March 31, 2018

NPR Journalist and Catholic University Grad Botches Description of Easter

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 12:08 pm

In an example of stunning ignorance exhibited by an experienced journalist, an NPR reporter told readers Friday that Easter is “the day celebrating the idea that Jesus did not die and go to hell or purgatory or anywhere at all, but rather arose into heaven.” Good grief.

NPR has corrected Vanessa Romo’s story:

An earlier version of this post incorrectly described Easter as “the day celebrating the idea that Jesus did not die and go to hell or purgatory or anywhere at all, but rather arose into heaven.”

The article’s content now reads:

Easter — the day Christians celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection — is on Sunday.

The subject of Romo’s writeup was about the controversy over Pope Francis allegedly claiming there is no hell. This statement appears not to have happened, Its occurrence is being pushed by a dedicated atheist who could not say that he actually quoted the pontiff:

Pope To World: Hell Does Exist

Apparently, the fiery 93-year-old avowed atheist reporter, Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica, set the social media world aflame after writing in Italian that when asked about the fate of “bad souls,” the pontiff responded, “Hell does not exist.”

The pope continued, according to Scalfari, saying … “The disappearance of sinful souls exists.”

… On Friday — Good Friday — the Vatican issued a statement saying:

“What is reported by the author in today’s article is the fruit of his reconstruction, in which the precise words uttered by the Pope are not cited. No quotations in the aforementioned article, then, should be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.”

And an article by the Catholic News Service said Scalfari has admitted “on more than one occasion” that he doesn’t take notes or record his conversations with the pope. In other words, he prefers to take, let’s say, a memoirist approach to his reporting. He relies largely on memory and recollection, as opposed to documentation.

… The news outlet also reminded readers that this is a favored subject of Scalfari’s. It reported the journalist wrote a similar article in 2014 …

In a total non-surprise, Francis himself has previously referred to hell:

Pope Francis has previously spoken about the existence of hell in public speeches, including at a prayer vigil in March 2014.

There he gave an address in which he said that members of the mafia should change their lives, “while there is still time, so that you do not end up in hell. That is what awaits you if you continue on this path.”

As to NPR’s Romo, her LinkedIn profile indicates that she graduated in 1997 from Loyola Marymount University, a Catholic college in Los Angeles, with a bachelor’s degree in (not kidding) history. She also has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia.

Once again, we’re left to wonder how someone with supposedly strong journalistic credentials can be so breathtakingly ignorant such a basic matter.

Cross-posted, with possible revisions, at


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