To judge from the title of this article (Pope Francis completes contentious canonisation of Otranto martyrs) you would be forgiven for assuming that riots had broken out at the Vatican. You know, water cannons knocking over soccer hooligans defiantly blowing on their vuvuzelas while the Holy Father was speaking. However, having read articles from a few secular sources now, it seems that the contention boils down to this – the press doesn’t like it. There are a few commonalities running through this reporting.
- This was all the nasty Pope Benedict’s idea, a wicked parting gift to his successor, the nice Pope.
- It is somehow provocative for the Church to acknowledge that martyrs are indeed still saints even if they were martyred by Muslims. Apparently the appropriate response of the Church should either be silent cowering, or a loud cry of “Thank you sir, may I have another.”
- You will look in vain for a peep of moral commentary on the crime itself, the cold-blooded execution of 813 men for refusing to renounce Christ. Apparently the real problem is that the Church is being impolite in acknowledging the murder of its citizens.
I wonder how the journalists writing about this would have responded if the sword had been at their throats? We may yet find out.