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Poor headline on pope

Published February 13, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The headline "Ministry renounced" (Tribune, Feb. 12) may be technically accurate regarding Pope Benedict XVI's surprise announcement, but the verb "renounce" was at best a poor choice. While the word does mean "refuse or resign," it can also mean "to refuse to follow, obey or recognize any further; to repudiate."

At worst, the word choice was an attempt to sensationalize or mislead. It makes one imagine that Pope Benedict's mature, selfless and reasonable choice of relinquishing his position when he no longer felt he could perform it with the vigor and focus he felt the office requires was instead an act of rejection, that he disparaged the office.

This headline may sell more papers, but there are certain occasions where accuracy and taste may be more called for.

Bob Barr

Salt Lake City