15 October 2014

UPDATED (Again): Does the Holy See Press Office know what it's doing?

The more I follow the activities of the Holy See Press Office these days, the more I question the competency of the same office because it continues to act in ways that are not very helpful.

His Eminence Wilfred Cardinal Napier, O.F.M., Archbishop of Durban (South Africa) acknowledged this at today's press briefing moments ago when he said:
Surely the press office of the Holy See is supposed to help explain the teachings and workings of the Church, not to confuse things more, right?

It was only a few days ago that I questioned the bizarre decision to release the texts of the daily homilies and testimonies of the married couples, but not the interventions of the Bishops and Cardinals.

Only a few moments, Father Thomas Rosica, who works within the Holy See Press Office, told us that the Bishops and Cardinals were, from the beginning of the Synod, urged to be open and free in talking with the media, which makes one ask all the more: Why have the interventions of the Bishops not been published?
It simply does not make any sense whatever.

My questioning of the press office increased today when Cardinal Napier was the only one of the five representatives at the press briefing not to be surprised at the number of reporters who turned out for this afternoon's briefing:
Following yesterday's release of the so-called "midterm report" on the discussions thus far in the synod hall, how any member of the press corps could possibly be surprised at such a turnout is simply baffling and demonstrates that the press office simply does not understand the media today or maybe even know what it is doing.

To make matters worse, Cardinal Napier indicated that members of the press received a copy of the relatio before the Fathers of the Synod, which is simply incomprehensible. What is more, he made this acknowledgement regarding the document, which the press office insists is not official:
Clearly, this is not helpful.

The questions of competency are only reinforced by a comment made by His Excellency Fernando Cardinal Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, at this afternoon's press office:
Cardinal Filoni and the staff of the Holy See Press Office seem completely - and maybe even happily - unaware that the vast majority of the members of the media want nothing at all to do with helping anyone understand the "richness of the debate." Rather, the media want to do only one thing: they want to use the discussions of the Synod to advance their own agenda which consists mostly of things against the dignity of the family. The refusal to publish the interventions of the Bishops and Cardinals only helps the media misrepresent the discussions held within the synod hall and work against the good of the family and, ultimately, of society.

Hope is one thing, but oblivious optimism is quite another.

At the end of the day, I can only ask one question: What's going on inside the press office? The press office simply doesn't get it.

UPDATE: Mr. and Mrs. Jeff and Alice Heinzen, of the Diocese of La Crosse (Wisconsin) were selected as auditors and are presently attending the sessions of the Synod, and blogging their way through it. Mrs. Heinzen offered an update today in which she voiced her frustration over the release of the relatio:
I’ve in recent years been an advocate of the idea of ‘brainstorming’, after all it gives everyone permission to say what they need to say without due diligence. But working toward the common good through the due diligence is of great value I have come to see. It leads us to the best practices to be on the same page, etc [sic]

So having the draft without due diligence provides in my mind and [sic] incomplete thought process.

Phil Lawler has a interesting suggestion for a new department in the Roman Curia:

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