Friday 13th December 2019

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

News That Is Not News

November 17, 2019 Featured Today No Comments

By DONALD DeMARCO

Back in 1973, when the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down, The New York Times editorialized that the Supreme Court had brought “an end to the emotional and divisive public argument.” In retrospect, this oracular statement appears not only completely wrong-headed, but actually somewhat comical. If anything, the divisiveness of the abortion issue has greatly intensified over the past several decades.
Nonetheless, the Times seems to be clinging to its prediction of 46 years ago by refusing to report on the hundreds of thousands of people who have participated in the annual March for Life over that span of time. Like so many other newspapers, the Times is not really delivering the news of the times, but trying relentlessly to form opinion. It is not so much, as it boasts, “all the news that is fit to print,” but whatever fits a particular ideology. To a certain extent, the newspaper has become a “noosepaper.”
Neither the Supreme Court nor major circulation newspapers have the power to control people’s minds. As Abraham Lincoln once famously asserted, “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” There will always be a contingent of people who will stubbornly remain faithful to reality. There will always be stouthearted individuals who will notice the gross discrepancy between the news and what is really happening.
There was a time, however, when the newspaper restricted itself to conveying news. America’s first newspaper appeared in Boston on September 29, 1690. Its publisher, Benjamin Harrison, presented a wonderfully transparent standard for his fledgling enterprise. He agreed to provide, once a month, “an account of such considerable things as have arrived unto our Notice.” Aware that Providence might provide more newsworthy items than his monthly could record, he was prepared, “If any Glut of Occurrences happen,” to publish Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick more often. Thus, the responsibility for making news rested entirely in the hands of God. The newspaper was merely a conveyer of such occurrences.
This theological view of the news, most admirable in its own right, lingered on, if it did not dominate newspapers, for some time. James Parton (1822-1891) was an English-born American biographer who wrote books on the lives of Aaron Burr, Horace Greeley, Andrew Jackson, Benjamin Franklin, and others. In 1866, with the newspaper in mind, he observed that “recording with exactness and power the thing that has come to pass, is Providence addressing men.”
A Southern Baptist clergyman before the Civil War used to say, when a newspaper was brought into his room, “Be kind enough to let me have it a few minutes, till I see how the Supreme Being is governing the world.” Much of today’s “news,” however, has its origin in the editorial room. God is no longer news.
Richard Weaver, an American scholar who taught at the University of Chicago, has described the modern newspaper rather accurately when he states that it has become “a man-made cosmos of events around us at the time” and that “faith in the printed word has raised journalists to the rank of oracles.” Such oracles, needless to say, usually lack vision.
What is now deemed “newsworthy” is hardly news, let alone reporting the activity of divine Providence. I recall sending an email to the ombudsman of the Toronto Star pointing out how one of its columnists recklessly bashed the Catholic Church in one of his columns. I received a return email informing me the Star gives its writers a great deal of latitude.
The latitude attitude! A rather thin justification for injustice? Here is an instance in which a defense is made that appears liberal on the outside, but contains an embarrassingly indefensible message on the inside. Too much “latitude” means the erasure of any standard of excellence.
Distinguished novelist Walker Percy sent and re-sent letters to the editor of The New York Times. Percy’s letters were pro-life. Therefore, what he had to say did not fit.
Other critical letters to the editor I have dispatched also went unanswered. Another Star journalist had this to say about John Paul II during World Youth Day: “I acknowledge the Pope as I do Billy Graham, Osama bin Laden, the Dalai Lama, Jimmy Swaggart, and Ronald McDonald — all celebrated for their singular tunnel vision.”
Personally, I am not sure why Ronald McDonald is criticized for having tunnel vision. We may well ask, however, who has the real “tunnel vision” and who speaks with a genuine latitude? The newspaper is not averse to using words to represent the opposite of what that mean.
And we cannot underestimate the power and the influence of newspapers. Thus, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg can tell the world that “we are in the middle of the biggest crisis in human history and basically nothing is being done to prevent it” and, with the aid of the newspaper medium, the whole world responds.
St. Thomas Aquinas confessed that nearly all of his knowledge came from two sources that cannot lie: Nature and Scripture. These are two media through which the voice of divine Providence can be heard. He was fortunate not to have to deal with a self-serving and distorting mass media.
We, on the other hand, for whom the newspaper is part of our daily life, must be on the alert. Good literature, we might say, is news that outlives any dateline. It is not ephemeral; it endures. It is an important part of our education. When Shakespeare warned us that “all the glitters is not gold,” his wise maxim could easily be applied to the Sun and the Star and the Globe as well as to the Times.

+ + +

(Dr. Donald DeMarco is a professor emeritus of St. Jerome’s University and an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. He is a regular columnist for the St. Austin Review. His latest books, How to Navigate Through Life and Apostles of the Culture of Life, are posted on amazon.com.)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

If men knew what eternity is, they would do everything to change their lives. Our Lady of Fatima
#Catholic #SaintQuotes

Bishop Strickland . . . Jesus Christ Is God’s Divine Son Incarnate - https://t.co/dAMyTEzXT3

Load More...

Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone resigns after year of scandal

Vatican City, Dec 4, 2019 / 04:01 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Wednesday accepted the resignation of Buffalo’s embattled Bishop Richard Malone. The Diocese of Buffalo will be administered by Albany’s Bishop Edward Scharfenberger until a permanent replacement for Malone is…Continue Reading

Chinese bishop says Catholics must put ‘love for homeland’ first

Beijing, China, Dec 3, 2019 / 04:30 pm (CNA).- A Chinese bishop has said that Catholics in the country must put their loyalty to the state before the faith. Bishop John Fang Xingyao made the statement during a Communist Party…Continue Reading

Canada’s largest newspaper: Catholic schools must back LGBT ‘rights’ or risk losing public funding

TORONTO, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s largest newspaper threatened Catholic schools in an editorial that unless they get in line with homosexuality and transgender “rights,” support will only grow for an end to their public funding. The Toronto Star’s…Continue Reading

Pope compares politicians who persecute gays, Jews to Hitler

Pope Francis denounced the persecution of gay people on Friday and compared public officials who stoke hatred and anti-gay sentiment to Hitler. Francis delivered his remarks at an international conference on criminal law at the Vatican City, Reuters reported. “It is…Continue Reading

7-year-old whose mom tried to ‘transition’ him chooses to attend school as a boy

DALLAS, Texas, November 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Seven-year-old James Younger, whose mother enrolled him in kindergarten as a “girl,” has finally been able to attend school as a boy for the first time. James’ parents’ fight over whether he should…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan on Biden communion denial: ‘I wouldn’t do it’

Washington D.C., Oct 31, 2019 / 04:58 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York has responded to questions about the denial of Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden last Sunday. On an Oct. 31…Continue Reading

Judge blocks Alabama law banning abortions, pro-lifers plan to appeal to Supreme Court

October 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Alabama’s ban on virtually all abortions will not take effect on November 15 as planned, thanks to a preliminary injunction issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. In May, Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed the Alabama…Continue Reading

Biden denied communion at South Carolina church over abortion stance, report says

Democratic front-runner Joe Biden was reportedly denied communion by a priest at a South Carolina Catholic church over the weekend. Biden, a lifelong Catholic, stopped by Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence on Sunday, but was denied Holy Communion by Father Robert E. Morey,…Continue Reading

Bishops call out Fr. James Martin for questioning if Bible is right to condemn homosexuality

October 24, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Fr. James Martin, S.J. is coming under fire from a U.S. bishop and a cardinal after a tweet appearing to question the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality. Yesterday afternoon, Fr. Martin posted the following to his…Continue Reading

Pope Francis appoints new head of Vatican security

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2019 / 04:39 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Tuesday appointed the second-in-command of Vatican security to head the City State’s national police force, after the resignation of the former chief Oct. 14. The pope named Oct. 15,…Continue Reading

Ecological ritual performed in Vatican gardens for pope’s tree planting ceremony

Vatican City, Oct 4, 2019 / 10:30 am (CNA).- Pope Francis witnessed an indigenous performance at a tree planting ceremony in the Vatican gardens Friday, during which people held hands and bowed before carved images of pregnant women, one of…Continue Reading

Young man stuns courtroom by forgiving brother’s murderer, urging her to seek Christ

DALLAS, Texas, October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In an incredible display of human compassion, a young man whose brother was shot and killed forgave the cop who had been found guilty of his murder. Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger shot and…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Archbishop Paglia says priests can be present at assisted suicide

Vatican City, Dec 11, 2019 / 04:08 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said Tuesday that he would be willing to hold the hand of someone dying from assisted suicide, and that he does not see that as lending implicit support for the practice. Paglia spoke at a Dec. 10 press conference preceding a two-day symposium on palliative care, being sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Life and the…Continue Reading

Fulton Sheen beatification postponed

Peoria, Ill., Dec 3, 2019 / 01:10 pm (CNA).- The scheduled beatification of Ven. Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen has been postponed after several U.S. bishops asked that the cause be given more time for examination. The Diocese of Peoria announced the delay on Dec. 3. Archbishop Sheen’s beatification was set to take place on Dec. 21. “With deep regret, Bishop Daniel Jenky, C.S.C, Bishop of Peoria, announces that he has been informed by…Continue Reading

Duluth’s Bishop Paul Sirba dies unexpectedly at 59

Duluth, Minn., Dec 1, 2019 / 12:44 pm (CNA).- Bishop Paul Sirba of the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota died on Sunday, after suffering a heart attack before offering Mass. He was 59 years old. “It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I must inform you of tragic news regarding our Bishop,” said a Dec. 1 statement from Fr. James B. Bissonette, who had been the diocesan vicar general until the bishop’s death. The office…Continue Reading

Faithful Chinese bishop on the run from communists highlights Vatican/China deal disaster

November 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Vincent Guo was supposed to be the poster child of a successful rapprochement between the Vatican and China, as well as a sign that the longstanding rift between the Underground Catholic church and its state-run counterpart had been healed.  Instead, he is on the run from the Communist authorities.  How did this happen? Until last year, Bishop Guo was the ordinary of the Diocese of Mindong, located in the…Continue Reading

The Pope: not using or possessing nuclear arms will be added to the Catechism

During the in-flight press conference aboard the plane bringing him back to Rome from Japan, Pope Francis answers journalists’ questions on a variety of issues: from the immoral use and possession of atomic weapons, to the financial investigation inside the Vatican. By Vatican News “The use of nuclear weapons is immoral, which is why it must be added to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Not only their use, but also possessing them: because an…Continue Reading

Advertisement3

Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone Resigns After Year Of Scandal

VATICAN CITY (CNA) — Pope Francis on December 4 accepted the resignation of Buffalo’s embattled Bishop Richard Malone. The Diocese of Buffalo will be administered by Albany’s Bishop Edward Scharfenberger until a permanent replacement for Malone is appointed. A December 4 communiqué from the U.S. apostolic nunciature said Malone asked Pope Francis for an “early…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Political Correctness And The War On Thanksgiving

  By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly, sometimes bimonthly. He is Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and Associate Director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and President of the…Continue Reading

In Hong Kong, It’s The United States Vs. China Now

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN At first glance, it would appear that five months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong had produced a stunning triumph. By September, the proposal of city leader Carrie Lam that ignited the protests — to allow criminal suspects to be extradited to China for trial — had been withdrawn. And though…Continue Reading

Duluth’s Bishop Paul Sirba Dies Unexpectedly At 59

By CHRISTINE ROUSSELLE DULUTH, Minn. (CNA) — Bishop Paul Sirba of the Diocese of Duluth, Minn., died on Sunday, December 1 after suffering a heart attack before offering Mass. He was 59 years old. “It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I must inform you of tragic news regarding our Bishop,” said a December…Continue Reading

Holy See UN Mission . . . Cosponsors Symposium Of The Persecuted

By JOHN J. METZLER UNITED NATIONS — The stunning silence of the mainstream media which often overlooks ongoing anti-religious violence has become a sad barometer of our secular societies. Clearly, while most of the attacks are “somewhere else,” be it the Middle East, Africa, or South Asia, the media template seems preset to default to…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Here Is Your God

Third Sunday In Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10 James 5:7-10 Matt. 11:2-11   In both the first and the second readings an identical point is made. Isaiah is to say to those whose hearts are frightened: “Be strong, fear not. Here is your God.” James tells us: “Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Sheen: A Needed Patron For Bishops

  By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Shock: While McCarrick goes unexamined by leadership and comfortably ensconced in a Kansas friary, some Catholics initially feared that unspecified prelates, in an anonymous attack upon Archbishop Sheen’s reputation, indefinitely stalled his beatification. Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky and his people are now deeply saddened. Archbishop Fulton Sheen, credited with at least one miracle to…Continue Reading

Jesus Christ Is God’s Divine Son Incarnate

By MOST REV. JOSEPH STRICKLAND Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Divine Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, fully God and fully man. And that all power in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Him by the Father. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. And, we have been commissioned by Him to make…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Would you please identify the Church document that places restrictions on where prayer petitions are announced at Mass? — J.M., New York. A. The document is The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which says that the Prayer of the Faithful takes place after the Profession of Faith and before the bringing up of the gifts to begin the…Continue Reading

Prepare Your Heart To Receive The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10 Romans 15:4-9 Matt. 3:1-12 In the Gospel reading today, St. John the Baptist calls the people to repentance because “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” This is the same message Jesus preached when He began His public ministry. It is also the same thing we pray…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Charbel

By CAROLE BRESLIN Lebanon is a small country bordering both Syria and Israel on the Mediterranean coast line. It has a great diversity of religions as small as it is. There are Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims—who possess hostile attitudes toward each other. There are also Greek Orthodox and Maronite Christians. They all have a common interest in a man…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Fulton Sheen

By CAROLE BRESLIN Saints do not seek after fame, but sometimes it comes their way anyway, for the edification of the faithful and the world at large. Mother Teresa in her humble and simple way was known around the world and even won the Nobel Peace Prize. And television will certainly catapult a dynamic personality blessed with Irish wit and…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)