Is it news reporting, or is it David Gibson?
David Gibson's latest article on the Vatican's upcoming synod of bishops, while presented as straight news, crosses the line into opinion in a way we at GetReligion have come to expect from the Religion News Service reporter, who consistently writes as a columnist.
Let's start with the biased labeling. It's "conservatives" vs. "reformers," folks (emphasis mine):
Public disagreements over whether the Roman Catholic Church can change its teachings on Communion for remarried Catholics are growing sharper on the eve of a major Vatican summit, with conservatives led by U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke making another push against loosening the rules.
In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday (Sept. 30), Burke, who currently heads the Vatican’s high court, singled out the leading proponent of reforms, German Cardinal Walter Kasper, and his claims that critics of his proposals are really attacking Pope Francis.
Kasper has said that the pope supports his efforts to find ways to fully reintegrate divorced and remarried Catholics into church life. The proposals have become a prime focus of the upcoming Vatican meeting, called a synod, which will convene on Sunday for two weeks to consider changes in family life in the modern world.
As my GetReligion editor tmatt has noted, "'reformers' ... is a problematic term for use in doctrinal disputes because it automatically assumes that something needs to be reformed. This term pretty much settles the issue, telling readers precisely who the good people are in this story, which means that folks on the other side are the kinds of blokes who are opposed to 'reform.'"