women in the church

WomenPriests scores yet another PR feature in yet another sympathetic newspaper

WomenPriests scores yet another PR feature in yet another sympathetic newspaper

It's not every day that I see a news feature that starts with a fact error.

"Mary Alice Nolan will soon be ordained a Roman Catholic priest," says the lede of a Q&A feature in the Marin Independent Journal.

Well, no, actually she won't.

Nolan will undergo a ritual that resembles a Catholic ordination. But it will be sanctioned by the WomenPriests movement -- not the canonical Roman Catholic Church. You see, Vatican has a system in which it chooses its clergy. It's kind of like the New York Yankees getting to decide who makes their 40-man roster and who does not.

Wish it was the only place this article messes up the facts. 

Somehow, the Journal can call Nolan a future Catholic priest while acknowledging the centuries-old corporation that holds the brand:

The 64-year-old’s ordination will not be acknowledged by the Catholic church, which only allows men to become priests, but the lifelong follower of the faith is not letting that stop her.
The San Rafael resident plans to press onward with the ordination, to be conducted by a female bishop of the Western Region of Roman Catholic Priest, in October at an Episcopalian church in San Francisco.
Though skeptical that in her lifetime she will see the church modify its rules of who can take the priesthood, Nolan said she hopes one day the church becomes more inclusive.

As a Q&A, made almost totally of a single subject's quotes, the Journal conveniently sidesteps many of the things I'd expect of a regular, reported news feature.

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After 'scheduled maintenance,' Energizer Baptist Al Mohler back in the news

After 'scheduled maintenance,' Energizer Baptist Al Mohler back in the news

The Babylon Bee — the fake religion news website — keeps making me laugh.

My favorite satire of the last week was the Bee's report that the Southern Baptist Convention's Energizer bunny — Al Mohler — would go offline for "scheduled maintenance."

Regular GetReligion readers — not to mention anyone who pays attention to religion news — are familiar with Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Mohler, who hosts “The Briefing,” a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview, is a favorite go-to source for reporters — and I'm no exception. I interviewed him recently on politics and churches for Christianity Today's ChurchLawandTax.com.

Today, Mohler is a key voice in an in-depth NPR report on some evangelicals digging in — and others adapting — on culture war issues.

The NPR piece qualifies as mildly interesting. For me, it doesn't cover a whole lot of new ground. Of course, I follow these issues on a daily basis. The report might hold more appeal for a general audience.

From a journalistic perspective, it provides a fair measure of balance, quoting both traditionalists and progressives. Mohler, in particular, figures heavily on the side intent on standing firm:

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