Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Mis-reporting the survey ...

How does this, from the Vatican Information Service, with my italics added:
Finally, Archbishop Bruno Forte recalled that the approach for addressing the challenges of contemporary family life should be that which Blessed John XXIII noted in his diary shortly before the opening of Vatican Council II: “All is to be seen in the light of pastoral ministry: that is, in terms of souls to save and to edify”. He added, “It is not, therefore, a matter of debating doctrinal questions, which have in any case been clarified by the Magisterium recently … the invitation deriving from this for all the Church is to listen to the problems and expectations of many families today, manifesting her closeness and credibly proposing God's mercy and the beauty of responding to His call”.
become this, from the BBC:
The Vatican has launched a worldwide survey to find out what Catholics really think about its teaching on marriage and family life.
I have only quickly perused the questions contained in the Lineamenta for next October's Extraordinary Synod. But I do not believe there is a single question which asks for what the respondent thinks about Church teaching, or about whether or not they believe it should be changed. Some questions do ask about the extent of acceptance of teaching and about difficulties with putting it in to practice; some others ask about the attitudes and practice in local Churches.  But there is no suggestion anywhere in the Lineamenta of debating the truth or otherwise of the teaching itself...

UPDATE 2: If you saw the earlier update referring to how my own Diocese of Brentwood was presenting the "survey" (it isn't a survey in any conventional sense) on its website, I have now deleted that update. The wording on the Brentwood Diocese website is now significantly different: Calling for Responses.

4 comments:

Genty said...

It seems that more than a few journalists have drawn the same misleading conclusions.
The BBC reporter would have got his confirmation about the intention of the survey from a source/s close to the Vatican.
Constantly blaming the media is wearing a bit thin, I'm afraid.
I think we have to acknowledge that there are disruptive forces at work at the heart of the Vatican.

Joe said...

And, Genty, your own source/s are ....

The disjunction between the BBC strap line and the VIS report (which is quoted in the body of the BBC report, and has therefore been read by the author of that report) seems fairly clear. My post was less a question of blaming the media (I don't think I have articulated the "anti-Catholic BBC" line in the past), more a case of pointing out to others this disjunction ....

Genty said...

My source is my first-hand knowledge of how frontline reporting works. Not all reporters are able to attend all press conferences because they are also covering other stories. They will often have to rely on picking up the documents with the covering press release after the event. They may attend, but either way they will seek clarification from their contacts within an organisation with a question something like: "Does this mean what I think it means?"
A non-Catholic may find it baffling that a worldwide consultation is going out on matters which are widely acknowledged, even by non-Catholics, to be non-negotiable. So, in this instance, a reporter on a deadline would contact a person who is "in the know".
I didn't think you were bashing the BBC, though my view is that with its wholly secular ethos it finds the Catholic faith totally mystifying and therefore open to constant challenge. More generally, what I do find troubling is the frequency of misreporting now occurring in the media and the amount of confusion reigning even among Catholics.

Jackie Parkes said...

Talking of misreporting - take a look here:

http://catholictruthblog.com/2013/11/03/the-church-of-holy-father-francis-asks-tell-us-what-teachings-you-want-changed/