Friday, August 27, 2004

Does CNS live up to its "mission"?

The mission of Catholic News Service, as stated on the web site is this, in part:
The mission of Catholic News Service is the mission of the Church itself -- to spread the Gospel through contemporary means of communication.

Our mission is to perform this task by reporting the news which affects Catholics in their everyday lives.

Our mission is to report fully, fairly and freely about the involvement of the Church in the world today.
So what do we read in CNS News Briefs for Aug 26?
Answer: Joint LCWR-CMSM assembly focuses on creating peace in violent times
FORT WORTH, Texas (CNS) -- When members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men came together in Fort Worth Aug. 19, they spent a portion of their time together addressing the one issue that has seemed to monopolize the Catholic Church's focus for the past two years -- the sex abuse crisis. Their joint meeting ended Aug. 21 after having addressed a range of issues considered most crucial to the leadership groups. The two groups re-convened separately Aug. 22 to attend to matters particular to their separate memberships. The more than 800 members of U.S. religious leadership gathered with the primary purpose of discussing world peace and social justice. Their theme, "No Longer Bystanders: Creating Peace in Violent Times," was specifically addressed in all sessions, from the opening prayer service to a closing panel that told of sisters' personal experiences of violence worldwide.
I cannot help but wonder why CNS did not also report on the group urging
"one another not to allow the church to be hijacked by seemingly dictatorial pronouncements by a conservative hierarchy. Be bold, prophetic and, when necessary, even defiant, they told one another."

Or even this from the same source:
They told one another not to be cowed into silence by the Vatican on issues such as the role of women in the church and priests who wanted the celibacy rule lifted. It was daring talk that appealed to attendees and stirred many to their feet in rousing applause.
Certainly, this is just another example which causes some to wonder whether CNS has some problem with objectivity or even, if it really can report "fully, fairly, and freely" as stated in its Mission? Perhaps it's only a case that the reporter(s) from CNS were absent when
Many of the religious leaders said the church hierarchy was fostering theological violence by imposing narrow interpretations of doctrine.
Thankfully, there are other faith Catholic sources which fulfill CNS' mission of "reporting the news which affects Catholics in their everyday lives."

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