Correction of the Year? Time Emends 'Rejection of Church Dogma' Claim About Pope

On Monday, Terry Mattingly of GetReligion blog revealed a glaring error made by Time magazine in its online poll of readers about who should be their Person of the Year. The magazine had to issue the following correction regarding its one-sentence description of Pope Francis: "An earlier version of this post suggested that Pope Francis rejected some church dogma. He does not."

Whoever made this correction didn't give a completely accurate portrayal of the original post, as it didn't use this "some" qualifier: [screen cap below the jump, via Mattingly's Google cache link]

As much as the liberal news media and left-leaning Catholics have hoped that Pope Francis would start ordaining women and approve of same-sex "marriage", the Bishop of Rome has not rejected any of the Church's longstanding doctrines. In fact, the Pope wrote that "the reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion" in the same document that both parties recently hyped because of the pontiff's economic critiques. He also reaffirmed the Church's opposition to abortion in that apostolic exhortation.

Time certainly isn't the only media outlet to make grandiose claims about Pope Francis. Nearly three months earlier, on the September 13, 2013 edition of CBS This Morning, correspondent Charlie D'Agata wildly contended that the native of Argentina is "one of the most progressive popes in modern times". D'Agata trumpeted how "instead of moving into the lavish Apostolic Palace of his predecessor, Pope Benedict, Francis opted for an understated guesthouse room."

Back in July 2013, CBS journalist Dean Reynolds bizarrely wondered if Francis was "breaking with the Vatican" due to his widely-misrepresented "who am I to judge?" remark about people with same-sex attractions. Reynolds' only talking head during his segment was a former priest who apparently "quit the priesthood...after he felt the Church intended to purge gays".


Near the end of his post, Mattingly wondered, "Can anyone think of a more amazing religion-beat correction during the past 12 months than this one in Time?" Craig Silverman of Poynter blog replied in a Tuesday item that also spotlighted Time's correction: "As of now, I’d say this one is tops." They might be onto something.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center