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The Easter Prayer.

One of my students told me that she was media fasting over Easter. Cynically, I said to her, "Well, you know, Jesus without his mobile was only half a man."

Apparently, general idea of media fasting is that there's an information overload in the everyday life that we live, and we should strip it back for peace of mind. I wouldn't have thought that not watching DVDs, turning off the net, the TV, and avoiding books and video games was a way to actually find a peace of mind, but that's me.

For example, if I had begun to media fast over Easter (if, say I was religious and some kind of religious leader said to do it) I would have missed this time line that noted the child molestation scandal in the Catholic Church and the Pope's reactions to it. Before 2005 it notes that "When the erstwhile Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is selected to be Pope, he has been heading up the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the office that decides whether priests accused of child abuse should be given canonical trials and defrocked" and mere months later "a Texas civil lawsuit accusing Ratzinger of covering up the abuse of three Houston area boys in the mid-1990s is dropped." In 2007, however, "the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles pays out $660 million to hundreds of plaintiffs accusing up to 126 priests of clergy sex abuse." It quietens down a bit, and then there's the report in Ireland in late 2009, followed by February of this year, where "evidence of "systematic" sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Germany begins to emerge. German magazine Der Spiegel reports that "close to 100 priests and members of the laity" are suspected." It gets better after that, as the Pope's brother is linked to the scandal, and the Pope himself when he was an Archbishop, who "reportedly approved the transfer of Peter Hullerman, a priest accused of molesting boys, to therapy. After being treated, Hullerman returned to pastoral duties and abused more children. He was finally convicted of sexual abuse in 1986." Of course, it emerges that Hullerman is still a practising priest (well, n more after the media finds out) and after an apology that convicts no one, the Pope is then linked to another scandal, in which he "is accused of failing to defrock Lawrence Murphy, a priest who allegedly molested as many as 200 deaf boys in Wisconsin during the 1960s and 70s. A canonical trial to dismiss the priest in 1996 was halted after Murphy personally wrote to Ratzinger to protest the trial because he was in poor health and had "already repented.""

Imagine, if I was media fasting, I wouldn't have heard any of that.

Happy Easter, people.

(crossposted)