Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lost in Translation, AP, NYT & the Vatican

The abuse issue is revolting enough without heaping inaccuracy on indignation. One expects international news agencies to be careful with translations expecially when such delicate matters as reputation rest on them. Is it too much to ask the AP and NYT to understand the Catholic judicial system and canon law or at least not to make ignorant judgments? Is it too much to employ real translators instead of machines on highly controvesial subjects?  Take a gander at one of the most useful blogs on journalistic malfeasance.

Here is a brief summary of some of the above issues.

I spent an hour today interviewing Leon Podles who has pored over tens of thousands of pages of abuse documents in every diocese in America. He's a former federal investigator who earned his Ph.D at University of Virginia. He's on board of the pontifical International Institute of Theology in Austria and endowed the chair in Catholic Studies at McGill University in Canada. He was also a victim of abuse himself though it is not the focus of Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church. All this to say that he's no opportunist. I recommend the book for those with very strong stomachs. Even they shouldn't read it near mealtime.

I spoke with him when the book was first published but this was a much more fruitful interview. The only good news I can take away from this recent re-exposure to moral evil is that Benedict XVI may be the greatest reformer since Pius V and that the experience of the American bishops' may blaze a path for other national hierarchies. 

1 comment:

  1. The very best thing about Kresta is that he does not flinch from some very painful information. Even when looking to balance the news, to round out the story, he doesn't duck away from the horrible news. I can't tell you how refreshing that is. I listen to AMR mornings and afternoons. It's obvious when we're being coddled, patted on the head, and told not to listen too hard to the bad news. I know it's well-intentioned and I know there are distortions in the news, and I know you are all good people, but please stop doing that. Kresta's courage in the faith is extremely inspiring to me, though the news is tough medicine. Ok, tough medicine, but let's take it and respond the right way, make things right to the extent that we can. That's where we as Catholics are right now.