Sunday, 21 August 2011

Media Fails the Church

Pope Benedict XVI arrives to huge crowds of young people in Madrid. Photograph: Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty Images
I have been astonished at how little coverage the World Youth Day in Madrid has received. Approximately 1,5 million young people travelled from around the world to join Pope Benedict XVI for World Youth Day 2011. This is phenomenal precisely because it is young people and is therefore a cause for great joy in the Church.
The only time that I have heard any reports on World Youth Day was when news channels like Sky News and the BBC made mention of the allegedly thousands of protestors who were against the Popes visit.

It is estimated that there were approximately 5,000 protestors in total. These protestors consisted of the usual mixture of secularist, gay, lesbian, feminist, alternate Christian and leftist groups. Together they amounted to only about 0.3% of the total number of young people who travelled to Madrid to celebrate World Youth Day with the Pope. If these groups had not merged for this occasion, I wonder if their numbers would even have registered against the 1,5 million young people.

The fact that the secular media conveniently favoured these protestors, when the reality is that 300 times more people travelled to support the Pope than travelled to protest against the Pope, is however not surprising. Catholics have grown accustomed to this.

What was also not surprising was the behaviour of these protestors. As usual these groups showed their complete lack of tolerance towards others, despite their own continual demand that the world tolerate their views and defend their rights. Their true colours and ignorance was clearly revealed when they screamed out phrases like “Nazis” and “Paedophiles”, while the young pilgrims sang “Hallelujah”, “Long Live the Pope” and “Benedicto”.

The argument that Spain could not afford the Popes visit during these difficult times also completely ignored the fact that organisers have already estimated that World Youth Day 2011 is likely to cover its own expenses.

There is little doubt that the majority of the secular media will not hesitate to attack the Church if given half an opportunity. This is no surprise. What this does though is vindicate my continual outrage when a Catholic newspaper publishes anything that criticises or finds fault in the Church. Even if it is alleged that it is done to encourage debate and create a catechetical opportunity for Catholics. The secular media does enough to cause Catholics to have need for debate and ongoing formation. What we need are Catholic newspapers who look for the positives and focus on that, so that its not just constant doom and gloom for Catholics but a welcome and refreshing ray of sunshine when we open the Catholic newspapers pages.

1 comment:

  1. Mark I share your sentiments. Really shows the little value press put on good events.