Not the Babylon Bee


Remember folks, the people who write the New York Times, and many of those who read it, consider themselves the intellectual elite:


I was intrigued today by the mystery of a small Jesus statue that features prominently in a New York Times story on Father Jean-Marc Fournier, the Paris Fire Department chaplain who risked his life to save many of Notre Dame cathedral’s prized relics. “I had two priorities: to save the crown of thorns and a statue of Jesus,” Father Fournier supposedly said.

The statue continues to star in the story:

As the chaplain began removing a statue of Jesus, he said, his colleagues were fighting the fire from the cathedral’s towers. The flames had started to threaten the wooden structure around the belfry — putting the whole cathedral at even greater risk.

With the statue in hand, Father Fournier, alone in the nave, gave a benediction to the cathedral, he said.

“I thought Jesus could help us a little bit and work, too,” he said. “I invited him to worry about his own house if he didn’t want to finish the night under a tent by the Canal Saint-Martin.”

Weirdly, there was no other reporting about Fournier saving a Jesus statue from Notre Dame. For that matter, Notre Dame cathedral doesn’t even have a Jesus statue. He co-stars in the famous Pieta and a statue of the Virgin and Child (both unharmed), but neither could be lugged around by an elderly priest.

On the other hand, reporting on the ground indicated that Fournier saved “the Crown of Thorns and the Blessed Sacrament.” CNN reports Fournier told them, “The police took the crown and I took the holy sacrament [the wafers, or body of Christ].” French-speakers can listen to Fournier telling his story to a French Catholic TV network, and again, he mentions saving the crown, the sacraments, and nothing else.

While the statue appeared in no other stories, the Times story was the only one not to mention the sacraments. I’m sure you see where this is going. Needless to say, there’s now a correction indicating “an earlier version of this article misidentified one of two objects recovered from Notre-Dame by the Rev. Jean-Marc Fournier. It was the Blessed Sacrament, not a statue of Jesus.”

How on earth could the Times make such a bizarre error? I suspect NY Post‘s Sohrab Ahmari, who first flagged this on Twitter, is correct: Fournier told the New York Times that he saved “the Body of the Christ” or some similar wording, and the Times misinterpreted that to mean a little statue of Jesus.

Go here to read the rest.  Higher education is endlessly churning out skulls full of indoctrinated mush with a knowledge base that would have been regarded as shameful in a high school dropout circa 1950.

More to explorer


  1. Why would anyone read the NYT? It needs to go the way of so much else that is no longer of any use. As far as the fire at Notre Dame, rekindling the faith is desperately needed in France. Maybe this fire will be God’s way for that to occur. Those embers of faith were almost extinguished before this week.

  2. If you have ever had first hand knowledge of an event ie. been present or know a person involved in an event, and you then read about it in the news and it comes across as an entirely exaggerated or factually contrived story, you soon realise how much of the news is sensationalised, distorted or made-up. Denzel Washington was spot on when he said:

    “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed… Anything you practice you’ll get good at — including BS.”

    A good journalist is one who presents the unbiased facts to the public. Very few media outlets actually do this. I’m not surprised by the NYT. I’m sure reporting anything remotely religious was beneath them anyway, so they probably weren’t that too fussed about getting their facts straight anyway.

  3. “Fournier told the New York Times that he saved “the Body of the Christ” or some similar wording, and the Times misinterpreted that to mean a little statue of Jesus.”

    In fairness, when you grow up outside of the Faith in America post-mid 20th century, you don’t know these things or think to ask. They’re not in the schools, colleges or pop culture. It’s not that a single reporter wouldn’t think ‘I wonder if this really means something else other than a statue’ that’s a problem, it’s that it passed the full gauntlet of the editing and publishing process without being flagged.

  4. Newspapers (now the electronic media) have always been known for poor reporting on religion and science/medicine. No excuse in this day and age; however, that religion pages exist, flawed though they may be, is hopeful.
    In addition to the correction, wonder if there will be any letters to the editor printed describing what the “Blessed Sacrament” is, i,e, the Catholic belief in the truth of Transubstantiation, so that the readers understand why Rev. Fournier would risk being burned alive. The Times reporting could construe that we Catholics worship a statue. Many non-Catholics already believe we idol worship.

  5. It makes sense when one assumes the licensed liars are left-wing ideologues that know nothing (else they would not be left-wing ideologues).

    One would think it impossible that every word in a sentence could be a self-contained, complete lie, but the NYT achieved it this morning.

    I saw the NYT in the card shop (I now have the winning MegaMillions ticket). The headline (across the entire front page) was one long lie about the Mueller Report.

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