I know I should resist temptation, but I am fallible.
Every time the Church hits the news, I promise to avoid all occasions of sin - namely reading or watching anything in the mainstream media. I can guarantee that the Church's teachings and the Holy Father will be misrepresented, scorned and ridiculed... If I could persuade Paddy Power to take my bet, I would make a fortune... except that even they might notice that it's a dead cert.
One can almost understand an atheist or non-Catholic article to get things wrong - I say "almost" because responsible journalism used to involve checking one's facts before publication. But what makes me really angry is when the rubbish being spouted is given credibility because it is from a Catholic.
Ex-nuns and laicised priests are particular favourites for the MSM. People who write for that dreadful rag, The Bitter Pill (which ought to be prosecuted under the Trades Description Act) are also seen and heard from quite frequently. And any Catholic who has declared publicly that the Church is "wrong" on this or that doctrine is bound to come crawling out of the woodwork sooner or later (most probably sooner!)
With the Holy Father's abdication (or resignation, or renunciation, or whatever the correct term should be) on Monday, I had done quite well. I stuck to The Catholic Herald, the occasional piece in The Telegraph (only if the title seemed fairly positive) and the Catholic blogosphere.
I had done quite well, that is, until this afternoon, when a friend posted a link onto my timeline on Facebook.
The Bishop in question is Bishop Kieran Conry. I know that he is no fan of the Holy Father (his comments about the implementation of Summorum Pontificum make that clear), but one does expect a sort of statesmanlike attitude towards the Papacy from one's bishops. A degree of respect and diplomacy when speaking of the decisions of the Pope... you know, the sort of stuff which was actually demanded of the faithful by Lumen Gentium:
"...In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking." (LG n. 25)I was under the impression that Lumen Gentium was one of the documents actually produced by the Second Vatican Council. Obviously the good bishop has only read those bits which count as "reforming ideals."
Fortunately for my blood pressure, the majority of the article is behind a subscription paywall. Therefore I can't read the hatchet-job he has probably done on the Holy Father.