Sunday 3 March 2013

No Comment for the BBC

Robert Piggott reporting from Westminster Cathedral

The retirement of Pope Benedict has brought about any number of unusual circumstances.  It hadn't occurred to me that one of them might be the BBC asking to interview me! 

The BBC Correspondent Robert Piggot telephoned me last night to ask if he could come and televise / photograph Mass here and interview me about "the other way of worshiping that Benedict has brought back" in the Extraordinary Form.  

It didn't happen, as I'm simply not convinced that anything the BBC would put out would not be biased or couched in a way that would reflect poorly on anything traditional.  Part of me would love the opportunity to speak in support of the Church and of Benedict, Pope Emeritus, but - right or wrong - I simply don't believe we'd get a fair hearing.

This is not just my own particular hang-up.  Witness a report by Deacon Nick and another by A Reluctant Sinner.  So no BBC fame for me or rushing over to the studio to do "Thought for the Day".


Zephyrinus said...

Dear Fr.

Congratulations. You did exactly the right thing. BBC Radio 4 recently visited Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, (Fr. Timothy Finigan, Parish Priest).

My understanding, of the way the Radio Report went out on air, was that it was terribly slanted towards the BBC's well-known anti-Catholic, anti-Traditionalist viewpoint.

Many of the comments from Blackfen Parishioners, who were interviewed, were completely ignored.

Other people, so-called "Religious Experts", were interviewed AFTER the Blackfen recordings had been taken and were invited to give their opinions on what Blackfen had said. The Blackfen Faithful, obviously, were not offered this facility.

Two weeks ago, I happened to hear a Radio programme on a Sunday morning on BBC Radio 4.

It was introduced by Edward Stourton. Four of the people, invited to comment on the Pope's recent abdication, were: Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor; Professor Tina Beattie; A "Tablet" journalist; Hans Kung.

I kid you not.

I applaud your stance, Fr. It is the correct one.

I wouldn't touch the BBC with a barge-pole, no matter what their blandishments or their promises were.

"Get behind me, Satan. . ."

Genty said...

Wise decision, Father.

Simon Platt said...

I'm afraid they turned up at St Mary Magdalen, instead. The P.P., Fr Griffin, had given permission, but I don't think anyone else knew until a few minutes before mass - including the visiting celebrant, Canon Valadier. One can't really say "no" in circumstances like that; I'm afraid I think it was unwise for Fr Griffin to give his permission.

Mulier Fortis said...

Very wise decision, Father. I can back up everything that Zephyrinus has said...

They also ignored/cut any statements which didn't support their biased views.

I wouldn't trust the BBC to report anything without bias.

Anonymous said...


Absolutely the right decision made this morning. Goodness knows what the PP of St Mary Magdalene's was thinking about allowing the BBC in. I agree with Simon, very very unwise indeed! Hopefully it wasn't mischeif making - I'm sure it wasn't but in these dramatic times it's hard to work out who stands with whom!

On that topic I don't know about anyone else but I'm beginning to get a bit hot under the collar. I can't remember it being like this during the last conclave, granted, the secular world and the mainstream media has 'progressed'. The situation with Crdinal O'Brien is really not helping matters and even though I'm not a conspiracy theorist - I'm starting to have od thoughts about timings etc.

Also Im beginning to really struggle to defend our Faith in the public arena with work, family and friends, which is awful! I feel a bit like a pariah. Most of my family attend a Church where the Pope Emeritus' abdication has even been mentioned properly and they just don't seem to understand the situation.

Anyone else struggling? Any advice because I'm feeling somewhat browbeat.

Mary, Help of Christians - pray for us!

RJ said...

After the broadcast by Edward Stourton, I wrote some feedback to point out that interviewing only liberal dissenters was scarcely a balanced approach. Funnily enough, the next broadcast I heard included an interview with a 'traditionalist' lady who said she rejected the teaching of Vatican II. An attempt at balance? Unfortunately, they didn't point out that this lady was schismatic and therefore scarcely representative of Catholics. It may be, Father, that they are trying to widen the scope of their interviewees in approaching you. Whether they are really going to be able to understand and represent the Church as a communion rather than as a collection of factions in perpetual conflict is another matter. Tricky.

Cathy said...

That Robert Piggott is ghastly. He can never give a report about Catholic matters without putting in the knife in a smug sanctimonious way.

Tony Heyes said...

The entire media in this country is incapable of balance. All the reports of the forthcoming conclave are about anything but the needs of the Church. What they don't know they make up. Keep well away from any reporter, Father. They never do their homework and anything you say will be used in evidence against you.

Anonymous said...

I think you a have been very wise and rejected a temptation from the evil one.

Et Expecto said...

Having read the Protect the Pope post, I would advise everyone to go to the BBC website and launch a formal complaint. It is very easy to do.

Anonymous said...

The report is here, although only for a few more hours:

Ignorance is strength!

Simon Platt.