✣ Highlights from the week online
A good man maligned
Tim Muldoon of Aleteia wrote about the film Spotlight, based on the story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the clerical abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston. Muldoon raised concerns about the portrayal of the public relations officer at Boston College, Jack Dunn. Muldoon quoted a journalist who describes how Dunn was “emotionally and physically wrecked by the way he’s portrayed in the film. “At one point he cried, describing how his son, a senior at BC High, felt compelled to stand up and defend him in front of his classmates before they went, as a class, to see the film.”
Muldoon concluded: “Make no mistake: the film tells a wrenching story of violence against young people, covered up by men who should have stopped that violence. Dunn himself calls the film a ‘powerful movie that does a great service to showcase what investigative journalism can do in uncovering the truth’. But it did not need to malign the character of a good man in order to tell that story.”
Mystery of the martyrs
Terry Mattingly had some cross words for the New York Times this week concerning their coverage of the significance of the Ugandan martyrs during the Pope’s trip to Africa.
He began: “The questions for this morning are rather simple: (a) Who were the Ugandan martyrs, (b) why were they killed and (c) why are they so symbolic for millions of Christians in the growing churches of Africa?” Mattingly concluded that the New York Times in particular was “vague, silent or inaccurate” by simply reporting: “Christians were burned to death for adhering to their beliefs.” The BBC simply said that the 19th-century king Mwanga II was “worried about the spread of Christianity”.
Part of the reason, said Mattingly, was that the martyrs –in their teens and 20s – refused the king’s advances. But they also died because they “refused to stop teaching the faith to young people”.
The Pope’s new album
Marlow Stern of the Daily Beast reviewed Pope Francis’s “wacky prog rock album” which has just been released, which features eleven tracks of the Pope delivering speeches against a backdrop of reworked hymns. Stern warns: “Sadly, any images you have of the Pope strumming a guitar in the studio sans zucchetto, cigarette dangling out of his mouth, will remain just that, as the Pope didn’t so much as hit a cowbell on the album”.
The tracks were orchestrated by Don Giulio Neroni, who also made albums by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Stern concluded that while Francis was no Justin Bieber, “it still counts as another endearing and unexpected move from the most boundary-pushing Pope to date.”
A newborn baby was found in the Nativity crib of a church in Queens, New York City, last week. The boy was wrapped up in towels and had his umbilical cord attached, but was in good health. The church is a “safe haven” under New York law, which means the mother will not be prosecuted. Fr Christopher Heanue of Holy Child Jesus said he was “shocked” by the discovery but also moved as it showed the church was a “home for those in need”.
✣ An American diocese is hiring a former John Kerry adviser to poll the faithful. John Marttila, who served as a strategist for vice-president Joe Biden as well as secretary of state Kerry, will poll Catholics in eastern Massachusetts on behalf of the Archdiocese of Boston. Among the questions cradle Catholics are being asked are: “How well do you think the Church has responded to the abuse crisis in recent years?” Church spokesman Terrence Donilon said: “We want to be good listeners.”
✣ On Sunday, while Pope Francis was in Africa, a pair of his black Oxford shoes were in Paris, placed alongside thousands of other pairs in the Place de la République. The shoes were intended to replace a climate change march that had been cancelled due to security fears.
✣ The week in quotations
I used my jab, I used my agility.
But it was with the power of Jesus
that I won this fight
Boxer Tyson Fury
Speaking after his victory against Wladimir Klitschko
This is a trial against freedom of the press
Accused journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi
Interview with La Repubblica newspaper
Lay down these instruments of death
Homily at Bangui cathedral
The subject of daily discussions is how to leave. Go anywhere and in any way
Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus
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