Before I begin this post I want everyone to take a few deep breaths and try your best to remain calm. I am going to speak glancingly about a word that is verboten on this blog. I am going to violate my own rule but this is to make an entirely different point. I will mention the M—- Word.

Now now, I told you. Remain calm. Whenever I mention the M word people go crazy. Last year I mentioned it in a joke post entitled “Palin Visits Medjugorje” Of course, it was Michael Palin of Monty Python fame and not the governor of Alaska. For even making such a joke I got nasty emails and one anonymous person said they removed us from their blogroll.

I mention this because I know it is difficult for some people to control their emotions when this topic is mentioned and they come from both sides. My post is not really about the M word but rather about reporting on it.

If you haven’t heard, a Balkan Cardinal said that he believes that the “Vatican” will issue guidance on Medjugorje. I suppose, if true, that this is a good thing. Clarity is important. I suspect that even if some sort of guidance is issued it will not be the definitive statement that either side is looking for and the debate will continue.

All that said, I was struck when reading the article by Reuters just how BAD the reporting is. I mean really bad. The article itself does nothing to clarify and actually obscures the facts surrounding the site. Why is it that big news agencies such as Reuters gives religion assignments to reporters who clearly know nothing about the religion they cover? This is particularly true when they cover the Church.

Can somebody please explain to Mr. Tanner, the author of the piece, what the word “Vatican” means and what it doesn’t mean. Better yet, why don’t we ban the use of the word Vatican in Reuters stories altogether. It is clear that they do not know how to use it.

Further, the report is filled with factual errors that would be plain to anyone remotely familiar with events and even to those disinclined to believe in the claims. You do no one a favor when you get your facts wrong and incorrectly assign actions to “the Vatican” out of ignorance.

Whether you believe that Medjugorje is heaven on earth or a diabolical fraud, I think we can all agree on one thing. Clarity is needed. This Reuters story, due to its ham handed and ignorant reporting, did not help.