Media Coverage of Conclave a Disservice to the Public

By Raymond L Flynn

BOSTON, MA, February 26, 2013-- News coverage about the up coming conclave has been completely off the mark and doing a disservice to the public. Catholic viewers deserve more than controversy and scandal about the up coming conclave. 

Ambassador Raymond Flynn

No insight or creative commentary.

The same old questions being asked to critics with the same old answers given. The media spends more time trying to create controversy by interviewing  people who ideologically disagree with Church values. Often interviewing these well known critics to boost their ratings. The media's over exposure with critics, who are not only uninformed about the conclave, but hostile to Christian values and traditions.

The media has not been able to develop sound and reliable sources about  the Vatican, so much of the information they report, is hearsay or down right inaccurate. Consequently, concerned viewers get only sensational half true stories. The national media  hasn't figured out how to explain to the audience, what's about to happen.

The conclave is not a political election, a soccer match or a popularity contest.  The media should spend its time trying to figure out the issues of  concern. What's really important to  the future of the more than 1.3 billion Catholics throughout the world.

The College of Cardinals are already discussing the  problems and challenges facing the Church in a dramatically changing culture. Theologians and editors as smart as they are, can't answer those questions. And they cant figure out who will be the next Pope. But local parish priests and lay Catholics can talk about the issues. They'll tell you what concerns parents, older Catholics and disgruntled Catholics. Speaking to Hispanic Americans and Catholics of color will also give the media a good sense of what is on many people's minds and in their hearts.

Raymond L. Flynn is former ambassador to the Vatican and former mayor of Boston. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Catholics for the Common Good.

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