Priest Calls Out The Washington Post for Epic Editorial Fail in Pope’s Funeral Coverage

Father Vu, Facebook / @VudatNation, Twitter / Washington Post / ChurchPOP

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:

Click here if you cannot see the post above.

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:

@cmsorrps4610, Twitter

Twitter user and Catholic journalist Christian M. Sorrentino commented, “That’s terrible journalism. I mean yikes!”

@PaulWin49063949, Twitter

Another user asked, “Seems that you are assuming that every reader will have a working knowledge of Catholic ceremonies?”

Father Vu then responded:

@VudatNation, Twitter

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.”

@Jim_Devlin, Twitter

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.”

@journeycancer, Twitter

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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[See also: “Coffee is Overrated!”: How This Priest Answered a Sick Call With 20 Seconds to Spare]

[See also: Texas Priest Hears Confessions for 18 Hours Straight Before Christmas]

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Jacqueline Burkepile is the editor for the English edition of ChurchPOP. She is a journalist, former university campus minister, and a wife and mother. You can follow her posts on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

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