Thursday, 14 October 2010

Blessed Mary and secularist sledging continued...

The extraordinary continuing round of anti-Catholic media coverage of Sunday's canonisation continues today, so a little round-up of the count from a few of our key mainstream media outlets' online faces.

Today's coverage includes some classics - such as David Marr's rabidly anti-Catholic denunciation of miracles in the Sydney Morning Herald,.  But the prize has to go to the Australian, that on the one hand has a useful article pointing out anti-Christian prejudice in the media, but whose own coverage reflects all of the same problems.

The Australian denounces anti-Christian reporting

The Australian at least acknowledges the problem of distorted reporting, with an opinion piece today by Greg Sheridan arguing that the continuing attacks by the "professional denouncers of Christian orthodoxy" are undermining society.

He points out that media reporting is seriously skewed when it comes to covering Christianity:

"Like World Youth Day, the canonisation of Mary is one of those fairly rare occasions when popular Catholicism breaks through the gatekeepers of official culture in Australia and commands some mainstream attention.


Christianity generally is massively under-regarded in Australia. More people go to church every Sunday than go to football, but the media coverage is hardly commensurate.

I cannot recall seeing Pell on ABC1's Q&A, yet there is a Muslim representative on about every fourth episode of that show. There's certainly nothing wrong with having Muslims on the show, but it's almost as if there is a policy that any mainstream Catholic Church leader is ipso facto boring, not to be listened to or simply not a suitable person to participate in the mainstream media.

This is a sign both of a kind of immature provincialism in our culture and a serious ongoing prejudice against orthodox Christianity of any kind.

There is, of course, specific anti-Catholic prejudice, of the kind seen in the ridiculous treatment of Tony Abbott on ABC1's Four Corners when he became leader of the Liberal Party..."

And the Australian's coverage of the event...

The Australian is ahead of most other media outlets in actually having nice consolidated coverage on Blessed Mary at the click of an icon.  But what do you actually get when you do click?  Most of it is colour and light around the canonisation ceremonies and what one can only term the McKillop industry - lots on assorted (politically correct) pilgrim groups - McKillop family descendants, an Indigenous group, etc; a few stories on the miracles attributed to her; and similar colour and light stories.  But almost nothing of substance from a serious theological commentater.
 
Sydney Morning Herald/Age
 
Still, that's way ahead of the Fairfax newspapers which continue their stream of anti-Catholic secularist propaganda today with yet another piece attacking the very concept of miracles, this time from David Marr.
 
Oh yes, and there is a snooty piece about our Ambassador to the Holy See, Tim Fischer's apparently unfortunate enthusiasm for the event, where he is deprecatingly described as having the "enthusiasm of a kid at Christmas". 
 
The ABC
 
The ABC of course manages to outdo even Fairfax in its anti-Catholic spin.  Click on the 'Catholic' tag for their news site, and the top story is criticism by the Atheist Foundation of Australia for Federal Government funding of the canonisation ceremonies.  How can that even warrant a story?
 
The rest of their 'news' stories similarly focus on trivia: someone trying to push their portrait of the saint on assorted art galleries; Coonawarra wine being flown to Rome for the celebrations...all riveting stuff.  Nor do any substantive stories make 'The Drum'.
 
In fact you have to go over to the ABC's religion and ethics ghetto to find some quite helpful articles by Fr Paul Gardiner (postulator for her cause), Joel Hodge, Anne Hunt, Archbishop Mark Coleridge and others.   So why can't these people get published in the mainstream outlets?
 
Oh well, at least you can watch the actual ceremonies on ABC News 24 from 6pm Sunday onwards...

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