Friday Laughfest: Time Magazine Profiles Pope Benedict

An AmP reader sent along this Time Magazine profile of Pope Benedict with the disclaimer, “I realize that Time is no longer a journalistic enterprise…”

No kidding. This stinks.

In the “People Who Mattered” section, Kayla Webley [I’m sorry, but doesn’t this sound like a pseudonym?] writes about the Pope [my comments in brackets]:

Highs: While the Pope remains firm on his decree that ordaining women as priests is a grave crime (the same designation given to pedophilia) [SERIOUSLY? Did TIME just imply the Church holds pedophilia and female ordination to be identical infractions?!], he was willing to loosen up [HAR-DEE-HAR-HAR – there goes that uptight pope being uptight again] — albeit ever so slightly — on another firmly-held edict [those Catholics, always rules rules rules]. But while headlines around the world claimed Pope Benedict XVI endorsed the use of condoms [and we all know it’s the headlines, not the reality, that matters], what the Pope actually said was a bit different. He still strongly disapproves of condom use as contraception [pesky, pesky pope], and said only that a male prostitute may choose to use a condom to prevent the spread of the HIV infection. [Wait, these are all the “Highs” TIME can remember? No mention of the papal visit to the UK, the year for priests, his book-length interview opening his mind to the world, or any of the 185 individual news items involving the pope I found worth blogging about in 2010?!]

Even more laughably egregious:

Lows: [TIME is right – this is a “low” – for them] Accusations of sexual abuse first from Ireland and later mainland Europe smashed any remaining perception that predatory priests were an American anomaly [actually, tragically, child abuse is a human phenomenon – the Church is actually now the safest place in the world for children] and thrust the Vatican into its greatest crisis since the 2002 revelations of abuse in the U.S. [well, according to TIME headlines] The scandal brought the church’s standing to a new low [because the Church is all about public opinion polls] among believers in Europe and, in March when allegations surfaced in Germany, turned the spotlight on the Pontiff himself. It seems [seems, huh? Go after the spiritual leader of a billion souls on the basis of “seems”? classy] 30 years ago, during a brief tenure in Munich, the Pope, then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, had transferred a known abusive priest to his own archdiocese, ostensibly for therapy. But just days after his arrival, the priest was allowed to serve among the flock and subsequent sexual assaults occurred [this oft-repeated lie, repeated here again, has been debunked and debunked – but Kayla evidently has a problem using Google]. While Benedict has done a number of substantial things to deal with the crisis [try “paradigm-changing moves, implemented well before American journalists were on the case”], including meeting with abuse victims and accepting the resignation of high-ranking clerics, he remains silent on his time in Germany [he’s also remained silent about the smear that he’s a closeted homosexual, because that slur has about as much proof to support it – none].

May 2011 be the year of Time Magazine not mattering. Good riddance.

Ed Mechmann, on his Archdiocese of New York blog, also took the time to get Time back on track.



  • Jacob

    I really enjoyed your parentheticals. Keep up the good work, Thomas!

  • wondering

    Maybe you and other catholic bloggers should create something like an oscar, for the biggest lies and misleadins in journalism and present it to them at the end of the year.

  • Phil

    Some of your snark seems a little misguided.

    [and we all know it’s the headlines, not the reality, that matters]

    Time Magazine was clearly not implying that the headlines were the only thing that mattered. Rather, your bracketed snark here interrupts a sentence where Time is saying, “While headlines claimed one thing, the reality of the message was something different.” That’s accurate, isn’t it? Why are you throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

  • Jamie Ward

    snarky and disrespectful isn’t the same as funny.

    • Justin

      Neither is Time Magazine.

  • greg smith

    Hey – She was under deadline. Had to throw something together. Whadda want? Perfection?

  • David Homoney

    Time Magazine is a disgusting enterprise. I agree, good riddance.



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