|Two things that the BBC excel in|
Now, wilful ignorance has given way to a prejudiced and spiteful anti Catholic campaign.
It spills over into all types of programmes; this morning's business news had a woman from industry (name unknown) who pronounced with great authority on the fact that the Catholic Church was so archaic, 115 men "average age 71 years" repeat etc., "all speaking latin to each other" (what did she expect - Serbo-Croat?) and all in a huddle to determine a new leader.
Annoying, ignorant and shallow, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Yesterday, on Radio 4's Today programme we had the ubiquitous Jimmy Naughtie interviewing none other than the highly respected and mainstream Church authority, Hans Kung.
Hans Kung! I ask you!
Of course, we were treated to a stream of damning statements regarding Pope Benedict XVI's reign.
And now, today, the same programme featured an interview with John Humphrys (always good for an inaccurate grasp of Church matters) and an ex priest (of course, they are de rigeur when a commentary on the Catholic Church is required) and Fiona O'Reilly batting for the good team on behalf of Catholic Voices.
First of all we were treated to a few sound bites from Tabletista and ex Amplefordian Ed Stourton (yawn, vomit).
Ed told us that the Pontiff (Pope Benedict XVI) had "fallen asleep" and the consquences were that the Church had failed in its dedication to social justice and in listening to the people.
I almost thought I heard cries of "Up the people" in the background but I may have been hallucinating at this stage.
Red Ed continued with his
I am sure that his scripts are written by the same frothy mouthed mob of socialist workers that put in an appearance at the Cardiff 40 Days Vigil recently.
Then on to (oh, joy) the man Humphrys described as a "Gay, 'married' priest" - is that an oxymoron? It's certainly a moronic comment.
For some unknown reason Humphrys adopted the American pronunciation of the GMP's name; Ber-naard Lynch he kept saying in pretty polly fashion.
Well Ber-naard certainly lived up to expectations. We were treated to barrow loads of sodomite cant such as "I was expelled from the Church because of my love for my 'husband'" (bucket please nurse).
Ber-naard (I can't stop saying it now) added that 95% of practising Catholics used contraception.
What that had to do with the debate was anyone's business but, where on earth did he get that statistic?
Not from the Farm Street Homo Information Bureau I trust.
Fiona O'Reilly did a valiant job but, coming in more or less at the end of the discussion, she was ever on the hind foot.
John Humphrys kept banging on about the Catholic Church ignoring the sexual priest issue blah, blah (and we cannot deny that this has been a problem, but one of that the Bishops have allowed to escalate) and I dearly wanted Fiona to bite back and ask what the Beeb did about Jimmy Savile for more than forty years, but, she was too Christian a girl for that.
That, in itself, typifies one of my concerns regarding Catholic Voices. The aims of the group are admirable but we don't just need "young and with it Catholic speakers", we also need to move away from a re-active stance to a pro-active one.
This (and I know you will hate me for saying it) is where having a good Catholic Media Director in place would pay dividends.
Someone who knows the press and the media inside out and who will take the battle to them; not sit back and wait until the problem has boiled over into a mega crisis.
Of course, if we had a corps of Bishops* who had moral fibre and some sort of spine, the problem would be solved.
Cardinal Heenan, where are you?
* I do not include the excellent Bishops of Portsmouth and Shrewsbury here.