How wrong is John Cornwall’s attack on Pope St. Pius X? Let me count the ways.

I have exactly one semester of Canon Law under my belt – which is the only reason I am aware of this blogger/canon lawyer. I like to read his stuff – there is a measured aspect to what he writes that appeals to me. I post this for a couple of reasons, but the most blatant is that it provides something of an overview on how to properly evaluate the inflammatory crap that passes for journalism – especially on line. Enjoy. FB

In the Light of the Law

Warning: It always takes longer, sometimes much longer, to correct mistakes than it takes to make them.

There used to be a job at newspapers called “fact-checker”, staff trained to identify assertions of fact (not of opinion, not of prognostication, but of fact) in draft articles and to check those assertions for their basic accuracy. Fact-checking was a service to readers who were spared false or mistaken claims, it was a service to the editors (whose reputations for reliability used to be more widely valued), and it was even a service to writers who learned not to assert more than they could reasonably prove.

Maybe the Daily Mail Online does not have fact-checkers, or maybe its fact-checkers were on break when John Cornwall’s screed against Pope St. Pius X and Confession was submitted for publication. Or maybe any news outlet that posts headlines like “How a pope called Pius turned the confessional box…

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