Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gallagher Interviews L'Osservatore's Vian - Updated

Delia Gallagher (USF classmate of mine, btw) has an interview with L'Osservatore Romano Director Gian Maria Vian. The topic is L'OR's Obama coverage, but includes a number of other interesting items.

We learn that both Vian's father and grandfather worked for L'OR along with other personal items, what in the paper is and is not reviewed by the Secretariat of State, and Vian's interpretation of the authority of the paper's articles.

Fascinating all in all, as Vian maintains a hopeful wait and see approach to the president's actions on life issues. To which Tom McFeely at the National Catholic Register comments:
. . .there is one area where we wish she had probed a lot harder. She didn’t press Vian for an explanation of how he can argue Obama’s presidential position on abortion is still uncertain, in light of Obama’s long string of appointments of pro-abortion individuals to posts where they will make key decisions involving the life issues, Obama’s repeal of the pro-life Mexico City Policy, Obama’s anti-life policy on embryonic stem-cell research, and other pro-abortion moves by the president since assuming office.

Vian would benefit from reading the Register's own compilation of the president's record on abortion since taking office.

There is also the concern, expressed by the Holy Father repeatedly in his Africa trip, that the Maputo Protocol and other international agreements and bodies not be used to impose abortion around the world in the name of reproductive healthcare. Secretary of State Clinton has confirmed such is a priority of the Obama administration.

But do read the whole interview. One final quibble. Vian ends the interview saying, my emphases:
I have said that there has been a misunderstanding because people don’t read L’Osservatore Romano, which I understand because it’s in Italian. Unfortunately we don’t have the money to translate every single article into English.

I think that if American Catholics could read L’Osservatore Romano every day, and did not trust wire reports — although some of the agency writers are very good . . . but getting information from bloggers is like going to the bar where everyone has his own opinion. But debate is good. I’m happy that L’Osservatore Romano is being talked about.

It is a somewhat lazy statement these days to dismiss blogs en masse as such. There is certainly garbage in the blogosphere as there is in print and broadcast media. But we are no longer at a stage where a major medium which includes widely read actual reporting and information sharing can be so flippantly dismissed.

There's a lot your missing if so. This blog, run by an American diocesan newspaper, had one and two posts incontrovertibly disputing facts in L'Osservatore's print reporting.