Various people around here have been experiencing a weird disconnect between what the media are saying about this event and how it feels for those of us actually here. One member’s 90 year old mother, after reading inflammatory twaddle in her Canadian paper phoned specially to warn her son “Now don’t you go stirring up trouble!”
Nobody at breakfast this morning had seen the yeterday’s presser about Archbishop Den Bul and gays. The way we perceive him is in terms of the persecution of his church and Darfur, not gays. We do not have access to the pressers, but it seems to many of us that the correspondents are missing the point of this conference.
What of the words of the bishop in the Times video? We respect them deeply and look forward to hearing them along with everyone else’s in the context of indaba. The whole idea of indaba is to facilitate frank and honest speech like that. To make them the lead output of this event is leading to bizarre misrepresentation of the reality of it.
The press is sometimes making the news as much as reporting it, sometimes in the tradition of journalists who used to give out stones to Northern Ireland youths to provide pictures for the evening news. Shame on them. What is actually going on in here is generally delightful, global in scale, light of touch, with a lot of laughter, prayer and joy in one another. Journalists are naturally drawn to the extremes to make a story, but there is far more energy around the great unacknowledged centre.