On Faith

A Reuters report filed March 31 says Cardinal Tarciscio Bertone, has blasted the media for highlighting the Vatican's views on sex while maintaining a "deafening silence" about charity work done by thousands of Catholic organisations around the world.

"We face an extremely grave problem. The church's messages are subject to a type of manipulation and falsification by some western media," Bertone said in an interview with Le Figaro Magazine published in Paris on Saturday.

"I see a fixation by some journalists on moral topics, such as abortion and homosexual unions, which are certainly important issues but absolutely do not constitute the thinking and work of the church," he said.

By coincidence, our J-school chair sent around her weekly update with a link to the Newsweek/Washington Post site, "On Faith," which is currently examining the media's treatment of religion.

Hosted by reporters Sally Quinn and Jon Meacham, the site features topics considered by quite a diverse panel (including Margaret O'Brien Steinfels) from Christian denominations and other faiths.

Among today's featured panelists are former Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong and a witch. Again by coincidence, I presume.

Whaddya think? Will the discussion help reporters do a better job with religious reporting? Or does it help elucidate why some news readers (like Cardinal Bertone) get annoyed with the press?

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