Media Watch

Cardinal Egan Will Lead St. Patrick's Parade

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Dec. 28 — Cardinal Edward Egan was named grand marshal of this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York. The cardinal, who has been archbishop of New York since 2000, said he was reluctant to accept the role at first but agreed when told that the parade would be dedicated to rescue workers who responded to the attack on the World Trade Center, the New York daily reported.

Cardinal Egan said at a news conference, “There's nothing that any of us would hesitate to do to honor those who lost their lives.”

Boston Priest Lands Media Post

THE BOSTON GLOBE, Dec. 23 — A priest raised on TV preacher Archbishop Fulton Sheen has been appointed director of Boston Catholic Television, the Boston daily reported.

Msgr. Paul McInerny, former secretary to Cardinal Bernard Law, follows in a mass media tradition begun by Cardinal Richard Cushing, who prayed the rosary over the radio.

Boston Catholic Television reaches some 3 million “parishioners of the airwaves,” many of them shut-ins who view the Mass broadcast each Sunday morning. That Mass, which began broadcasting Jan. 1, 1955, is believed to be the longest continuous-running live program in Boston, excluding the news.

“This is a ministry, not just a TV station,” said Msgr. McInerny, 55. The Catholic station, he added, is a way for the homebound, the sick and the elderly to “be connected to the Church, and most importantly to the Eucharist, the central act of the Church's life and, for Catholics, the source and summit of their faith.”

Broadcasts reach an estimated 500,000 homes. The station carries Cardinal Law's Sunday Mass from Holy Cross Cathedral and tapes of papal audiences.

Bishop Gregory Says U.S. War on Terror Is Just

THE NEWSHOUR, Dec. 25 — Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, Ill., president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, believes the United States is doing the best it can to conduct the war on terrorism in a just manner.

“I believe that we as a nation are struggling mightily to follow as close a just approach as possible,” Bishop Gregory said on the PBS news program. “I believe that we as Americans are trying to be a just people, trying to protect our nation and to respect the dignity of all human life including those of people in Afghanistan and neighboring countries.”

Bishop Gregory and correspondent Ray Suarez also discussed the spiritual health of the nation since Sept. 11 and ecumenical and interfaith dialogue.

Boston Globe Lumps Catechism With Witch Hunts

THE BOSTON GLOBE, Dec. 27 — An article examining the competing appeals of Harry Potter and the Hobbit seems to equate the Catechism of the Catholic Church with what the author calls persecution of people accused of witchcraft over the centuries.

Citing Focus on the Family's criticism of Harry Potter, Boston Globe staff writer Michael Paulson notes that Christians have been wary of witchcraft for centuries, “viewing them as supernatural powers derived from evil forces.

“Protestant and Catholic countries persecuted people accused of witchcraft through much of Christian history,” Paulson wrote in the Boston daily. “Even today, the Catholic catechism warns that ‘all practices of magic or sorcery ... are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion.’”