Following up on Margaret’s morning post…
John Allen, Jr., senior correspondent with the National Catholic Reporter, senior Vatican analyst with CNN, and author of The Rise of Benedict XVI, answered questions yesterday at the Washington Post about the pope and the ongoing sex abuse crisis. It’s a short read and Allen is typically fair in his answers.
Here’s a good exchange:
Washington, D.C.: Is there a reason that I’ve never read anything that the Catholic church does good in newspapers? Only seems like the press pays it any attention when it’s time to bash it.
John L. Allen, Jr.: It depends on who you read and what you watch, of course, but in general it’s true that media coverage of religion tends to concentrate on crisis and scandal. That’s been especially true lately, of course, with regard to the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict. My own sense is that’s one part lack of imagination in the media about what else to cover, and one part lack of aptitude among Church spokespersons and leaders about how to offer a rival narrative. However you explain it, it’s too bad, because there are plenty of compelling and positive stories to tell.