Polling on Who is the Pope?


There is a website called Canon212.com which posts (mainly) Catholic news stories and commentaries. The articles on this website are often posted using a different headline than the original, so as to either give it more click-bait appeal, or to put the website's own spin on the story. 

I will give you a personal example. I once wrote an article for OnePeterFive where I was very critical of online Masses. In it I warned that such Masses were poor substitutes for real prayer, much less actually attending the Holy Sacrifice. My article was linked at the previously mentioned website, with a simple headline claiming that I was very favourable to online Masses.

But... I stammered... that's exactly the opposite of what I said...

Now what is the general spin of this website? That Benedict XVI is still the pope. Further, that all who believe otherwise are stupid, evil, or both stupid and evil.

So the other day there was a bizarre interview attributed to Benedict. If nothing else, the interview squashed the idea that Benedict believed he had somehow split the papacy (ministry versus office, an idea promoted at Canon212...). Whether the interview was 100% authentic or not, I do not know. It is fair to have suspicion on the matter. But this is besides the point. 

Following the interview Canon212 put up a poll. In it they asked who people thought the pope was. Not only that, but it was possible to vote multiple times in one sitting. 

You'll never guess what happened... Pope Benedict won by several thousand votes! That's right. On a website where likeminded people visit and commiserate about how Benedict is still the pope, and where said people could vote multiple times on a poll asking who the pope is, Benedict was acclaimed as pope!

Not to be outdone, a follow up by one of the biggest names in Benedict-is-pope-culture, someone named Ann Barnhardt, trumpeted about how a majority of English speaking traditional Catholics believe Benedict is still the pope. 

Sigh. There is no grounding in reality here. None.

Look, we know something very strange and unnerving is happening right now in the Church. What exactly it is, we cannot say for certain, yet. But we also cannot play such childish games like making little online polls, and then claiming some form of victory. We need prayer and fasting. 

And, dare I say, we need less time spent on the internet.




Photo from The Washington Post

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