Monday, September 28, 2009

BBC: "As if the body of a dead nun were not enough..."

"As if the body of a dead nun were not enough to excite the nations Catholics we now have news of a papal visit", so Roger Bolton began the BBC's Sunday Programme, yesterday.

I tend to have better things to do most Sunday mornings but occasionally I listen to this programme, normally I come away angry from it.

This morning a brother priest rang me, he was outraged. Outraged by Bolton's introduction and outraged by those the BBC chose to comment on the visit: Ma Pepinster and John Cornwall.

Why can't the BBC ever get mainstream Catholics to talk about the Church? Ms P, had nothing, as ever, to say but Cornwall brought up the Pope's words on Human Ecology, but Cornwall rather than quoting him directly said, "he intimated active homosexuals have more impact on the world than cutting down the rain forests". That is not what the Pope said, but no-one corrected him, certainly not Ms Pepinster, I suspect she was not intellectually or morally capable of it.

I understand last week they had the poisonous Bobby Mickens, The Tablet's Rome corespondent on. I do not know if he was doing usual trick of slagging off mainstream Catholicism or the Vicar of Christ or what, but I am at loss to know why the BBC always seems to think dissident Catholics are worth giving a hearing to, if so why not introduce Ma Pepinster as "... of the left wing Catholic Journal, The Tablet", how they would introduce Coventry, I'll leave that to you.
Where are the dissident Muslims, or Methodists and Mormons for that matter? Only when commenting on the Catholic Church does the BBC invite the far left to come on the programme to further there tired agenda.
If I were a journalist on another more more mainstream Catholic Paper, I would ask why the BBC continually advertises The Tablet, I think is called product placement.

Does the BBC hate Catholicism?
From Bolton's introduction, one might believe so. What concerns me is that the BBC seems to think that they are actually being fair to the Church, to the Pope, to me as a licence payer. Why is it imposing its views on what should be a factual religious news programme.

Listen to it on iPlayer, it is at 37.30, the Sunday Programme can be contacted here, make sure you let them know your thoughts about this programme. I am told the Beeb tends to think one complaint equals the thought of 10,000 listeners or viewers, which means two complaints equal the whole of the Tablet's readership.


Crux Fidelis said...

That introduction is totally and gratuitously offensive. I usually listen to the Sunday Programme but I missed it yesterday.

nickbris said...

They would like to go back to "the good old days"when Catholics had a price on their heads.

The BBC has been using product placement since the since radio and TV was invented.It is an organ of the Government and the Government is well and truly corrupted by comic singers and trick cyclists.

George said...

'Catholic Baiting' is an old English past-time and the BBC as a very English institution excels at this 'sport'.

Nothing new in this Fr Ray. To expect them to change is to expect the impossible.

And yes the licence thingy sticks in my throat too! How they get away with it in this 21st century commercial world is beyond me!

Deacon Stephen Morgan said...

I, too, was appalled and wrote to the programme in the following terms:
Where does Roger Bolton get off being gratuitously offensive to Catholics. His introduction yesterday to the piece on the Papal visit had a sneering, mocking tone that I cannot imagine being used by a BBC presenter about any other religion. It is quite bad enough that, rather than seek a comment from faithful, mainstream Catholics, he should choose to interview two well known Catholic dissidents - one of whom willfully misrepresented the Pope's own words during the interview - but the sheer disrespect shown in the description of the relics of Ste Therese was just breathtaking.

Delia said...

Done, with great relish!

Londiniensis said...

Father, You ask, very reasonably, Does the BBC hate Catholicism? I would posit another question, Does the UK hierarchy hate Catholicism by maintaining tacit approval of The Tablet as the premier Catholic intellectual "heavywieght" journal?

The Tablet exists. Much like The Spectator or The Times, its glory days are long over, indeed it has become tediously shallow, but the cachet remains, and with it the bishops' acquiescence. We should not be surprised, therefore, when news agencies turn to its editorial staff for "thinking laymens' views". Let us put our own house in order before attacking the BBC.

Richard said...

Part of the problem is that the Tablet is still thought of as an official Catholic publication, so its editor is not regarded as a "dissident".

johnf said...

I was just listening this morning to the libs and the luvvies (they're probably synonymous) forgiving the sins of Roman Polanski who raped a 13 year old some years ago after getting her drunk and evaded justice by fleeing from US jurisdiction - a bit like Ronnie Biggs.

"Ah the poor man has suffered enough .... ah it's time to move on ... but the victim has forgiven him ..."

Now if he had been a Catholic priest....

JamesP said...

In fairness, I'm fairly sure we hear from quite a few dissident lefty Muslims as well.

Every time they wheel out some woman who says "Islam doesn't oppress women, look at me - I live in England with my boyfriend and hardly ever go to the Mosque and I'm not oppressed!"

Independent said...

The BBC like the Guardian and New Labour is an organ of the secular elite and therefore cannot understand religion at all. I do not think that many of them aim to be offensive, they just do not understand. A friend of mine who reviews many books on history tells me that he is constantly complaining that they leave out the religious factor because the authors are
incapable of realising that it matters. They are unwittingly guilty of a vulgar reductionism which explains everything in economic or political terms.

The BBC however seems offensive about everybody of a religious persuasion who is known to be pacific and has not a record of demonstration and occasional riot.

Et Expecto said...

Does anyone have an address or an e-mail address where one can make a complaint?

Recusant said...

I've just sent this to them:

"When discussing the visit of both the Relics of St Therese and the proposed visit of the Pope the presenter, Roger Bolton, seemed to think it appropriate to use a sneering tone and commentary that I doubt would have been used for any other religious group.

What made it worse, however, was your decision to have as commentators on these visits two well known dissidents from Catholic teaching - Katherine Pepinster and John Cornwall - without intimating that that was there position or making any attempt to balance them with a mainstream Catholic (or two). This was not unusual, as the acknowledged 'go-to' commentators on all things Catholic for the BBC appear to be writers for the left-wing Tablet and other serial dissidents.

Would it be too much to ask that this licence payer might be offered the courtesy - and you, provide the balance - of hearing the views of some mainstream orthodox Catholics when the BBC seeks the 'views' of Catholics."

epsilon said...

The best way to deal with the licence is to cancel it!! That's what I did last year. If you don't watch any TV while it's "on air" on BBC then you are not required to pay the licence. You can watch iplayer outside of the time it is being broadcast and you're within the rules.

.The Cellarer said...

I had a moan about this a while ago...

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Over at Mulier Fortis and In Hoc Signo Vinces there has been some (justifiable) ranting about the BBC.

I clocked the BBC article about the Codex but was in a good enough mood at the time to simply roll my eyes, shake head ruefully and move on.

I'm fed up of the BBC inviting (a) secular fundamentalists on to verbally abuse the religious speaker, or (b) inviting Catholics (with views that fly in the face of Catholic teaching) on to misrepresent the faith, or (c) two on in the hope they can spark a Catholic rammy.

Here are my top (bottom?) three BBC lowlights

1 - Christine Odone throws rattle from pram in direction of Fr Patrick Burke (b), (c), albeit Fr Burke's performance is a highlight

2- Peter Stanford has (Eastern) Orthodox priest nearly combust and exclaim 'I feel I have more in common with my Janist sister! (other guest)(b) - You need to scroll to 18 Feb - BBC Radio 4 - Beyond Belief

3 - Peter Atkins rants, sneers, laughs at and generally disrespects an Anglican Bishop on Radio 4's Sunday programme. (a) Atheist Fundamentalism

You can see Fr Burke at

Gladiatrix said...

You can always email Roger Bolton directly at the BBC to complain. Moreover, Mark Thompson the DG is supposed to be a practising Catholic; I would suggest writing to him and asking for an explanation. Of course there is always the BBC Trust as well.

gemoftheocean said...

What adding insult to injury is that you are forced to pay taxpayer money to these thugs who then turn around and insult you.

And thugs is what they are.

nickbris said...

His Holiness has not just decided to "pop over to visit his followers".It is a STATE VISIT and that is by invitation of the Head of State,which at the moment in the UK is Queen Elizabeth.

Ttony said...

Dear Father

what does "incitement to religious hatred" mean, and doesn't this cover it?

Tom said...

It would be nice to see our bishops defend the Church against these appalling attacks from the BBC. But that is as likely as the Suppositery defending the pope. Jesus, convert England.

Fr. John Mary, ISJ said...

Father, as you probably know, we have the "usual suspects" here in the USA: Rev. Richard McBrien, for one, who only wears clericals when bashing the Pope, the Church, whatever.
St. Therese must be smiling in heaven, because she offered her last Holy Communion for an apostate priest, and underwent a horrifying "dark night" that somehow was solidarity with atheists. May she pray for England and Holy Mother Church.

Kindred Spirit said...

Is this "journalist" a long-lost relative of Oliver Cromwell? Is all-out iconoclasm next?

Zephyrinus said...

"I understand last week they had the poisonous Bobby Mickens, The Tablet's Rome corespondent on."

Am I right in thinking it was Mrs Mickens that kept the Pie Shop in "Blackadder" ?

Ma Tucker said...

I know it can be annoying Father but if we are indeed the One True Church should we not expect the pathetic powers of this world to despise us. They hated Christ and they hate Catholics too. Can't help themselves really, tis the nature of the beast so to speak! I think we should pray for all the poor souls in it's power, Roger Bolton included.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Ma, As a licence payer I see no reason why we should be insulted with our own money.

SPQR said...

The BBC is now 87, and has lost its marbles in recent years. I think the time has come to make it 'comfortable', and prepare it for the Liverpool Care Pathway. Anyone who disagrees clearly doesn't care, and is just trying to impose their intolerant religious beliefs on an aged and ailing institution...

Et Expecto said...

To make a complaint to the BBC, I suggest you do the following:

Type in BBC COMPLAINTS on google. This brings up a page with all you need to know. You can telephone, e-mail or write to:
BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922
G2 3WT

I could not get the e-mail link to work. Perhaps it is jammed with people complaining about the Sunday Programme.

Crux Fidelis said...

The enemy ranks are forming. This from Tanya Gold in today's "Grauniad":

George said...

Thanks for the link Crux Fidelis. I was gobsmacked reading all this regurgitated nonsense about the Pope being responsible for AIDS and millions of billions of deaths of poor babies because you can't use condoms blah... blah... blah...

Tanya Gold must have been living in a cave these last umpteen months as ALL this CRAP has been refuted by some of the most senior Scientists and Medics working in these particular fields in the world!!! Many of whom have actually gone on record applauding our Holy Father for his timely and scientifically correct observations.

She has really shown herself up as a complete and ignorant imbecillium and as for her paper's Editor is he that desperate to grab a headline! Shambolic lack of respect for our Pope. Wouldn't even use that 'rag' to line my budgie's cage!

To pinch a famous line and add a little twist "Gruniad delenda est"!

Pablo the Mexican said...

Dear Crux Fidelis,

This woman hates the Holy Father through ignorance.

Many of us claim to love him, know all there is to know about him, and still really do not have any love in our heart for him. To us, he is just the Pope, someone to recognize, but not really support.

There are those amongst us who know there is Good and Holy, the Virgin Mary, all the angels and saints, without doubting one millisecond, and still hate them.

This girl represents our failure to evangelize.

The Devil always mixes Truth with his lies, to make them easier to swallow. There is some Truth in her rants. I would listen to her, before I listen to people who are boot lickers, because boot lickers can’t get a good view of things because they are too busy licking boots. I guess you have to be careful not to choke on the laces.

Pray for this child, that she repent.

Pray for the Holy Father.


Mary Hutchinson said...

Unfortunately we have to pay the TV licence, even if we never watch BBC programmes - anything coming through the air to your television requires the licence. My dear friend in Burnley only receives EWTN. She had all the other channels removed - very brave of her. But she still had to pay the licence fee until she was 75. It's a disgrace.

Deacon Stephen Morgan said...

I have had an apology...not the most fulsome apology I have ever received, but an apology nonetheless. It is from the producer Rosie Dawson and reads: 'I'm really sorry we upset you. It was a throwaway remark and we should have taken more care. We have already covered the visit twice in more depth and seriously - once in a report from Lisieux and once in a discussion.'

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

"further there tired agenda."

"their" is possessive. "...their tired agenda."

"there" is an adverb meaning "in or at that place". "...that tired agenda over there."

"they're" is a contraction of "they are". "Ma Pepinster and the BBC, together the're furthering a tired leftist agenda."

Please oh please.


Fr Ray Blake said...

Please[,] oh please.

Stop being a pedant, it was a typo, I can see you don't read the Guardian!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Deacon Stephen, I had an vacuous, "Sorry you felt upset", letter.
So I wrote again asking for an explanation.

George said...

Fr Ray and Deacon Stephen, you've got them on the back foot, now turn up the pressure!

A full explanation of their crass disregard for Catholic sensitivities and mockery of our Faith is the very least expected.

Add to that:

Roger Bolton's head on the 'poverbial' silver platter? Nah - way too messy - yuk!!!.

How about the wholesale resignation of the entire BBC 'religious programmes' editorial team? Hmmmm... might be a step in the right direction.

A profound and public retraction of their nasty remarks and unconditional apology is also mandatory!

On the other hand do we really care about these 'pin-heads', ignoramuses and light weights? Let them all have their little moments of 'glory' now, because for sure in the fullnes of time, when they wake on the shores of Eternity........

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

"I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar." Nietzsche

Crux Fidelis said...

Fair play to the Grauniad. This was in Friday's edition and was given the same prominence as Tanya Gold's original (disgraceful) article:

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...