Shockingly, The Press Has It Wrong

John Allen on how the Synod on the Middle East has not been the anti-Israel-fest some headlines would have you believe. All kinds of problems, such as: poor translation, taking one guy's comments for a "Vatican" line, and the guy didn't mean it quite the way the press heard it in any case.... but the nub is:

I realize that there’s a tendency to leap to Machiavellian assumptions about everything that happens in the Vatican -- that everything is somehow scripted from on high and no official or visiting prelate would dare speak out without explicit papal approval.
In truth, however, things are far more loosey-goosey. There’s no “war room” in the Holy See where spin doctors meet at 8:00 a.m. to work out the day’s message; there’s no script approval when senior officials or bishops meet the press.
In that sense, the real story here may be more about the Vatican’s continuing PR problem than any change in its theology of Judaism.
In any event, if one wants to know the official teaching of the Catholic church vis-à-vis Judaism, there’s a wealth of material to draw upon -- beginning with the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. A one-off comment from a single prelate does not, and by definition cannot, carry anything like the same weight.

Isn't it the press that's supposed to champion the free and open exchange of ideas? Yet it's always angry when the Vatican allows people at synods and conferences to say what they actually think -- with the concomitant debate, criticism and acceptance or rejection of the argument.