Pope or Dope on Boston Front Pages

January 18, 2014

A nifty little criss-cross has religion and politics switching places in the local dailies today.

Boston Herald front page:


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Inside the story gets two pages: a news report that seems to be mostly AP material, and his ‘n’ her columns from Ray Flynn and Margery Eagan.

On page 3 of the feisty local broadsheet, there’s this piece:

Mitt aide rues blocking doc

Right off the top, the documentary “Mitt” shows a defeated Mitt Romney teary-eyed and searching for help in crafting a concession 011614mitt001speech — and the personal number for President Obama.

“By the way, someone have a number for the president?” a dejected Romney asks on election night Nov. 6, 2012, in his hotel suite in Boston.

“What do you say in a concession speech?” he adds.


Seriously? Anyway, the point of the piece is this: “[A] top Romney adviser and friend admitted the campaign blew it by repeatedly opposing the release of the documentary, which could have helped Romney shed his stiff, robotic image.”

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, Romney moves up to the front page.


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This “Mitt” piece has Romney’s son Tagg doing the lamenting:

“I was frustrated that we were not able to get an accurate portrayal of who my dad was out there,” Tagg said in an interview Friday, as he discussed the film. “The campaign team wanted to present a very controlled image. . . . The movie shows a very real human being: a flawed person with weaknesses but someone who is much more real and understandable.”


Meanwhile, it’s the Pope who gets page 3 in the stately local broadsheet, also via the AP.

Pope said to defrock 400 priests in 2 years

VATICAN CITY — A document shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over two years for sexually molesting children.

The statistics for 2011 and 2012 show a dramatic increase over the 171 priests removed in 2008 and 2009, when the Vatican first provided details on the number of priests who have been defrocked. Before that, it had only revealed the number of alleged cases of abuse it had received and the number of trials it had authorized.

While it’s not clear why the numbers spiked in 2011, it could be because 2010 saw a explosion in the number of cases reported in the media in Europe and beyond.


Here endeth the criss-cross.


Boston Herald Is the Papal of Record

February 20, 2013


The Boston Globe has a nice Page One piece about the Great Mentioner throwing Sean O’Malley’s hood into the bakeoff for a new Pontiff, but our feisty local tabloid goes all Poparazzi over the prospect.

Page One:

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Inside spreads:

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Oh, yes – don’t forget the editorial:

A Boston pope — really

Here in the Hub of the Universe it goes without saying that the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston would be a contender for pope — just as the Patriots always start the season as contenders for the Super Bowl and our best politicians inevitably are contenders for the White House.

There is a certain irony, however, in that Cardinal Sean O’Malley is being mentioned in Vatican circles as the most likely American contender in part because he is the antithesis of papal opulence. He’s Capuchin sandals, not Prada loafers.


Ouch. The Papal seat isn’t even cold and already they’re piling on God’s Rottweiler.

Sic transit gloria mundi and all that.

Boston Dailies Are Papal Tigers

February 12, 2013

In this most Cathaholic of towns, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald are on Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation like Brown on Williamson.

For starters, the old Pontifox owns both front pages.

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From there he gets Vatican-size chunks of the newshole – three full pages in each.

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Not to mention his own editorial in each paper.


The pope who resigned

In the end it wasn’t the Twitter account that made Pope Benedict XVI a truly 21st century pope. No, it was his decision to resign — a nearly unprecedented action — when he knew that age had robbed him of the ability to minister to his flock of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world.

“Strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” the 85-year-old pontiff wrote in the message announcing his decision.



Benedict’s strict teachings defined an era in Catholicism

THROUGHOUT HIS nearly eight-year papacy, and for 25 years before that as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal officer, Pope Benedict XVI steered the Catholic Church away from the liberalizing reforms symbolized by the Vatican II conference of 1962. His strict interpretation of Catholic teachings led to a proportionally greater emphasis on the church’s opposition to birth control, abortion, and homosexuality. Meanwhile, the Vatican asserted tighter authority over church affairs, a reversal of the decentralizing trends of an earlier era.

These shifts in focus sometimes put the Vatican at odds with followers in the West; Benedict, in turn, expressed concern over the loss of faith among many Catholics in Western Europe and the United States . . .


But the Herald gets the Popeier-than-thou nod for also featuring an op-ed by Boston College professor of moral theology James T. Bretzke, and this Jerry Holbert cartoon:

holberts 02-12 cartoon



Boston Globe’s Papal Cut

December 13, 2012

That old Pontifox, Benedict XVI, was all tweetness and light yesterday as he took to Twitter to bless the faithful (over one million served so far).

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Of course  everybody’s reporting on the gala debut – except the Boston Globe. Its print edition had no mention of it – versus the Boston Herald, which splashed it all over Page Two:

023607_121212pope01Faithful flock to @pontifex

Pope Benedict XVI’s debut tweet kicked His Holiness’ coolness factor up a notch yesterday, but the 85-year-old’s messages of faith will have more merit if he actually socializes with his growing flock of followers, social media experts say.

“It’s one thing to know the Pope’s on Twitter but when the Holy Father — or one of the cardinals — responds to me on Twitter, it’s like, wow, then I’m connected,” said Todd Van Hoosear, principal of Cambridge social media consulting firm Fresh Ground. “That’s social. That’s where they really ought to take it eventually.”


And just so the circle will be unbroken, that same Todd Van Hoosear went to @pontifex and plugged his Herald appearance (see bottom tweet):

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That sort of digital communion is a beautiful thing. As opposed to some of the truly nasty stuff going up @pontifex.

Meanwhile, back at the Globe, they still haven’t jumped on the Popewagon. The only Pope-a-Tweet they have is a preview from last week.

The hardworking staff will let you know if they seek our indulgence.