Tuesday, February 19, 2008

DeConick has become a man according to the National Catholic Register

Thanks to Professor Emmer of Emporia State University for sending me this link to an article in the National Catholic Register. He has already submitted a letter to the editor.

Not only does this article use my work to try to support its thesis against so-called "relativism" of the media, but I have become a man! Here is a link to the whole article, with the paragraph below that has wrongly identified me as a male. The National Catholic Register appears to have followed the lead of the Legionary Father John Flynn who spoke of me as a he.
Print media is not exempt from problems. An egregious case of inaccuracy came with the so-called Gospel of Judas Iscariot, which National Geographic hyped in 2006. April D. DeConick, in an editorial-page commentary published Dec. 1 in The New York Times, revisited the find. He described how he re-translated the Coptic text, finding many errors, including choices of translation made by National Geographic scholars that “fall well outside the commonly accepted practices.”
One wonders how such an identification could be made with the first name "April." Perhaps I should be flattered (although I'm not). What comes to my mind is the Gospel of Thomas 114: "For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven." And the fact that still we must fight gender bias (among other things!).

5 comments:

Esteban Vázquez said...

I never would have thought that you're a (theologically) conservative man! Thanks are certainly in order to the NCR for giving us all the skinny on the real truth behind "April" DeConick. ;-)

David said...

I couldn't help but note the irony that they are criticizing the unreliablity of print media.

BTW, I am thoroughly enjoying the daily apocryphote. Thanks so much!

Judy Redman said...

This is truly bizarre. I'm used to people talking about generic clergy and professors as "he" but for someone in the English speaking world to assume that someone called "April" is male is simply because that person has the title "Professor" is quite, quite odd!

I think the link might be to the wrong article, though, because I couldn't find the quoted section in it.

cee said...

The National Catholic Register removed the paragraph in question after I wrote a letter to the editor remarking on the error--but they quietly removed the paragraph without issuing a retraction, correction, or apology (it almost goes without saying that they didn't publish my letter to the editor, either). As it stands, anyone looking at the article online would never know the paragraph had ever been in the article. (It's possible that the paragraph made it to a print version of the paper, but I wouldn't know. If anyone has seen it, let us know.) If you'd like to see the full article, for the time being you can find a copy of it at the following blog:

The Fred Martinez Report

The National Catholic Register piece took a lot of its content from an earlier piece (INFO-ETHICS FOR A CONNECTED WORLD: Benedict XVI on Media Responsibility) by Father John Flynn, and almost the same paragraph (including April D. DeConick as a "he") can be found in his piece:

ZENIT (news service)

The passage in Father Flynn's piece (which--as of this posting--has not been expunged) reads:

"Print media is not exempt from problems, and an egregious case of inaccuracy came with the so-called 'Gospel of Judas Iscariot,' which in 2006 National Geographic announced it had discovered. A recent article reviewed the many errors made by National Geographic its rush to make headline news.

"April D. DeConick, in an editorial-page commentary published Dec. 1 in the New York Times, described how he re-translated the Coptic text, finding many errors, including choices of translation made by National Geographic scholars that 'fall well outside the commonly accepted practices.'"

I did write the National Catholic Register, asking that they post a correction, but have not as yet heard back from the editors.

Assistant Professor Emmer

cee said...

The National Catholic Register article can also be found archived in its original form (i.e., with the expunged masculine DeConick paragraph) at the following websites:

US Catholic News/catholic.net
The Brown Pelican Society