This last weekend, Time magazine published an article titled "How Catholics are Judging Obama and the Democrats". I'm going to ignore the childish dual reference to judging in the title. The article's author makes the following statement:
"In early October, Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton released a letter to be read in every pulpit in the diocese that said, in part: "Abortion is the issue this year and every year in every campaign. [Catholics] are wrong when they assert that abortion is only one of a multitude of issues of equal importance. Abortion must take precedence over every other issue." But just last fall, the American bishops released Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility, a document that reminded Catholics that "all life issues are connected." Over the past few years, archbishops around the country have spoken out in favor of immigration reform, opposing the use of torture, and advocating policies that focus more on the poor.
As a result, many Catholics can now argue that neither party fits precisely with Catholic social teaching — the Democratic position on abortion is still unacceptable but so are GOP positions on education and health care and the war in Iraq."
The author seems to duck her responsibility of actually reporting what the document said by including 5 words ("all life issues are connected") from the 42 page document in quotes. Was it an attempt to let the document speak for itself? And it wasn't that she was quoting some she was interviewing, she made the decision to include the reference . The statement, "all life issues are connected." is taken from paragraph 25:
25. The right to life implies and is linked to other human rights—to the basic goods that every human person needs to live and thrive. All the life issues are connected, for erosion of respect for the life of any individual or group in society necessarily diminishes respect for all life. The moral imperative to respond to the needs of our neighbors—basic needs such as food, shelter, health care, education, and meaningful work—is universally binding on our consciences and may be legitimately fulfilled by a variety of means. Catholics must seek the best ways to respond to these needs. As Blessed Pope John XXIII taught, “[Each of us] has the right to life, to bodily integrity, and to the means which are suitable for the proper development of life; these are primarily food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and, finally, the necessary social services” (Pacem in Terris, no. 11).
Now why would the author also reference the following paragraph (found 3 sections prior to the one above) to add a little bit of honest balance? It seems that it adds important context to the statement she decided to print.
22. There are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incompatible with love of God and neighbor. Such actions are so deeply flawed that they are always opposed to the authentic good of persons. These are called “intrinsically evil” actions. They must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned. A prime example is the intentional taking of innocent human life, as in abortion and euthanasia. In our nation, “abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others” (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 5). It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.
I don't know if there ever was a time when reporting was anything other than propaganda, maybe it's just a romantic idea of the past. I do understand that reporting is the journalist's interpretation and selection of the facts, but does it have to be so obviously (left and right) deceptive? The author certainly doesn’t have to agree with what the Church teaches but disagreement is one thing, spreading ideas, facts, or allegations deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause ... that’s propaganda.