It's not as if we didn't know how badly the media customarily get it wrong. Just on the basis of stories about the Catholic Church I've read over the last five years, it would seem that they are more likely to get it wrong than to get it right.
The biggest problem is obviously just journalistic sloppiness, but the chief aggravating factor is the lack of understanding by secular journalists about how the Church works. To even think that the whole teaching of the Church can be changed by one set of meetings over the course of a week and the issuing of a document by bureaucratic underlings is preposterous on its face to anyone who has even the remotest idea of how the Church works.
But the ADHD, quick news-cycle, go-on-to-the-next-story mode of the modern instant media doesn't have time for important distinctions, nor do liberals feel any restraint in doing end zone dances when no one has even started a play yet if it looks like they will benefit from appearing to have won.
And it doesn't help that the Vatican's communication bureaucracy is not taking this into account when it issues documents. When you're talking to people who have an attention span of about five seconds and are lacking a shred of historical knowledge, you've got to craft your message to take that into account and the Vatican needs to start doing this.
So now we have this meme going around that the Church has changed its position on the same-sex marriage issue, which is absolutely, positively, 100 percent, no-question-about-it wrong.
Robert P. George today said it best:
The relatio, then, is raw material for this week’s discussion, which will prepare for next year’s discussion, which may provide fodder for a document by the Pope.
So it’s conducive to something preparatory to something (possibly) advisory.
It has no teaching authority whatsoever.
What’s more, it proposed no changes—none—in the doctrine or moral teaching of the Church.
Sheez. Read the rest here.