Media Watch

Interim Bishop Welcomed in Phoenix

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, June 23 — The Catholics of Phoenix are apparently pleased with their new interim bishop, who was appointed as apostolic administrator June 18 following the arrest of Bishop Thomas O'Brien in connection with a hit-and-run accident, according to the Associated Press.

The news service spoke to parishioners at the local cathedral, where Archbishop Michael Sheehan read from a letter promising happier times for the diocese, which had been rocked by abuse scandals.

“Like the phoenix bird rising from the ashes, the Church of Phoenix will rise to new heights,” the archbishop promised, adding: “My heart goes out to all who are hurting.”

Archbishop Sheehan is the archbishop of Santa Fe, N.M., but he is stepping in to also oversee the Phoenix Diocese until a new bishop can be appointed, which could take up to a year.

Hispanics Support Estrada — Erik Estrada

THE WASHINGTON TIMES, June 19 — The Bush administration, hoping to reach out to Hispanic voters, has looked for conservative judicial appointees who are also of Latino origin. One of its strongest candidates, Miguel Estrada, is currently in limbo, watching as Democratic senators filibuster his appointment.

Republicans had hoped to use this opposition to win Hispanic votes, but things aren't working out that way, according to The Washington Times.

“The Hispanic electorate doesn't care. They don't know about it, they are not well informed and they don't consider it to be an important issue,” said Sergio Bendixen, a Democratic pollster in Miami who surveyed 800 Hispanic voters on the subject.

Bendixen reported that that 28% of Latinos supported Estrada, 11% opposed and 61% were indifferent. Bendixen said many of those respondents who backed Estrada confused him with Erik Estrada, former star of the 1970s TV cop show “CHiPs,” who is now popular in Spanish-language soaps.

“I'd say a good third think that way,” Bendixen explained, noting that one respondent said Estrada ought to be confirmed because he'd been such a good actor on “CHiPs.”

Passions Flame Again Over Gibson Film

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, June 25 — The Anti-Defamation League of America, working with an early draft of a script leaked from the set of Mel Gibson's upcoming movie, The Passion, warned June 24 that the film on the death of Christ likely will be anti-Semitic.

The league called the script “replete with objectionable elements that would promote anti-Semitism” and pointed to the report of a committee of scholars from several religions who agreed.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which had initially embraced the same report, has since backed away from its findings, saying it will wait to review the final film. Gibson had threatened to sue the bishops’ conference and the Anti-Defamation League.

The Anti-Defamation League report included a series of questions such as: “Will the final version of The Passion continue to portray Jews as bloodthirsty, sadistic and money-hungry enemies of Jesus?”

Gibson has denied he or the film is anti-semitic, and, according to the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Jesuit Father William Fulco, who translated the script into Latin and Aramaic, has said it has “no hint of deicide” by the Jews.

Representing the Holy Spirit that descended “like a dove” and hovered over Jesus when he was baptized.

Bishop Burbidge: The Pandemic is Our ‘Pentecost Moment’

This “21st century Pentecost moment” brought on by the pandemic, Bishop Michael Burbidge said, has underscored the need for good communication in the Church across all forms of media, in order to invite people into the fullness of the Gospel.

Representing the Holy Spirit that descended “like a dove” and hovered over Jesus when he was baptized.

Bishop Burbidge: The Pandemic is Our ‘Pentecost Moment’

This “21st century Pentecost moment” brought on by the pandemic, Bishop Michael Burbidge said, has underscored the need for good communication in the Church across all forms of media, in order to invite people into the fullness of the Gospel.