Dear Media: Stop Lying about the Pope

Strawpope full

There is a new article out about the six times that you’ve been flat out lied to about Pope Francis.  While long-time readers of The Catholic Geeks have noticed the running gag based around this problem — Strawpope Frank — it’s time to treat it with slightly less levity.

Because the sad part is that the article underestimates the amount of times the media has lied to you.

And I can’t really say “lie,” can I? Finn’s law: Never attribute to malice what can be equally attributed to stupidity.  But you know what? Continued, willful ignorance, and an unwillingness to correct the ignorance, is no different from malice.


No. Just no. And hell no. And screw you, because you’re a moron. The lovely Lori already covered this and noted that the Pope highlighted weapons of genocide, and concluded the Pope meant WMDs.

I look at the genocide comments and think that the Pope is condemning arms dealers who just keep feeding weapons to both sides of a war. And I’m not the only one.

But in either case, the pope said weapons, not guns, and cited three specific genocides. So saying that the Pope condemns guns is a lie because he never said the word “gun” — or the word “pistol,” or the word “rifle”. He didn’t say it even once.  Seriously, media, shut the hell up, read what the Pope said, and stop vomiting up the same freaking crap over and over again, as though it’s fact, when it’s painfully obvious that you haven’t read a single word the Pope actually said. Stop lying about how much you’ve actually paid attention, do your damn job, and read the statements. Is that so hard?

Sad thing is, this is something that the “6 lies” article doesn’t even cover.


No. No no no no and hell no.

First of all, first things first: The Catholic church does not condemn any individual homosexual for being a homosexual.  Being a homosexual is not a sin.  Homosexual acts are sins.  One is a state of being. The other is an activity. A chaste gay person is doing nothing wrong.  Frequenting a bath house for recreational activities? That’s a problem.

The Pope was quoted as saying “Who am I to judge?”

The Pope ACTUALLY SAID: “Who am I to judge them if they’re seeking the Lord in good faith?”

What’s the difference? One is “Hey, everyone can screw who ever they like.”  The other is “if they come seeking God and asking forgiveness, who am I to deny them?” See how that works?

This is something the “6 lies” article covered.


Pope Francis - Commie Crucifix strawpopeShut up.  Just shut the hell up. Sit the hell down, and pay attention. The Pope is not a communist.  Seriously.  Matt’s discussed this already.

Hell, Matt discussed it twice — the Pope condemned Greed.  Greed is a deadly sin for a reason. “Oh look, you’re a billionaire who would actually kill people for even more money? You’re a schmuck.”

The “6 Lies” article specifically addresses a statement that is cited when claiming the Pope condemned trickle-down economics.

First, it’s debatable that he meant trickle-down economics

Second, even then, the Pope said that trickle-down economics isn’t the end all and be all of economics. Because oh look, charity.  Try it sometime. Is that really so hard to figure out? Is that really such a difficult concept to grasp?  I’m a conservative who likes the free market, and even I give money to the poor, so if my fellow conservatives could pay attention, that would be great — and if the Bernie Sanders idiots could stop trying to cite the Pope, that will remove the temptation of my feeding them into a wood-chipper.

Lead me not into temptation.


Over at the article.

The celebration was attended by seven priests who celebrated their 50th anniversary of priesthood, but also five priests who had left the ministry because they married. Asked by one of the priests present, Don Giovanni Cereti, on the issue of married priests (in which he recalled the case of the Eastern Churches, where married men can be ordained priests and the thousands of married priests of the Latin rite who can not celebrate), Bergoglio responded in surprise: “the problem is in my agenda.”

This is an actual problem of schism.  A schism that’s about half as old as the Church itself, by which I mean the issue with the Orthodox Church which allows married priests (but not married bishops). That’s an important issue that needs to be addressed as part of the obstacles surrounding a reunification of Rome with the East.

And the Pope will apparently address it.  He didn’t promise to take any specific action one way or another. It’s on his checklist.  Gee, we’ve got married priests from the Anglican Church and the Greek Orthodox Church coming to the Catholic Church. Seriously, how are we managing this?  That’s the question. That’s what he’s got to do.

And it’s not like changing it would violate something fundamental. Priestly celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine. It’s something Rome commands of her priests because of the idea that it focuses them on their flock, not on their family. Greek Orthodox tradition only demands this of bishops. That’s a difference of opinion and regulation, not theology.

So it’s on his agenda. Right next to his laundry list, I suspect.


This one pissed me off.

You know what the Pope did?  In his year of mercy, he made it easier for someone who is sorry for having an abortion and is repentant for having an abortion … to be FORGIVEN OF THEIR SIN.  That’s right. It’s still a sin.

And it’s not even that it can now be forgiven, it’s that it’s now easier to be forgiven. In the year of mercy.

It’s been made easier for those who are sorry about it to get a pardon for it. That’s it.  No fuss, muss or bother.  That’s it. This is completely and totally AN ISSUE OF PAPERWORK.

Pope Francis lifted some red tape, and the media is reporting it as though abortion is no longer a sin at all — or that the Church had previously considered it an unforgivable sin.

Fun fact: The Catechism isn’t a secret. You can buy it anywhere books are sold, probably. Go to Amazon and get a copy. And then? YOU LEARN TO READ YOU STUPID F*&^ING MEDIA HACKS!

Ahem. Anyway…


Number six: I am not a number, I am a free man!

… Anyway.

This came out after the Pope removed some stupid restrictions about annulments. For example, originally, you had to get three priests who are probably cannon lawyers; the couple had to have it annulled where they got married (You moved? Tough); appeals were automatic.

Now? Two of the judges can be laypeople. The appeal can be asked for, but not automatic. And the couple can go straight to the bishop and ask about it, tribunal process skipped.

Once more, this is cutting red tape. Less paperwork. Done. The end. Finished. What is so freaking HARD about that?

Once more, I suggest that the media look up the catechism. It’s not a state secret. This is not the Illuminati.  You can probably find it on Wikipedia of all places!


I’ve ranted about this on my radio show.

I ranted about this when discussing StrawPope Frank.

One of these days, someone will do something bizarre and read his encyclical Laudato Si.

You want to know what’s in the encyclical?  Here’s a nice little list.

  • Humans are part of the ecosystem, protect them.
  • This includes baby humans.
  • Helping the poor ISN’T GIVING THEM HANDOUTS. They should be WORKING.
  • Overpopulation of the planet is BS.
  • The Church DOES NOT PRESUME TO SETTLE SCIENCE (“But, but, I thought the church was making it dogma!” Ha!)
  • Social Media activism isn’t the same as doing something. (#BringBackOurGirls does jack)
  • Nature is created by God. We should watch that.
  • There is male. There is female. There is no option C.  Bruce Jenner, stop it.
  • Labor is sanctified by Jesus.

Is that so hard to read? The encyclical connects life, tech, nature, and industry into a human ecology. I think even Ayn Rand preached this.

In conclusion …

The media lies. And if they’re not lying, they’re not doing their research.  Don’t trust them, don’t believe them, and you’re going to have to do something strange — do your own homework.

About Declan Finn

Declan Finn is the author of Honor at Stake, an urban fantasy novel, nominated for Best Horror in the first annual Dragon Awards. He has also written The Pius Trilogy, an attempt to take Dan Brown to the woodshed in his own medium -- soon to be republished by Silver Empire Press. Finn has also written "Codename: Winterborn," an SF espionage thriller, and it's follow-up, "Codename: Winterborn." And "It was Only on Stun!" and "Set To Kill" are murder mysteries at a science fiction convention.
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20 Responses to Dear Media: Stop Lying about the Pope

  1. dancingcrane says:

    Just in case there was confusion; 21 of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches returned to communion with Rome from Orthodox origins. All of these Churches can have married priests. The pope has already restored permission for Eastern Churches in the U.S. to ordain married men, earlier this year. My own priest is married.


  2. Hey Declan–well done. You said what had to be said–the TRUTH. KUDOS

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JD Cowan says:

    This needs to be linked to like every conservative blog. It’s so tiring to see them swallow so many lies willingly.

    For a bunch of people that don’t trust the media, they sure take their word without question when Catholics are involved in the equation.


  4. Dude – awesome “Prisoner” reference. I wonder how many people under the age of 55 even stopped to say “Hmm . . this means something.”

    The rest was pretty cool, too. Echoes re: the previous comments.


  5. Pingback: Pope in US | The Catholic Geeks

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  7. Fidel Guzman says:

    The Pope just met with the longest standing dictatorship in this hemisphere, not once has him spoke about the abuses, the executions, or the war expansions of the Cuban government, he could have refused the hammer and sickle in Bolivia and pronounce himself against what Communism has done and continue to do around the world. John Paul II was very clear about this. If you are not Marxist you say it upfront, I am not Marxist.


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  9. One of these days, someone will do something bizarre and read his encyclical Laudato Si.

    You want to know what’s in the encyclical? Here’s a nice little list.

    I did. You seem to have missed paragraphs 23-26.

    Let me help you. –

    Climate as a common good

    23. The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life. A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it. It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity. As these gases build up in the atmosphere, they hamper the escape of heat produced by sunlight at the earth’s surface. The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system. Another determining factor has been an increase in changed uses of the soil, principally deforestation for agricultural purposes.

    24. Warming has effects on the carbon cycle. It creates a vicious circle which aggravates the situation even more, affecting the availability of essential resources like drinking water, energy and agricultural production in warmer regions, and leading to the extinction of part of the planet’s biodiversity. The melting in the polar ice caps and in high altitude plains can lead to the dangerous release of methane gas, while the decomposition of frozen organic material can further increase the emission of carbon dioxide. Things are made worse by the loss of tropical forests which would otherwise help to mitigate climate change. Carbon dioxide pollution increases the acidification of the oceans and compromises the marine food chain. If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us. A rise in the sea level, for example, can create extremely serious situations, if we consider that a quarter of the world’s population lives on the coast or nearby, and that the majority of our megacities are situated in coastal areas.

    25. Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades. Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry. They have no other financial activities or resources which can enable them to adapt to climate change or to face natural disasters, and their access to social services and protection is very limited. For example, changes in climate, to which animals and plants cannot adapt, lead them to migrate; this in turn affects the livelihood of the poor, who are then forced to leave their homes, with great uncertainty for their future and that of their children. There has been a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation. They are not recognized by international conventions as refugees; they bear the loss of the lives they have left behind, without enjoying any legal protection whatsoever. Sadly, there is widespread indifference to such suffering, which is even now taking place throughout our world. Our lack of response to these tragedies involving our brothers and sisters points to the loss of that sense of responsibility for our fellow men and women upon which all civil society is founded.

    26. Many of those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms, simply making efforts to reduce some of the negative impacts of climate change. However, many of these symptoms indicate that such effects will continue to worsen if we continue with current models of production and consumption. There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy. Worldwide there is minimal access to clean and renewable energy. There is still a need to develop adequate storage technologies. Some countries have made considerable progress, although it is far from constituting a significant proportion. Investments have also been made in means of production and transportation which consume less energy and require fewer raw materials, as well as in methods of construction and renovating buildings which improve their energy efficiency. But these good practices are still far from widespread.


    • I’m sure there’s a point buried in that somewhere. I’m sure you wouldn’t just highlight stuff and act like mentioning warming proves he’s a Marxist. I’m sure you wouldn’t just stop reading the encyclical once you find something that kind of vaguely sounds like the same stuff statists use as an excuse for statism. I’m sure you wouldn’t ignore later paragraphs that note that mandated government programs aren’t the way to go, or how he specifically condemns the practice of carbon credits.


    • Foxfier says:

      Are you the New Zealander librarian that use to comment over at Common Sense Political Thought as ‘Phoenician in a Time of Romans’?


  10. Foxfier says:

    #7 would be greatly improved for changing minds if you’d put where the bullet points came from– such as “Chapter 1, section IV” or “paragraph 43, first sentence,” depending on what suits best.


    • If you click on the source link, the paragraphs are quoted directly, along with their numbers.

      Nota bene: if you find anyone insisting that something fishy is in the encyclical, ask them which paragraph number. If they look at you blankly, then they haven’t actually read the encyclical, nor do they know that Catholics tend to number paragraphs in Church and Church-related documents for this precise purpose.


      • Foxfier says:

        Yes, but a rather large number of people won’t click. If I had the time and money, I’d copy the entire thing and put in hotlinks for every sentence– kind of like how Saint Bart’s has for the CCC. (example: )

        My husband has given up on talking to people about the encyclical, because everyone insists on either arguing with things it didn’t say, or with things HE didn’t say, depending on the “side” they’re on. 😀


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