Should I complain when the local paper's religion section fails to cover the Assumption or takes a picture of the consecration?


Full Question

The newspaper in our area runs a religion article on holy days for various religions. However, there was no coverage of the feast of the Assumption, a feast as important to the faith as Christmas or Easter. I also find it disrespectful when newspapers take a picture of Mass right at the consecration. Should I write a letter of complaint to the newspaper and have local Catholics and Orthodox sign it?

Answer

While it is good to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper when there are legitimate concerns about journalistic slights to Catholicism and Orthodoxy, please keep two cautions in mind:

First, as important to Catholics and Orthodox as the feast of the Assumption (called the Dormition by Orthodox) is, it should not be put on par with the Nativity and Resurrection of our Lord. Easter is the foremost holy day for Christians because, as Paul told the Corinthians, "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain" (1 Cor 15:14). As St. Augustine put it, "We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our cry." Christmas is the second most important holy day because it made Easter possible.

The importance of our Lady’s Assumption is that it shows her total union with her Son and is a sign to us of our eternal destiny. But in the hierarchy of truths the Assumption is "lower" or less central than the Resurrection or the Incarnation, and the feast of the Assumption is correspondingly lower in importance than Easter or Christmas. These holy days primarily celebrate Christ, to whom our Blessed Mother always points us.

Second, there is nothing inherently wrong with photographs of the moment of consecration as long as the act of taking the picture does not distract from the solemnity of the moment (e.g., no flashbulbs) and the photograph is not used to mock our Lord. Simply using the photograph as an "icon," of sorts, to represent Catholicism is not sacrilege. In fact, Mass Appeal, Catholic Answers’ own booklet on the Mass by our director of apologetics and evangelization, Jimmy Akin, has such a photograph on its cover.


Catholic Answers Staff