Daily Archives: October 12, 2009

New Feature on Vatican Website

Well. I was excited at first, but now am a little annoyed.

The Vatican Website has started puting CTV video coverage of the Pope’s speeches etc. with the relevant document on their webpage. For example, see here, the speech that Benedict XVI made to the Czech academic community on his recent visit to the country. Just below the heading you will see the link to “Video” – a quicktime film of the entire speech. (You need to download and install quicktime if you haven’t already got it).

I thought “goody!”, as I knew this speech had been given in English. BUT the bloody Italians have gone and covered over the pope’s original English with a voice over in Italian. Fat lot of good that is. You think they could have put that on the “Italian” translation page, and given us the original without the voice over.

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

P.S. By the way, it is a good speech and worth reading. John Allen calls is “rhetorical jiu-jitsu” on the Pope’s part. Here’s a taste from John Allen’s report:

“Relativism … provides a dense camouflage behind which new threats to the autonomy of academic institutions can lurk,” the pope said, speaking in English as he has throughout his trip.

“Is it not the case that frequently, across the globe, the exercise of reason and academic research are – subtly and not so subtly – constrained to bow to the pressures of ideological interest groups and the lure of short-term utilitarian or pragmatic goals?” the pope asked.

“What will happen if our culture builds itself only on fashionable arguments, with little reference to a genuine historical intellectual tradition, or on the viewpoints that are most vociferously promoted and most heavily funded?”

“What will happen if in its anxiety to preserve a radical secularism, it detaches itself from its life-giving roots?”

Benedict didn’t bother providing direct replies to those rhetorical questions, but the implied answer to “what will happen?” seemed fairly obvious: nothing good.


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“March for the the Babies”: It might as well never have happened

At least as far as the media is concerned.

My wife and kids went to the inaugral “March for the Babies” here in Melbourne on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, I couldn’t join them – there was an unfortunate clash of scheduling that saw me at the ordination of our deacons that morning.

The march was held to mark the shameful anniversary of the passing of our liberal abortion laws here in Victoria. Cathy says there were “probably a thousand” people there.

Yet the ABC TV news that evening didn’t even mention it. Nor did The Sunday Age the next day. There was a mention that it was going to happen in Saturday’s Age (see this article), but then, suddenly, nothing. Deafening silence. Zilch.

I always say, in the ecumenical and interfaith business, that if you don’t get pictures and reports into the media, it might as well not have happened. I don’t think that this is the case with this march, I mean, I am sure that some good will have come from it, but… you see what I mean? How is a message to get out if the media just turn away and ignore an event like a thousand people marching on Parliament House on a Saturday Afternoon?

Good Lord, if it had been for a march to save the Yellow Breasted Whistling Parrot, it would have made the front page – even if only a tenth of the number turned up. But babies? Last year’s news.


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