Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin apologized for not being clear on recent remarks she made about Pope Francis, thus opening the door to what she called a “critical media” doing what it does best in “ginning up controversy.”
“Just to clarify my comment to Jake Tapper about Pope Francis, it was not my intention to be critical of Pope Francis,” Mrs. Palin wrote Thursday on her Facebook page. “I was reminding viewers that we need to do our own homework on news subjects, and I hadn’t done mine yet on the Pope’s recent comments as reported by the media.”
The pontiff has drawn headlines for, among other things, encouraging Christians to engage with atheists, urging tolerance for gays, and writing in an Italian newspaper that non-believers must “abide by their own conscience” and “that God’s mercy has no limits.”
The former Alaska governor, who is an evangelical and thus does not recognize the pope’s claims of spiritual authority, told CNN that Francis has “had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal, have taken me aback, have kind of surprised me.”
“But unless I really dig deep into what his messaging is, and do my own homework, I’m not going to just trust what I hear in the media,” Mrs. Palin said.
She wrote Thursday that her own experience in dealing with journalists should have stood her in better stead.
“Knowing full well how often the media mischaracterizes a person’s comments (especially a religious leader’s), I don’t trust them to get it right when it comes to reporting on the Vatican,” she wrote. “I do, however, trust my many Catholic friends and family, including some excellent Catholic writers, who have since assured me that Pope Francis is as sincere and faithful a shepherd of his church as his two predecessors whom I admired. I apologize for not being clearer in my response, thus opening the door to critical media that does what it does best in ginning up controversy.”