Jewish Journal


April 13, 2010

GetReligion: LAT dismisses doctrine as opinion



As promised yesterday, GetReligion takes up the Los Angeles Times’ profile of the archbishop selected by the Vatican to head the Archdiocese of L.A. Rightly so, tmatt takes issues with that whole “political” poison.

He mentions this paragraph from the LAT story:

Gomez also was not shy about plunging into national politics. He signed a letter endorsing a federal constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, contending that “the danger [same-sex marriage] betokens for family life and a general condition of social justice and ordered liberty is hard to overestimate.” This spring, he assailed President Obama’s healthcare reform package, largely because he felt it would increase the number of abortions. And when an Indiana bishop refused to attend Obama’s commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame, Gomez wrote a letter saying he was “in total support.”

To which he has this response:

Shocking. He even disagreed with, and disbanded, an advisory commission of lay people when it took a stance that clashed with church teachings on gay marriage. Then again, the archbishop was merely “telling the public what he believes church doctrine dictates.” You see, it is not possible to know what the Catholic catechism actually teaches about gay marriage — the bishop was merely stating his own personal beliefs about what “church doctrine dictates.”

Now, it’s one thing to quote people who agree with and then those who disagree with what the Catholic church teaches about marriage. That’s journalism. Go for it. Carry on.

I’m asking another question. Do the rules of journalism require that the details of the actual teaching — the words on the catechism page — be somehow blurred into opinion?

It gets worse. Gomez also thinks that practicing, faithful Catholics should attempt to live according to the church’s teachings. You can hear the gasp in the newsroom.

Preach it, brother. The issue here isn’t whether you agree with Gomez’s religious beliefs or the doctrine of any given faith, but whether you are trying to fit that square peg into the round whole of personal opinion and political preference.

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