Meet the Depressed

Meet the Depressed

I caught yesterday’s Meet the Press re-broadcast last night. The whole show was about Pope Benedict XVI and the panel was like a cast of thousands, too many really for a good discussion.

On the pro-Benedict side we had Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., publisher of Catholic World Report for which I am managing editor; Joseph Bottum, editor at First Things and contributor to The Weekly Standard; and Fr. Thomas Bohlin, US Vicar for Opus Dei.

On the anti-Benedict side were Thomas Cahill; E.J Dionne; and Sister Mary Aquin O’Neill, RSM, PhD, director of the Mount Sinai Agnes Theological Center for Women.

I couldn’t tell where John Meacham, managing editor of Newsweek, stood because I think his goal for the show was to drop as many names and quotations into every answer that he possibly could. He was so full of other people’s words, I had no idea where he stood or what his point was.

Fr. Fessio did the best job, and I think he ticked off Tim Russert. Russert asked him, “Father Fessio, the Catholic Church, in fact, could alter its teaching on birth control, the use of condoms or on married priests or on female priests, true?” Father responded by saying that one is true and two or false. When asked why, he said, “First of all I want to encourage all the listener-watcher-viewers here, for every hour you spend watching television, please spend five hours reading good books, because we really can’t have a serious discussion on these very deep, deep, mysterious issues with a bunch of sound bites.”