From clueless to mindless: Korina starts conclave coverage on wrong foot

ABS-CBN’s instant Vaticanista Korina Sanchez has surpassed her own record for cluelessness in covering the selection of the next leader of the world’s one billion or so Catholics.

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Twice in her live reports straight from the Vatican, Korina informed her audience about the historic nature of Benedict XVI’s “resignation” (others say it’s “abdication”). Reporting on TV Patrol last March 11, she declared that it was the “first in history” (“kauna-unahan sa kasaysayan”). We thought we didn’t hear it right the first time until she repeated the same line, this time with more certainty and conviction, the following morning while reporting on her daily radio morning show Rated Korina. The error was so infectious that pinch hitter Jasmin Romero later mistakenly told her listeners that the former Joseph Ratzinger was a close collaborator of “Benedict XVI” before the latter “died.” The Pope Emeritus is very much alive at Castel Gandolfo, thank you.

It’s hard to argue with a veteran journo like Korina, her TV network’s manufactured expert on church affairs and a veteran of papal coverage. Besides, she said she had read up on the papacy in preparation for her latest Vatican stint. Whoa! You already!

Surprise, surprise! It’s either Korina was fed the wrong literature or she’s dyslexic. FYI, Benedict XVI’s abdication was NOT a first. There had been Benedict IX,  Gregory VI, Celestine V, and Gregory XI.

Whoa. The global media are sending no less than heavyweights to the Holy See. ABC News’ coverage is led by the skillful interviewer Diane Sawyer. ABC News has main anchor Scott Pelley, and CNN is represented by wonder boy Anderson Cooper. ABS-CBN’s got Ate Kuring.

If there’s anything “novel” about Benedict XVI’s move, it was not tiedin the words of Andrew Jonesto any “persecution” (as in the ancient period), “corruption and irregular elections” (11th century), or “interference of increasingly powerful kingdoms in the election of popes” (Middle Ages).

“What Benedict XVI is doing is, therefore, novel,” Jones wrote right after Benedict XVI’s announcement, “because the Holy Father seems to be suggesting papal resignation itself as the solution to the problem of aged pontiffs in the fast-paced modern world.”

“Benedict is suggesting that the Church requires a pontiff of a certain vigor and that when he is no longer capable of performing at this level, it is appropriate for him to step down,” he added.

There. This link should help salvage Korina’s papal coverage.

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