Media Watch

Energizing Nuns From Developing Countries

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Sept. 3 — More than 35 sisters from nine orders in six developing countries are attending Assumption College for Sisters at Mallinckrodt Convent in New Jersey as part of an experiment, The New York Times reported.

Their presence is energizing the Sisters of Christian Charity at Mallinckrodt, which the newspaper said was beginning to feel like an “old-age home.”

“Everyone who comes into contact with them is enlivened,” said Sister Joanice Carlson, 74.

The American nuns hope the project will inspire more women to consider religious life. At least 15 young women have inquired about vocations in the two years since the new sisters began populating the college.

Everyone stands to benefit. Sister Melania Tarimo of Tanzania was quoted as saying, “The knowledge that I have now … I want to take it home to the people who are struggling.”

Media Confusion Over Pro-Choice Politicians Persists

THE WASHINGTON POST, Sept. 8 - A Washington Post headline proclaiming Catholic voters have “leeway” to vote for politicians who support abortion rights and euthanasia showed that the press is still having a hard time understanding important moral distinctions made by Vatican Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

A similar headline in the Detroit Free Press said recently, “Catholics allowed pro-choice vote.”

Earlier this year, the cardinal wrote to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington: “When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”

The Post quoted Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis saying it is difficult to imagine what those reasons might be. Father Stephen Torraco, chairman of the theology department of Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., explained in an interview with the Register Sept. 5 that “proportionate reasons” means that one may vote for a pro-abortion candidate if one is trying to avoid voting for a candidate who embraces an equally serious or graver evil. Archbishop Burke will publish a pastoral letter on the subject Oct. 1.

Study Links Teen TV Viewing With Sexual Activity

REUTERS, Sept. 7 — A study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development concluded that teen-agers who watch a lot of television with sexual content are twice as likely to engage in intercourse as those who watch few such programs.

The study found that the 10% who watched the most television with sexual content were twice as likely to have initiated sexual intercourse than the 10% exposed to the least amount.

A Reuters story quoted Rebecca Collins, a RAND Corp. psychologist who headed the study, as saying, “The best way for parents who are trying to figure out what is a lot versus little is to realize that the average (U.S.) child watches about three hours of television a day, and that the heaviest rates of sexual content are in prime time, which is probably what those hours are made of.”