Sunday, July 8, 2007

New York Times Promotes Baseless Criticism of Pope Benedict

The Church's critics are - normally - easily thwarted by the full truth. In this case, the NYT repeats false information about the new motu proprio, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, that Abe Foxman is circulating as the head of the Anti-Defamation League:

Amid opposition from other Jewish groups, the Anti-Defamation League condemned the change on Saturday, calling it a “body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations.” While an earlier reference to “perfidious Jews” was removed officially from the Tridentine Mass just before the council, which set the stage for progressively better relations between Jews and Catholics, the group condemned a remaining prayer on Good Friday calling for Jews’ conversion.

“We are extremely disappointed and deeply offended that nearly 40 years after the Vatican rightly removed insulting anti-Jewish language from the Good Friday Mass, that it would now permit Catholics to utter such hurtful and insulting words by praying for Jews to be converted,” Abraham H. Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s president, said in a statement.
In fact, the new motu proprio actually states that any expanded permission does NOT apply during the Triduum (Good Friday is part of the Triduum):

In Masses celebrated without the people, any priest of Latin rite, whether secular or religious, can use the Roman Missal published by Pope Blessed John XXIII in 1962 or the Roman Missal promulgated by the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI in 1970, on any day except in the Sacred Triduum.

Which means that Foxman is complaining about a phantom reality that does not exist. It actually would seem that the pope has gone out of his way to thoroughly eliminate any basis for a Jewish person to take umbrage with the motu proprio's contents.

Which is worse: that the New York Times did not do any verification research before repeating the demonstrably false claims of Foxman, or that the Times uncritically repeated Foxman's claims in its reporting knowing they were false?

NB: I wonder if the NYT even knows that Good Friday is the one day of the year that, contrary to what Foxman states, Catholics do not celebrate Mass.