Looking for a fight

Very often the Holy Father says one thing, and the media reports something else. Or they take one line of a lengthy homily or text and make that the center of their conversation.

In Sunday's homily for the solemnity of the Epiphany—the visit of the three wise men—Benedict XVI reflects that all creation resonates with the beauty of the creator; that a true exploration of nature is a pathway to know God. He notes that

the universe is not the result of chance, as some would have us believe. Contemplating it, we are invited to read in it something profound: the wisdom of the Creator, the inexhaustible imagination of God, his infinite love for us. We must not let our minds be limited by theories which come only to a certain point and thatif we look wellare not in fact in concurrence with the faith, but do not succeed in explaining the ultimate meaning of reality. In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, in its grandeur and its rationality we cannot but read the eternal rationality, and we cannot but let ourselves be guided by it to the one God, creator of heaven and earth. If we have this look, we will see that He who has created the world is he who is born in a cave in Bethlehem and continues to dwell in our midst in the Eucharist, it is the same living God who interpellates us, loves us, and wishes to lead us to eternal life.
Here we encounter many themes common to Benedict XVI: his agreement with St. Bonaventure that there are echoes of the Triune God in creation, as well as the need for the transcendent to ennoble human reason, so that reason is not limited to only what humanity can conceive. And, of course, the primacy of love.

But some in the media, as if looking for a fight, sought to portray this beautiful homily as a gauntlet thrown down at the feet of science, which is just not the case. In Catholic thought, faith and reason have always had a gentlemen's relationship.

If you don't want to read the entire homily, Zenit News has a nice summary here. And for a great forum to track how the news covers matters of faith—all faiths—visit GetReligion.org. It's a blog run by real journalists, who cover real religion stories; the blog name comes from a quote by William Schneider, "The press ... just doesn't get religion."

I'd have to agree.

Sadly, too many of us only get our news about faith, the Church and Benedict XVI from a mainstream media that hasn't the time or the interest to showcase the treasures around them. Instead, they take something like the beautiful quote above—one that sees nature as a means to knowing God, and which shows the Holy Father's love of human expression and growth—and they write a headline like, "Pope challenges Big Bang theory."

Sheesh. And the media wonders why people are loosing confidence in it. 

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About the Blog

Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.