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Media Outlets Struggle With Christian Terminology During Holy Week

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Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

In the days leading up to Easter Sunday, both the New York Times and the Associated Press appeared to have a difficult time with Christian imagery.

The New York Times reported that Father Jean-Marc Fournier, who went into the still-burning Notre Dame Cathedral to rescue any relics he could, identified one of the objects Fournier saved as “a statue of Jesus.”

Upon reading the piece, the New York Posts Sohrab Ahmari theorized that reporter Elian Peltier had likely heard the phrase “body of Christ” and, not realizing that it was a reference to the Eucharist, assumed it was a literal body or statue.

Im almost 100% that what The Times reporter is referring to here is not a *statue* of Jesus, but the Blessed Sacrament.

File under: religious illiteracy https://t.co/5n3kQD7pk8 pic.twitter.com/rD3C9vIS8J

— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) April 18, 2019

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The Washington Free Beacons Alex Griswold captured the correction the NYT later added, making it clear that Peltier had, in fact, mistaken the “body of Christ” for a statue.

There is a 10,000% chance someone said he rescued “the body of Christ” and the New York Times thought it was a little statue.

— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) April 18, 2019

This was not the first time the NYT struggled with such terminology either. In a still-uncorrected article published April 4, 2005, reporter Ian Fisher noted that Pope John Paul II was laid in repose with his “crows ear.” What Fisher meant, of course, was his staff, which is called a “crosier.”

Screen Shot/The New York Times

The Associated Press had a rough day on Friday as well, taking criticism for an article titled, “Tourist Mecca Notre Dame Also Revered As Place Of Worship.” (RELATED: These Photos Show The Damage Done To Notre Dame Cathedral)

Thanks ⁦@AP⁩ – I had no idea #NotreDame was “also” a place of worship – love your investigative journalism! https://t.co/vfir2u9Oso

— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) April 19, 2019

“Large beehive Notre Dame also revered as place of worship.” – @AP Read More – Source