WashPost Gets It Wrong: Slams Pope Benedict as 'Far Less Accessible' to Read Than The New Guy

November 27th, 2013 7:52 AM

The Washington Post offered a balance of experts in their story on the new apostolic exhortation published by Pope Francis -- including Ed Morrissey of Hot Air -- even as they were impressed at how Francis used “trickle-down” like a liberal Democrat. The “direct reference to 'trickle-down' economics in the English translation of his statement is striking,” confessed reporters Zachary Goldfarb and Michelle Boorstein.

But demonstrating the liberal media’s dual tendency to praise Francis and slam his predecessor Pope Benedict, Goldfarb and Boorstein uncorked a sentence that is factually false:

Francis’s language on the economy has been far more accessible than that of Benedict, a theologian who wrote primarily in thick books hard to untangle for the regular lay-person.

Post defenders might rest on the "primarily," but the implication here is that Benedict was an ivory-tower intellectual who couldn't be understood by anyone outside a graduate school or a seminary -- and that he wasn't concerned with being accessible.

A Catholic who read Pope Benedict's writings could easily suspect these Post reporters might not have read Benedict on the subject of the economy, since they don't seem familiar with his writings or books during his almost-eight-year pontificate. Benedict used similar language about the inadequacies of capitalism just last December, but the Post offered no story on that statement. It only covered the Pope arriving on Twitter.

Certainly, the theological works by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger like "Introduction to Christianity" are no place for a beginner. But how can the Post ignore the three Pope Benedict books written precisely for the regular layperson and published by Random House -- the three-part series on "Jesus of Nazareth"? The first one came out in 2007; a book focusing on Christ's last week on Earth followed in 2011, and a book on the "infancy narratives" in 2012. His two papal encylicals were put out for the faithful in short book form.

Faithful Catholics and others interested in the thought of Pope Benedict also could read more accessible books where he was interviewed by journalists like Peter Seewald, like "Light of the World," released in 2010. Ten seconds on Wikipedia could have stopped their misfire of a sentence.