The "Reviled" Pope - October 16, 2003

Times Watch for October 16, 2003

The "Reviled" Pope

Frank Bruni reports from Vatican City on the 25th anniversary of the reign of Pope John Paul II-but Bruni can't let the anniversary pass without taking potshots on how the Pope is "reviled by many" for daring to uphold conservative church doctrine.

Although Bruni's "For Pope, a Milestone on Road of Epic Events" credits John Paul II for his "fervent opposition" to Communism and for a "remarkable reign," Bruni also accuses the Pope of having "widened some rifts among Catholics, his conservative take on church teachings infuriating many progressives and driving them further from the fold. John Paul has been revered by many people, reviled by many others but ignored by few, because he could not be."

The Pope is not only reviled, he's also somehow an alienating force for upholding traditional Catholic teaching: "In other ways, John Paul has been the pope who alienated. He communicated to Catholic women that they should not hope to be ordained as priests. He made clear to homosexuals that the church did not regard a loving partnership between two men or two women as anything remotely close to a heterosexual marriage. He forbade the use of artificial birth control and discouraged talk about doing away with the vow of celibacy for Catholic priests."

(Note to Bruni: The Catholic Church was against artificial birth control before Pope John Paul II-a teaching reemphasized by Pope Paul VI when he issued his encyclical letter Humanae Vitae in 1968.)

For more of Frank Bruni's story on the Pope's 25th anniversary, click here.

Birth Control | Catholicism | Conservatism | Gaffes | Pope | Religion | Women

Bush's Tax Cuts Have Cost California

Bush is going to California to meet with governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Times reporters warn the state may not get much else from the president thanks to his tax cuts: "Tax cuts and the cost of the war on terror have emptied the federal treasury, leaving little for California and other hard-pressed states." There's no mention of all the California citizens who have benefited from Bush's tax cuts.

Thursday's Times story (by John Broder and Richard Stevenson) also pastes an unflattering adjective onto the most prominent conservative politician in the race: "More than 60 percent of those who voted in the recall election chose Mr. Schwarzenegger or State Senator Tom McClintock, a doctrinaire conservative Republican."

For more of Broder and Stevenson on Bush's trip to California, click here.

George W. Bush | California | Labeling Bias | Arnold Schwarzenegger