media wants to hear what you, or any bishop, or any member of the clergy, has to say, invite them to Mass. 

Tell them to come listen to your homily during Mass. 

Let them write about that!  No interviews.  No Q&A sessions. 

You see, Eminence, during Mass, we Catholics are all sitting there with you hearing exactly what it is that you say.  We are no longer hearing just their devious little one-liners from a meeting, which only they were privy to. 

And even if, after Mass, it still all comes down to just their usual one liner, at least they had to sit through the entire Mass to get it.  We Catholics know the power of the grace of God that is at work during Mass. 

God bless you.

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