Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Benedict Who?

I went out this morning (and yesterday morning) in search of a newspaper with a good headline about Pope Benedict's abdication for my annual Year In Headlines photo, and  I didn't find one. (Oh, to have access to the Philadelphia, Tampa or Yankton, S.D. newspapers, alas.) The announcement came too late for yesterday morning's newspapers, and way too early for today's.

The local newspaper, the Racine Journal Times, chose to lead with a local story about a candidate for Superintendent of Schools. Since the abdication itself was yesterday's news, other area papers ran follow-up headlines. The Kenosha News, which can be counted on to run an old-fashioned bold, large, sans serif banner headline every day, had something along the lines of BENEDICT LED CHURCH IN CHANGING TIMES, which, while true of Benedict XVI, could also be said of every Pope since Leo X.

USA Today and the Milwaukee and Chicago papers lead with headlines looking beyond the resignation itself to speculation about what comes next. Again, true enough, but eleven months from now, you're not going to remember where you were when you found out that a new pope would lead the church at a crossroads.

Which left me with the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times, whose headlines state the fact of the abdication plainly and succinctly, if not in a point size that will be legible at the upper left corner of the year-end photograph.

It's just too bad that I can't get the New York tabloids around here.

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