Saturday, November 12, 2005

Rocco, Rocco, Rocco...

Don't you just hate it when journalists do that?
Now, I'm quite a fan of Rocco's Vatican reportage - there's no doubt, but that he has his finger on the pulse. However, his blog can disappoint at times due to tendancy to engage in what I'd describe as Conservative-baiting. Now, I'm all in favour of ideological cages being rattled on occasion. However, in reporting the address of the Pope to the new American ambassador he says:
The second paragraph can be read as a pointed reference to the administration's stance on the post-9/11 torture and detention camps which have been heavily reported on the last few weeks. No mentions of abortion, gay marriage, Christian cultural jihad, etc., but a distinct recommitment on the part of the Holy See to working toward solving "the more significant problems... such as the scandal of continued widespread hunger, grave illness and poverty in large areas of our world," specificially citing "the crushing debt that feeds the cycle of poverty" in much of the developing world.

Now... that didn't sound quite right and on reading the address we find that the list of 'more significant problems' appears in the following context within the Pope's address:
For this reason, I appreciate your kind reference to the Holy See’s efforts to contribute to finding effective solutions to some of the more significant problems facing the international community in recent years, such as the scandal of continued widespread hunger, grave illness and poverty in large areas of our world. An adequate approach to these issues cannot be limited to purely economic or technical considerations, but demands broad vision, practical solidarity and courageous long-term decisions with regard to complex ethical questions; among the latter I think especially of the effects of the crushing debt that feeds the spiral of poverty in many less developed nations
This list of 'significant problems' refers back to a list of issues on which the US Ambassador has complimented the Vatican. It's therefore sloppy (at best) to suggest that the Pope has left abortion out of the hierarchy of significant problems. The list of significant problems comes from the American Ambassador, not the Pope; the Pope was merely responding.
Normally I'd post something like that in the comments box of the blog in question, but he seems not to have allowed comments on that post.

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