Editor's Note: All Things Catholic is being posted early this week because of the timeliness of the subject. For background, look to John Allen's full coverage of the the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, located here.
We in the media have a genius for grabbing a small but sensational piece of a bigger picture and banging it like a cheap drum, which usually produces a fun-house mirror view of reality: Relatively small things seem huge, while bigger and more significant things shrink into near invisibility.
To take the most obvious recent example, whatever the big picture is for Islam in America, it certainly isn’t an epidemic of Qur’an burnings. Yet the mere threat of such an event from a Florida pastor whose entire congregation could fit into a phone booth held the world hostage for a month thanks to saturation “will he or won’t he?” coverage.
In some ways, reaction to the close of the Oct. 10-24 Synod of Bishops for the Middle East is following the same script.