Monday, April 05, 2010

Rocco Buttiglione on the Today Programme

Professor Rocco Buttiglione, president of the Italian Christian Democratic Party did his best to speak on the Today Programme, it was met in typical BBC style, listen here.
Signor Buttiglione may well have read this article by Massimo Introvigne.


Simon Platt said...

I heard him. I thought he was a star. And, overall, I thought it was anything but typical BBC style. I mean, I remarked yesterday that the BBC only ever seems to invite catholics in irregular marriages, or laicised priests, or ex-nuns, to comment on church matters (I know that's not strictly true - they had that Fr. Iggy O'Donovan on recently - but I don't exaggerate much). To have someone one who would stick up for the church and stand up against John Humphries (boo! hiss!) was quite astonishing.

I thought Prof. Buttiglione did very well indeed. I hope he came across well to non-catholics, too.

Patricius said...

Thank you for the link to the article- it is very good.

pelerin said...

Professor Buttiglione's last statement was so true. 'Anti-Catholic prejudice is the only prejudice which is fashionable in the world today.'

All other prejudices have rightly been stamped on, outlawed, banned, forbidden. How is it that criticism and hatred towards the Catholic Faith seems to have escaped the net? And worse, as the Professor says, it is regarded as 'fashionable', ok, acceptable to criticise the Church. Journalists galore seem to have got on the bandwaggon and the public are lapping it up. The comment columns of major newspaper websites have been full of anti-catholic vitriol all agreeing with the journalists' articles and extending their hatred outwards to the Catholic population at large.

Could it be that they know that we will 'turn the other cheek' so are easy targets?

Last week I saw on display a well-known satirical magazine with a cover showing a cartoon of the Holy Father which had a caption which I found profoundly shocking. If this had referred to Mohammed there would have been riots and the artist would have received a fatwa. But the artist obviously felt confident enough to present this and the editor confident that it would sell his magazine and not offend anyone. It certainly offended me.

B flat said...

Professor Buttiglione did very well in putting independent statistics clearly, and he stuck to his guns. I am glad he was neither railroaded nor intimidated by the interviewer, in spite of the grave disadvantage of not speaking in his native language on such an emotive subject. Well done!

The introduction was tendentious, but very quickly the interviewer knew he was losing the argument and cut the talk short. What stupid people they are in the BBC, to think that the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ has to be subservient to the media agenda of bullying the Pope into grovelling on every public occasion! Their aim is to destroy every last vestige of trust in individuals towards anyone or any institution, including spouses for each other, or children for parents. Trust of teachers has gone, and towards priests is undermined. The Papacy is the greatest stronghold which they want to overcome.

Glory to God! All is going well. Christ is Risen and is with His Church. I am sure the Church will be stronger because this attack is awakening Christians' commitment and support, at such open hostility from the media. I think the NYT, BBC and others will soon leave the subject alone, like any bully, if they are resisted fearlessly. They never cared about the victims, the faithful, or the consumers of their product, who all have to live beyond this temporary sensation into eternity, burdened with prurient and impassioned interest in matters of which we were innocent until now. That is the trouble with violence and pornography which comes into our homes and consciousness under the guise of "news," and used to be confined to the gutter press.

Independent said...

Buttliogne is the man who was refused the job of Justice Commissioner because of his religion. The Penal Laws may not operate in England, but appear to be operative in the European Commission.

Mark said...

We're all in denial ! This really happened, folks! Just put your hands up and don't deepen the conspiracy. There's 3 types of lies. Lies, dammed lies & statistics! As if the evil acts and the subsequent cover-up's can be minimised by school yard finger pointing! We should know better!!!

RJ said...

I second what Simon Platt says. Mr Buttiglione stood up pretty well to the aggressive style of John Humphries, constantly interrupting.

nickbris said...

I thought that Humpries was his usual ignorant self.It really is time that he was given his marching orders and let a woman do the job without having to have cosmetic surgery first.

Professor Buttiglione was able to get his point over as did Bob Crow the other day,but it was heavy going with Humphries.

Dilly said...

There was a good programme on yesterday (still on iplayer here:
called "Are Christians being persecuted".
Nicky Campbell was the presenter - and it was pretty even-handed and uptodate (included the equality Act shenanigins - but I think they got the Pope's "intervention" out of sequence - his remarks came after the vote, I think). A nice note of scepticism when interviewing a left-wing Muslim, and the chairwoman of "Liberty".
Available for 6 more days.

Sadie Vacantist said...

Someone at the BBC fouled up - they won't invite Rocco back!

RJ said...

Having listened to the interview again, I take back my earlier comment about John Humphries interrupting. By and large, he did actually allow Mr Buttiglione to say what he wanted to say within the time constraints.

shane said...

Richard Dawkins:

"Priestly abuse of children is nowadays taken to mean sexual abuse, and I feel obliged, at the outset, to get the whole matter of sexual abuse into proportion and out of the way. Others have noted that we live in a time of hysteria about pedophilia, a mob psychology that calls to mind the Salem witch-hunts of 1692… All three of the boarding schools I attended employed teachers whose affections for small boys overstepped the bounds of propriety. That was indeed reprehensible. Nevertheless, if, fifty years on, they had been hounded by vigilantes or lawyers as no better than child murderers, I should have felt obliged to come to their defense, even as the victim of one of them (an embarrassing but otherwise harmless experience).

"The Roman Catholic Church has borne a heavy share of such retrospective opprobrium. For all sorts of reasons I dislike the Roman Catholic Church. But I dislike unfairness even more, and I can’t help wondering whether this one institution has been unfairly demonized over the issue, especially in Ireland and America… We should be aware of the remarkable power of the mind to concoct false memories, especially when abetted by unscrupulous therapists and mercenary lawyers. The psychologist Elizabeth Loftus has shown great courage, in the face of spiteful vested interests, in demonstrating how easy it is for people to concoct memories that are entirely false but which seem, to the victim, every bit as real as true memories. This is so counter-intuitive that juries are easily swayed by sincere but false testimony from witnesses.

(The God Delusion, pp. 315-16)

Crouchback said...

Yes the Prof did very well.

I've been on the phone to the BBC regularly about this and doing what the Good Prof did here, and went to the Local office, out of hours....but will be back tomorrow....on the radio 4 Today programme on Saturday, the sex abuse topic was practically the only one that didn't have statistics attached.

The Prof did exactly what I've been constantly saying to BBC call centre people.....quote statistics.....the only way out of this mess is to meet the anti catholic part of the onslaught with the Truth, backed up by numbers.

The John Jay College statistics are on line, as are the Irish Government official figures going back to 1914....and quoted in a good article by Irish Atheist Brendan O'Neil at the Spiked Online blog.

Well done Fr Blake for posting this, but I urge every Catholic to help clear the Church of this evil by doing what Prof Buttiglione the BBC on option 1.....then get to talk to a person, rather than leaving a comment on a machine.....have a couple of figures

In Ireland since 1914, there have been 381 ....ALLEGATIONS.... against priests and religious.....bad enough but these are only allegations, not really worthy of all the brou-ha-ha kicked up by the press.

Prof Buttiglionne effectively spiked Humphries guns be quoting the Truth at him, and backing it up with figures, the interview lasted just short of 6 minutes.

On the radio 4 PM news programme last week they went on and on kicking the church for the first 16 minutes.....they'd have pulled the plug if someone would have done what Prof Buttiglione did.

JARay said...

Not entirely off the point, I would like to recommend you to look at an article in The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday:-
It details actions being taken against The Boy Scout Association of America for its covering up of many (they say thousands) of cases of abuse over decades.

Matthaeus said...

Thank you for this post, Father. I did not hear the actual broadcast, so was pleased to be able to listen.

Well done, Prof. Buttiglione, for putting events into perspective in the face of the current media hostility, while never once failing to condemn any evil done by abusers.

I quite agree with the professor and with pelerin, that 'Anti-Catholic prejudice is the only prejudice which is fashionable in the world today.'

It was also interesting to note the rather oblique support for the Church in this matter from none other than Prof. Dawkins, as quoted by shane, although in some ways this is unsurprising, being, perhaps, the flip-side of the respect that many Catholics (myself included) would give to Dawkins as a scientist, while disliking him, and his polemics 'for all sorts of reasons'.

grumbelino said...

dillydaydream - I have just tried the link you gave. The result was 'this page does not exist/it may have existed but has been removed' or something like that. I can tell you I was REALLY surprised, given that the BBC has this worldwide reputation for fearless and unbiased telling of the truth, whole and unembellished. There must have been a 'glitch' somewhere, as THEY of all people would surely never deliberately 'pull' a programme, would they? I mean that would amount to all those naughty things our nannies taught us and we wouldn't want those, would we? I think that to ensure that the whole thing is dealt with honestly and impartially, we should demand that Parliament sort it out, with the appropriate allowances o course.

Paul said...

I heard this when it was aired and was pleased that Prof. Buttiglione stuck to his main point and wasn't sidetracked by Mr Humphries. It seems that any stick is acceptable to beat the Catholic Church with - the more that can be used, the better! - especially if they can be used interchangeably. Mr Humphries wasn't allowed to do this.

However, I feel I must come to Jonathan's defense a little: he often does a good job of playing devil's advocate by adopting the alternate view - and when he has two 'opposing' guests I think he does this rather well. As regards the type of guest Radio 4 has, I don't think he has much control over who they are; he just interviews them.

The question of whether there is an anti-Catholic thing going on in the media is not very clear in my opinion. I certainly think that the current crisis has brought out people's prejudices about the Church (and it is unprofessional for journalists to allow it to permeate their reporting), but to call it anti-Catholic is something I think I would not do myself.

Dilly said...

My apologies Grumbelino. Go to

halfway down, pick "religion and ethics" from the menu.
It is halfway down the resulting page. I clipped the cut and paste - and only noticed today when I saw your message. it is still there.

Ma Tucker said...


I wonder whether dearest Mr Dawkins is making light of preditory sexual abuse under the banner of fairplay. Many with his mindset are quite happy with the sexualisation of children under the guise of liberty. They see it's restriction as an outdated Christian taboo. I'm not saying he does hold these views nor that I have evidence that he is a member of any society that does however I believe Philip Pullman (author of Northern Lights) is quite happy with child sexualisation and he is a member of the Humanist society as is Richard Dawkins.

"Philip Pullman, the British author whose books include the “His Dark Materials” trilogy, said that he would no longer visit schools there because of a rule that requires him to register with an anti-pedophile database, Reuters reported. Beginning in October, adults who work regularly with children will have to register with a database run by the British government’s Independent Safeguarding Authority; the requirement will also apply to writers and other personalities who regularly visit schools. “It’s actually quite dispiriting and sinister,” said Mr. Pullman, the author of “The Golden Compass,” in an interview with BBC Radio, adding that he was not to blame if children missed his visits. “It’s the fault of the government that set up this absurd rule,”

Simon Platt said...

I don't think that quote from Philip Pullman could reasonably be used to infer support for premature sexualisation.

SPQRatae said...

Buttiglione was shot down as Commissioner designate by socialists and radicals in the European Parliament, not by the European Commission. On the contrary, the President of the European Commission stood by him as long as politically possible - a stance that cost him dear, with constant attacks in the opening years of his mandate from the left (especially in France, Belgium and Italy), as a result.
The Buttiglione Affair was still a shocking display of anti-Catholic bigotry, but it is incumbent on all of us to respect and stick to the facts.

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