We all know how that University in Italy reacted to a potential visit from Pope Benedict. They reacted as if the Pope were dangerous. I think we can all agree that it was ridiculous. But now the media’s spin on this is to watch out for this Pope because if he wasn’t dangerous before he is now.

Check out these “objective” quotes from the Toronto Star:

Here’s the subhead:

“A cancelled university speech allows the Vatican to portray Benedict XVI as a free-speech martyr”

Not that he is one. But he is now portraying himself as one. Needless to say no other line in the story goes on to show how the Vatican is posturing to make Benedict a “free speech martyr” but the writer continues.

For a Pope who practises and preaches militant Catholicism, Benedict XVI’s decision to bow to a small group of protesters and cancel his speech at Rome’s leading university seemed curiously out of character.

The move this week was at odds with a pontiff who has made dogmatic activism a driving force of his three-year-old papacy, clashing repeatedly with the Italian government over social policies and boldly visiting Turkey after uttering statements widely interpreted by Muslims as offensive.

What would define “militant Catholicism?” Should there be some kind of ground forces involved?

The Vatican adopted a more interventionist line shortly after Joseph Ratzinger was elected pontiff in April 2005. His predecessor, John Paul II, focused on attracting as many people as possible to the church. Observers say Benedict, despite plummeting church attendance and a severe shortage of priests, is more interested in the militant quality of followers. He wants soldiers for Catholicism, people who live, breathe and preach the church’s values.

In a 130-page “apostolic exhortation” issued last year, the Pope reasserted the church’s opposition to abortion, euthanasia and gay marriages, calling these values “non-negotiable.” And he insisted that Catholic politicians had a duty to defend the church’s teachings.

As opposed to Pope John Paul II who said abortion and gay marriage were all open to conversation? I think they’re forgetting that the media disliked John Paul II quite a bit as well. This reminds me of Barack Obama praising Ronald Reagan, even though liberals at the time despised the Gipper.

But the writer continues to get even more ridiculous and promotes outright lies:

The Vatican is opposing proposals for a law on “living wills” that would allow people to refuse “excessive” medical interventions to keep them alive if they can no longer communicate their wishes. The church has compared this to euthanasia.

Battle lines are also being drawn on abortion. The Vatican is backing a private member’s bill from an opposition MP that would restrict abortions, and is pushing the government to propose a UN resolution for a worldwide moratorium on the procedure.

Once again, the church is not opposed to refusing “Excessive” medical interventions. I don’t know anybody who believes that food and water are excessive.

And as far as the abortion issue in the last sentence. Is this writer serious? “Battle lines” are being drawn. Where have they been the last thirty years? This issue has been a pretty hot one for some time now. One the one hand, the writer obviously had his military cliche thesaurus in hand today in comparing everything to battles and military.

I would say that this “reporter” had an “entrenched” opinion and was overly “incendiary” in his verbiage. Just a typical classless “bomb thrower.”