Well, this was an epic fail… 😬
Birmingham Diocese priest Father Doug Vu published a photo calling out The Washington Post for its erroneous description of basic Catholic terminology in its funeral coverage for Pope Benedict XVI.
The Vietnamese Catholic pastor from Birmingham, Ala. offered the paper his priestly expertise after an article entitled, “Mourners took Holy Communion at Funeral,” referred to the Catholic Mass as a “religious event,” called priestly vestments “clad,” and described the Eucharist as a symbol.
Here’s his post below:
Dear @washingtonpost — I don’t know if you have a Catholic journalist or editor on staff? But if you don’t — I would be gladly to be your volunteer editor for your paper next time you covering Catholic Mass or event so that I might be able to help you to use correct terms. Thanks pic.twitter.com/IUnOuuXx0H
— Rev Doug Vu (@VudatNation) January 7, 2023
Father Vu’s full post reads, “Dear [Washington Post]— I don’t know if you have a Catholic journalist or editor on staff? But if you don’t — I would [gladly be] your volunteer editor for your paper next time you [cover a] Catholic Mass or event so that I might be able to help you use correct terms. Thanks.”
As of this writing, Father Vu’s Jan. 6 tweet generated over 200 comments, approximately 500 retweets, more than 4,000 likes, and over 300,000 views.
Here’s how some users reacted:
Twitter user and Catholic journalist Christian M. Sorrentino commented, “That’s terrible journalism. I mean yikes!”
Another user asked, “Seems that you are assuming that every reader will have a working knowledge of Catholic ceremonies?”
Father Vu then responded:
The text reads, “…I know every religion [and] culture has its [distinct] uniques [and] differences. I do not expect every reader [to be] familiar with the Catholic faith. But to water it down in one’s report is a disservice to both the people whom one covers the story [and] readers. We can do better.”
Twitter user Jim Delvin also responded, “No one expects every reader to have Catholic knowledge, but editors of an award-winning, standard-bearer like the Post should have that knowledge or a good Catholic on speed dial. This makes them look sloppy or biased. Or both.”
Twitter user Rick Boulay added, “Yikes. I hope you get the job.”
What do you think of Father Vu’s tweet?
St. Francis de Sales, please pray for all journalists!
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