This chapter describes coverage of Pope John-Paul II’s funeral and appraisals of the incoming Benedict XVI. Direct coverage of the occasions themselves was usually very good, especially because experts were drawn in to comment. However, the assessments of the two men, especially in the print media, were frequently askew because journalists knew little about the history and the authority structure of the Catholic Church, and equally little about current trends within Catholicism. While there was considerable attention to the Pope’s role in undercutting communism, something that journalists felt more at home covering, much of the portrayal remained fixed within a template of “authoritarian Popes vs. American liberal Catholics.” The extensive criticism that John-Paul II received from conservative Catholics was neglected, as was the fact that in recent years the most important disciplinary actions were directed at conservatives.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.