The Corner

You Say Assumption, I Say Ascension

Holy cow. Kathryn has already pointed out this instant-classic NYT correction, but even with the comments topping 150, I don’t think it’s received quite the requisite amount of obloquy and derision, so let me help. First, the correction to an article by Elisabetta Povoledo, datelined Vatican City:

Correction: April 1, 2013

An earlier version of this article mischaracterized the Christian holiday of Easter. It is the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, not his resurrection into heaven.

Glad they told us Easter was a Christian holiday, lest unwary readers, encountering it for the first time, think it a Hindu feast. And “mischaracterized” is letting Ms. Povoledo off far too easily. What the hell does “resurrection into heaven” even mean? And I mean hell in the sense of this passage from the Apostles’ Creed, which she might have consulted, eschatologically speaking, for a basic Catholic primer:

. . . suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried;

he descended into hell;

on the third day he rose again from the dead;

he ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;

from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Since when in the history of the English language has anyone ever spoken of a “resurrection into heaven”? The phrase itself makes no sense; one resurrects from something — the tomb, Death — and then goes on to other things: “ascension,” for example, which is coming right up. As for the Assumption, that’s another miracle altogether. And don’t get me started on the confusion attending the Immaculate Conception.

They say you tend to believe what you read in the newspaper until the story concerns something you actually know about. The Times has just proven to 1.2 billion Catholics around the world that it knows nothing about their religion. Read it on all subjects accordingly. 

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