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The Picture Tells The Story

February 10, 2012

This opening picture of a NYT story on the Catholic hierarchy and the HHS-contraception issue reveals its plot ahead of reading. Here’s the image:

What story does the NYT picture tell? In my reading, this is the story of an singular old, white, fat, and obstinate bishop, hiding behind his office as represented in full robes, who will not budge from position he finds repulsive. Indeed, it is clear that this defensive representative of the old guard is forcibly containing a reaction to a situation—not compromising with the world around him.

For the purposes of this post, I’m not trying to analyze the merits of the issue. Indeed, as a Catholic, I’m still working through my feelings and thoughts amidst the fog of another Culture Wars engagement. Here I’m concerned with storytelling and images. It’s not often that a picture almost fully explains a story’s perspective before its textual narration. This one does. – TL

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