NBC's Today on Monday aired a sensationalistic report on the upcoming release of two books that are "exposing alleged corruption and infighting within the Catholic Church." Keir Simmons boosted a statement from one of the publishers involved, who claimed that "if the Vatican were a company they'd be in Chapter 11, and heads would be rolling from all the mistrust and financial abuses." Simmons also injected the political into his segment, underlining that "Pope Francis has introduced controversial changes opposed by some of the more conservative Church officials."
A group of purported Catholic professors wrote an open letter on October 26, 2015 to "the editor of the New York Times" decrying a October 18 op-ed item about the Catholic Church by a conservative writer Ross Douthat. The letter, which was initially signed by 25 academics from Georgetown University, Villanova University, and other schools (the list has grown in subsequent days), claimed that Douthat "has no professional qualifications for writing on the subject," and "his view...has very little to do with what Catholicism really is." The objectors concluded, "This is not what we expect of the New York Times."
In the largest security detail in American history, there's no such thing as a "chance" meeting. But that's exactly what the media is claiming took place between Pope Francis and Kentucky's Kim Davis. Frustrated by the Pope's obvious support for the jailed clerk, the press is stirring up speculation about whether the conversation even took place.
Last week, liberal news outlet Salon did their best to convince themselves that Pope Francis never even wanted to meet with Kentucky clerk and conscientious objector Kim Davis. And they did so quite colorfully, claiming that the pontifix was “Ratf***ed” into a meeting with the Rowen County, Kentucky elected official.
It was quite the scene on Wednesday night as the viewers of MSNBC’s All In and The Last Word saw extensive meltdowns by two different panels over the revelation that Pope Francis took time during his visit to the United States to secretly meet with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis with panelists decrying how “deeply disappointed” they were at the “bizarre” meeting.
Esquire’s Charles Pierce is a graduate of a Jesuit university (Marquette). It’s among the many reasons he’s been a big fan of Pope Francis, the first-ever Jesuit pontiff, and it’s probably one factor in his vehement disappointment that Francis met with, and apparently encouraged, gay-marriage objector Kim Davis last week in Washington.
Pierce referred to the pope’s behavior regarding the “nutball” Davis as “a fcking [sic] blunder,” “a sin against charity,” and “the dumbest thing [he] ever has done.” He concluded, as if addressing Francis, “I will pray for you, because, damn, son, you need it.”
What started as a rumor was confirmed by the Vatican mid-morning Wednesday: Kim Davis, the Kentucky County Clerk who went to jail for refusing to give same-sex marriage licenses, met with Pope Francis secretly last Thursday.
Brian Williams and Chris Matthews couldn't resist the opportunity to harp on the lack of married and women priests in the Catholic Church, as MSNBC provided live coverage of Pope Francis's open-air Mass in Philadelphia on Sunday. Williams pointed out that one of the archbishops at the Mass is "from a family, [but] he cannot go home to one. He cannot have one, and be...of service to the Catholic Church. And it is still that thing that differentiates and separates the religion from so many others."
On Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS, host Zakaria opened the show complaining about American Christians having "heated debates over abortion, abstinence, contraception, and gays," as he argued that Christianity is primarily supposed to be about "be[ing] nice to the poor."
A heavily politicized preliminary version of Friday's front-page New York Times story on Pope Francis's visit to New York City was another example of the sudden respect a religious figure garners from the liberal newspaper -- at least when he happens to agree on the Times' pet issue of immigration. Reporters Marc Santora and Sharon Otterman noted that the Pope's "words cut against the current political climate in which the debate about immigration often has a harsh and unforgiving tone."
Appearing as a guest on Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, during a discussion of the Catholic Church's refusal to allow women to become priests, liberal commentator Ron Reagan obnoxiously charged that "all of those monotheisms," specifying "Judaism, Islam, Christianity," are "terrified of" and "hate women" and "hate genitals." Moments later, he mocked these religions as encouraging people to offer their daughters to rapists. Reagan:
MSNBC's Chris Matthews revealed his loathing for a part of his Catholic upbringing on Wednesday's Hardball, and ended up mangling the theology behind a beautiful and ancient Church ritual for new mothers. Matthews turned to Catholic dissident Sister Simone Campbell for her take on Pope Francis's visit. Sister Campbell touted her liberal "Nuns on the Bus" campaign as a supposed way to "take the Gospel to where it wouldn't be otherwise, and all the other people that we meet along the road – so many of them are not churched...but that we can be in touch with them."