I was interviewed twice by the author of this story. I talked about the roots of indulgences in the Old Testament and the New. We discussed the ancient rabbis’ doctrine of the “treasury of merit” and how it applies to the biblical stories. I told her our approach to indulgences is better understood in terms of family life than of civil law or accounting. None of that made it into print, and I’m not really surprised. From the outset, the story seemed to be “Those Crazy Catholics and the Things They Do” (place emoticon with rolling eyes here). So that’s what she wrote. She quoted me once, an inane bit about how many times I do these rain dances and rub the rabbit’s foot in a given year. In the second interview I even clarified for her that the question doesn’t really make sense. It’s like asking how many times I kiss my wife. I told her that since I go to weekly confession and daily Communion, I usually fulfill the requirements, but I tend to do it more deliberately if my business, for example, takes me near a pilgrimage site. But none of that fit the story, which is, please remember: “Those Crazy Catholics and the Things They Do.”
And they wonder why print media are dying. And they talk about how their fact-checking makes their product so much more reliable than what you’ll find on blogs and partisan websites. Uh, yeah, right.