Mary And The White House Correspondents’ Dinner


In Deus Caritas Est, Benedict XVI wrote:

In the Gospel of Luke we find her engaged in a service of charity to her cousin Elizabeth, with whom she remained for “about three months” (1:56) so as to assist her in the final phase of her pregnancy. “Magnificat anima mea Dominum”, she says on the occasion of that visit, “My soul magnifies the Lord” (Lk 1:46). In these words she expresses her whole programme of life: not setting herself at the centre, but leaving space for God, who is encountered both in prayer and in service of neighbour—only then does goodness enter the world. Mary’s greatness consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God, not herself. She is lowly: her only desire is to be the handmaid of the Lord (cf. Lk 1:38, 48). She knows that she will only contribute to the salvation of the world if, rather than carrying out her own projects, she places herself completely at the disposal of God’s initiatives

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Compare Mary with the grand-pooh-bahs of the Washington press corps. Apparently, some people think that the press is losing credibility because honest-to-goodness B-list celebrities attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner – and this from people who hang out with politicians all day. A snippet from a blog post about the controversy caught my attention:

The credibility issues of national-media outlets arise from the way they report the news rather than the manner in which they parade on this red carpet once a year. However, Rothman’s point about the Kardashian connection, along with Brokaw’s complaint about Lohan, reveals that at least part of the former problem is revealed in the latter — a focus on aggrandizing one’s self (and one’s own agenda) rather than focusing on reporting the news and the actual facts.

What a contrast! One person, Mary, is beloved by more than a billion people and “all generations” will call her blessed. This person had no trace of self-aggrandizement, yet, she is better known than the whole White House Press Corps combined. The solution to the withering of press credibility is simple – follow Mary’s example.

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