Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Pope's discourses defy simplistic headlines

"VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has once again weighed in on pro-life and family issues in a way that offers clues to the style and substance of his still-young papacy.To judge by media reports, the pope's talk June 6 to the Diocese of Rome was no less than a declaration of war against gay marriage, abortion and birth control. Newspapers plucked out phrases like "anarchic" and "pseudo-marriages" for some zinger headlines.But that's one of the problems with Pope Benedict: Often, his well-reasoned discourses don't break down easily into sound bites and headlines.As one veteran wire service reporter recently lamented in the Vatican press office, the new pope is hard to write about because short citations don't do justice to his complex arguments. You can't just cherry-pick quotes.That was especially true when the pope spoke about the family to a packed Basilica of St. John Lateran. His 3,000-word speech was a seminar, not a tirade."

Here, I'll help the press: "Sin Less!" "Abortion Bad! "More Prayer!" "Adoration Good!"

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