HLN’s Kyra Phillips Presses for New Liberal Pope

What does Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement mean to the media? Pushing for a liberal pontiff – according to HLN’s Kyra Phillips.

Phillips interviewed Anthea Butler, Graduate Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, on the topic during HLN’s “Raising America,” which airs daily to “look at the news the way parents do.”

When Butler called Pope Benedict XVI “conservative,” Phillips introduced her own interpretation. “You bring up exactly what everybody is wondering – Is this an opportunity for a more liberal pope? Is that what Catholic families overall in 2013 want?” she asked.

Apparently, it’s what Phillips wanted. After Butler responded that “some” American Catholics might desire a more liberal pope, Phillips asked the same question again. She cited a study illustrating the main reasons why Catholics leave the Church – “the sex abuse crisis,” “the homosexuality stance,” “conservative politics,” and the “status of women” – to lead into the same question: “Thinking ahead, is this an opportunity for a more liberal pope?”

Butler finally replied to Phillips “satisfaction,” “I think it an opportunity for a more liberal pope. Whether or not they will do that is the question.”

In direct contrast with Phillips’ aggressive inquiry, EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, a Catholic news director and lead anchor spoke with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin today on the papacy’s future. Arroyo shattered Phillips’ agenda, saying, “I think you’re fooling yourself if you think that a new pope is going to overturn established doctrine.” He explained the pope is defender of the faith and that, “This isn’t a presidential election – you don’t get a new pope and suddenly, you know, all the rules change.” Take that, HLN.

The media is no friend to Pope Benedict XVI, and asking the same question twice more than proves the point.

Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture at the Media Research Center