Over at the Guardian (Britain’s best daily, whether you like it or not!), Rome correspondent John Hooper writes an informative article about the upcoming beatification of Spanish journalist Manuel Lozano Garrido (1920-1971). I’d never heard of “Lolo”, as the saintly journo was known both during his life and afterwards, and was happy to be introduced to yet another shining star of Spain’s happy glut of twentieth-century saints & blesseds.
Lozano Garrido, Mr. Hooper informs us, “wrote his first article for — and went on to edit — a magazine called Cruzada (Crusade). That was a pretty loaded title for a publication of the time because, in the language of the dictatorship, ‘cruzada’ referred to the campaign Franco pursued with ruthless and bloody determination against any Spaniard who dared to hold opinions much to the left of fascism.”
Up to a point Lord Copper! For a Christian periodical — written by Christian journalists, read by Christian people, in a Christian country — to have the name “Crusade” hardly seem loaded at all, despite the Spanish state’s contemporaneous use of the word cruzada. But this is incidental and entirely beside the point.
Mr. Hooper wonders where Lozano Garrido fits in to the bigger picture of Spanish journalism at the time because, Hooper claims, “by approving his beatification, Pope Benedict is sending a message to the world about the sort of journalism that he regards as worthwhile”.
Well, in a word: no. As Hooper admits, “Lolo” isn’t being beatified because of his journalism but because of his heroic virtues exhibited in the face of suffering. In a sense, his journalism has nothing to do with it. If he had been a baker of rye bread instead of a journalist, would we extrapolate that Benedict XVI is sending a message to the world about the sort of bread he regards as worthwhile? Of course not. It simply does not follow.