Saturday, April 19, 2008

Does Sr. Janice Have a Hearing Problem?

Pope Benedict addressed a group of Catholic educators Thursday. Following the address Channel 13's Evan Dawson caught up with Sr. Janice Morgan, Superintendent of the MCCS System. In an on-camera interview Sr. Morgan told Dawson what she heard the Pope say. (The clip begins with the word “saying.” It would seem that words like “I heard the Pope” were lost in editing.):

... saying that we are on the right track, we are doing the right things with these children. But he knows that it's very difficult. And if I had had one question to ask the Pope it would have been, 'How can you help us financially carry on this mission of the Church? How do we go about it?' And I think he came to it by saying we have to teach the children and the parents and the children of children to help us in the future because that's what life is about.
Now compare that with what His Holiness actually did say:

The Catholic community here has in fact made education one of its highest priorities. ... It is an outstanding apostolate of hope, seeking to address the material, intellectual and spiritual needs of over three million children and students. It also provides a highly commendable opportunity for the entire Catholic community to contribute generously to the financial needs of our institutions. Their long-term sustainability must be assured. Indeed, everything possible must be done, in cooperation with the wider community, to ensure that they are accessible to people of all social and economic strata. No child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of a nation.

Where the Pope specifically encourages the entire Catholic community to be generous in ensuring the financial viability of our schools, Sr. Morgan hears instead a call to teach school families – and only school families! - to “help us in the future.” (The Wichita Model seems to be DOA in DOR.)

And where His Holiness says the no child should be denied his or her right to a Catholic education, Sr. Morgan reports hearing nothing.

Sr. Morgan seems to have heard only what she wanted to hear, regardless of whether it was actually said. And she certainly seems to have been oblivious to His Holiness' primary point, the last sentence towards which his entire paragraph was building.

One can only wonder why she even bothered to attend the talk.

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