The New Yorker was once famous for the ferocity of its fact-checking and editing. No more. Any magazine whose editors give a pass to falsehoods (e.g., Catholics believe that “heaven, and possibly earth, belongs exclusively to them”), grossly tendentious mis-readings of documents (e.g., Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate taught “the dim possibility of Jewish salvation”), and factual errors (e.g., Karol Wojtyla was “one of the young theological advisers at Vatican II”) is a magazine that is not seriously edited.
Jane Kramer’s lengthy tantrum in the New Yorker’s April 2 issue, “The Pope and Islam,” is really several articles in one. It’s a wailing wall for left-leaning Vaticanisti, disgruntled Curial bureaucrats, and Italian Catholic activists unhappy with Benedict XVI’s challenge to Islam. It’s an effort — rather unsuccessful, I fear — to come to grips with the substance of the Pope’s Regensburg Lecture in September 2006. It’s yet another attempt to drive a wedge between Benedict XVI and John Paul II, along the hoary “nice Wojtyla/nasty Ratzinger” axis of pseudo-analysis. And it’s a brusque dismissal, without serious examination, of Benedict XVI’s suggestion that the first inculturation of Christianity in the world of classical rationality was providential, because it gave early Christians the intellectual tools to turn their evangelical confession of faith (“Jesus is Lord”) into doctrine and creeds, such as the Nicene Creed universally prayed by the Church.
The media generally seems to follow the relativistic multi-cultural political correctness that is the subject of my Monday book review and several earlier postings. Having been present occasionally at 'events' later reported by various elements of the media, I firmly believe their collective motto is often that of Groucho Marx: "Who are you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?"
To read the whole Weigel article, check out the Denver Catholic Register. To read the New Yorker article on which he comments, click here.