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Podcast: Is the BBC a friend or foe of Catholics?

Jack Valero and Ed West clash over whether Catholics can trust Britain’s most powerful media entity

By on Friday, 28 June 2013

The BBC is a powerful force in Britain and around the world (PA)

The BBC is a powerful force in Britain and around the world (PA)

The British Broadcasting Corporation is arguably one of the world’s most powerful media entities. Many Catholics have long argued that its output is consistently anti-Catholic. But is it actually hostile to Catholicism or merely ignorant about certain aspects of Church teaching? And could it be that the Catholic Church and the BBC have a built-in rivalry as influential institutions competing to shape Britain’s moral landscape?

In this podcast Jack Valero, coordinator and co-founder of Catholic Voices, and Ed West, deputy editor of The Catholic Herald, debate whether the Beeb is truly the friend or foe of Catholics.

We hope you enjoy the discussion and welcome your feedback.

CatholicHerald.co.uk

  • teigitur

    The weather is fair on planet Alan, apparently. There are none so blind etc……..

  • teigitur

    Oh and I could waste the rest of the weekend listing ” individual examples”. but I won’t.”Many a mickle makes a muckle”.

  • Banmeagain

    To be be fair, your not forced to pay for the BBC. I agree with you as a point of principal i will not pay money towards a organisation that is clearly as anti-catholic as the BBC, so they will never see a penny from me. You can do the same if you want to. Catholics need to start stepping out of the comfort zone…..

  • Banmeagain

    I suspect you can’t see the problem because you either have become so domesticated that you are happy with any scraps the establishment might throw you. Or you are happy with the terraforming of the Catholic Church by the BBC into the one world church and an environment more suitable for demons.

  • AlanP

    “So was Jimmy Savile. So what?”
    What a disgraceful comment. We can reasonably surmise that Savile’s supposed Catholicism was skin deep, if that.
    I frankly think that you and some other posters here are paranoid, thinking that the BBC is engaged in some fiendish plot to do down Catholicism. The best test, perhaps, is to compare it with other media outlets. I cannot think of any non-religious broadcaster or newspaper/magazine which is MORE favourable to Catholicism, and several which are less so (eg Channel 4, and LBC which I have already mentioned).

  • Banmeagain

    Here is one answer i made earlier ;-)

    One example among the myriad, that demonstrates the modus operandi of the BBC, would be how one of it’s main propaganda divisions, the news website, was able to effectively have the same story (Catholic child abuse) at near perpetual levels blasting out on their front page for nearly 3 years. They would normally have a regular story up for 4-8 hours on the front page, but at times they would have individual stories, adverts and commentaries on Catholic child abuse up for 2-3 days at a time. Take it down, then rehash the same story or something similar and post for another few days. The timing was such that there was always the negative message beaming to all those millions of daily hits from around the world over a long period, working in to people consciousness and subconsciousness. They kept this up even through Benedict’s visit (particularly before he arrived, ramped it up to 2 or even 3 stories at the same time) in a vain attempt to whip up hatred and demonstrations against the Pope’s visit.
    Of course the puppet masters at the top know exactly how propaganda and human psychology works and the effect this brainwashing banner technique has (always having the words ‘Catholic’ and ‘abuse’ headlining). Anyone who in the last 3 years ventured onto a comments/message board, no matter what the subject or story, and mentioned the word ‘Catholic’ would immediately see the pavlovian response of utter hatred, sneering and pedophile comments flow from the readers comments. These average joe commentators know virtually nothing of the cases or the Church, yet that had formed a rock solid judgement and contempt towards the Church without ever having engaged any knowledge or their logic. Classic brainwashing courtesy of the cuddly and familiar old Auntie, you know the one that has the calm soothing trustworthy voice but will kill you with kindness and a thousand cuts of her snake like tongue.

    To end on a more positive note, the problem with brainwashing is it needs to be constantly reinforced for optimal effectiveness and so with the advent of the Savile scandal the BBC has backed off beating the Church with that particular stick recently, not wanting people to notice their utter hypocrisy.

  • Banmeagain

    The BBC is heavily loaded with feminists, trendy lefty young people, and loud and proud homosexuals even in the lower ranks. You could not recruit a more Anti-Catholic cast if you tried. That is BEFORE we get to the real puppet masters that put them in those position and set the stage.

    Of course, when i say Anti-Catholic, i mean orthodox (genuine) Catholicism of course which you don’t seem to be recognising.

  • AlanP

    Ah, do I detect that you are one of those people who don’t regard our hierarchy as properly orthodox? That explains a lot. The BBC has had some regular Catholic commentators for many years, such as Ed Stourton, Clifford Longley, and Catherine Pepinster. And Archbishop Nichols was on only this morning, on the Sunday programme.
    Yes, there are “trendy leftists” and feminists, but also the likes of Jeremy Clarkson (admittedly no Catholic) who is the very antithesis of a trendy lefty, while people like Peter Hitchens and Melanie Phillips are very frequent BBC broadcasters.
    I would also mention that the BBC has a STATUTORY obligation to be balanced, so if they were not they could be breaking the law.

  • Banmeagain

    Hi Alan, yes i am one of those people that does not regard Archbishop (Soho masses/same sex unions are cool) Nichols as properly orthodox or sincere.

    When you have to give Jeremy Clarkson as the best example of the defence of orthodoxy on the BBC i rest my case. By the way, he would have been purged years ago but his show top gear is so damn popular and lucrative for the BBC that they are stuck with him for the time being……

  • AlanP

    I was not giving Clarkson as an example of orthodoxy! Just as an example of someone the polar opposite of “trendy lefty”.
    So you regard Archbishop Nichols as not sincere? And if he is not orthodox either, what does that make him? Personally I regard him as a most acceptable public face of Catholicism in this country, just as Basil Hume was.

  • Banmeagain

    Hi again,

    “I was not giving Clarkson as an example of orthodoxy! Just as an example of someone the polar opposite of “trendy lefty”.”

    The polar opposite of a trendy lefty is Orthodoxy!!!

    So how do you respond to Nichols specific statement that same sex unions are a good thing, when the magisterium of the Church teaches the opposite??

    “So you regard Archbishop Nichols as not sincere? what does that make him?”

    Insincere? ;-)

    Hehe, excuse the naughty editing, it is just for laughs. I learned how to manipulate statements from watching the BBC for so many years!

  • Benedict Carter

    ” … Ed Stourton, Clifford Longley, and Catherine Pepinster. And Archbishop Nichols was on only this morning …”.

    ROFL! They are your examples of Catholics?!

  • AlanP

    I don’t think the Archbishop said that. What he said, as I recall, is that he supported the civil partnership legislation. There is, of course, a difference between sin and crime. As far as I know, he has never said that homosexual sex is right, indeed he would not be doing his job if he DID say that.
    The polar opposite of a trendy lefty is, I suppose, a trendy righty.

  • AlanP

    I hope you’re not implying that I would in any way approve of personal attacks of the kind you refer to. The atheist lobby is very active these days, and they have no shame in using child abuse scandals as a stick with which to beat the Church and, indeed, all religion. But on the point at issue, I don’t think the BBC was any more prominent in publicising the scandals than the rest of the media. The idea that the BBC is engaged in some fiendish plot to undermine Catholicism is ludicrous.

  • sarah

    Well said Sarah_TMS

  • Frank

    I agree. And I think we’ve passed the low-point. There are already vast numbers of young people out there who are aware that things are not as they should or could be. It’s taking the next step that is difficult.

  • http://www.credobiblestudy.com/ Irenaeus of New York

    [---
    Podcast: Is the BBC a friend or foe of Catholics?
    ---]

    If you have to ask, then the answer is in the question.

  • ninoinoz

    Already have done.

    I await the knock at the door…….

  • Sara_TMS_again

    Well, I think what exposing hypocrisy means is becoming ever clearer.

    Building bridges means, as far as I can see, engaging with people on their ground rather than yours (without compromising the truth).

  • Sara_TMS_again

    Personally, I thought the BBC coverage of the 2010 Papal visit was great. I played the Beatification Mass on iplayer over and over again, and it was fantastic to have so much coverage of the visit in general. Of course you had to cover the ‘Protest the Pope’ rallies- we had, and have, real questions to answer about our treatment of child abuse victims, and anyone who minimises that is doing the Church no favours at all.

  • Benedict Carter

    Forget bridges. They aren’t even objective.

  • Benedict Carter
  • AlanP

    “Trendy righty” examples would include the aforementioned Jeremy Clarkson, also Rod Liddle, Peter Hitchens, A N Wilson, James Delingpole, etc. They all appear on the BBC, indeed Liddle used to be editor of the Today programme!
    Archbishop Nichols was saying that it is better for a homosexual couple to have a public declaration of fidelity than not to. Civil partnerships discourage promiscuity. That must be a good thing. He has, of course, vehemently denounced “gay marriage”.

  • Banmeagain

    Jeremy Clarkson, Peter Hitchins and Rod Liddle trendy? OK, will have to agree to disagree on that one and leave it at that. Never heard the term before and i hope i never do, cringworthy no?!

    As for Archbishops statements, the fact the YOU as a Catholic can publicly and confidently defend two homosexuals living together in sin and AGREE that the state should endorse this union and encourage/ promote this through tax breaks etc is nothing short of a travesty. A travesty that can be squarely laid at Nichols door through his betrayal of Catholic doctrine.

    The Church teaches that homosexual actions are ALWAYS a grave mortal sin.

    The Church teaches that ANY couple living together outside marriage is in GRAVE MORTAL SIN.

    If he does not believe that or refuses to teach that he should leave the Church immediately, along with anyone else that agrees with him…because they are defacto no longer Catholic but rather preaching their own beliefs and not Catholic ones.

    I doubt you get the seriousness of what i am saying so let me put it more simply. If you daughter announced that she was going to move in with her boyfriend you would immediately recognise that the Church says this is wrong….. a grave moral sin, public scandal, and a permanent wilful occasion of sin not even including the sex outside marriage. Yet you and Nichols say it is good for homosexuals? Have you completely lost your mind and soul??

  • Guest

    Jeremy Clarkson, Peter Hitchins and Rod Liddle trendy? OK, will have to agree to disagree on that one and leave it at that. Never heard the term before and i hope i never do, cringworthy no?!

    As for Archbishops statements, the fact the YOU as a Catholic can publicly and confidently defend two homosexuals living together in sin and AGREE that the state should endorse this union and encourage/promote this through tax breaks etc is nothing short of a travesty. A travesty that can be squarely laid at Nichols door through his betrayal of Catholic doctrine.

    The Church teaches that homosexual actions are ALWAYS a grave mortal sin.

    The Church teaches that ANY couple living together
    outside marriage is in GRAVE MORTAL SIN.

    If he does not believe that or refuses to teach that he should leave the Church immediately, along with anyone else that agrees with him…because they are defacto no longer Catholic but rather preaching their own beliefs and not Catholic ones.

    I doubt you get the seriousness of what i am
    saying so let me put it more simply. If you daughter announced that she was going to move in with her boyfriend you would immediately recognise that the Church says this is wrong….. a grave moral sin, public scandal, and a permanent wilful occasion of sin not even including the sex outside marriage. Yet you and Nichols say it is good for homosexuals?

  • Banmeagain

    Everything i am writing to you Alan is now being deleted by the CH so i guess here endeth out conversation. So much for free speech…..

  • Banmeagain

    Dear moderator, i hope you sleep well at night knowing you have been doing your bit to eradicate free speech and freedom to conscientiously object to those that are doing harm to Holy Mother Church.

  • AlanP

    Read my post again, and you will see I’m NOT saying that. I’m saying that legal civil partnerships are justified because they are a public commitment to fidelity, which is better than promiscuity. Homosexual sex will inevitably occur whether or not this public commitment exists, so is it not better that the partnership law is there?
    We should all be more worried, as I am, by the soaring rates of divorce and STDs among older people. Many of my generation (in their 60s and 70s) are fornicating around like nobody’s business, yet nothing is said about that. To my mind that is a far bigger problem (and at least as sinful) as civil partnerships.

  • Banmeagain

    Jeez Alan where do i start…..? You have just stated explicitly that condoning and therefore sanctioning, even assisting in the lesser of two evils is acceptable to you. That is fine and your choice to believe that, but it is ABSOLUTELY not the teaching of the Catholic Church. I think you need to make a decision, either you make a commitment to study the teachings of the Church and live by them or you stop pretending you are a Catholic. The Church teaches that evil begets more evil so can NEVER compromise on such a core principle.

    “. I’m saying that legal civil partnerships are justified because they
    are a public commitment to fidelity, which is better than promiscuity.”

    The only sexual relations that are not sinful are within marriage. End of.

    “Homosexual sex will inevitably occur whether or not this public
    commitment exists, so is it not better that the partnership law is
    there?”

    No. There are many things that will inevitably occur, theft, slander, murder etc etc. Some people will inevitably choose the reject God’s laws but as Catholics we can NEVER condone/accommodate/assist them in offending God. End Of.

    “We should all be more worried, as I am, by the soaring rates of divorce and STDs among older people”

    Worrying does no good, you seem to be stuck in a negative loop. What does do good is to pray for people (including yourself), count your blessings and try to live an authentic Catholic life. This will be a good example to others and assist/advise them where needed if you can, but you can’t worry about all the sins in the world, it will ruin you. You only have the power to fix yourself right now. It seems to me Alan you have lost your way and you need to get back to Catholic basics. Get back to prayer, it really works!!! Ask God and your Angel to help you/guide you.

    Godspeed.

  • gabriel_syme

    The protest was c 10,000
    —————-

    That must have been the BBC / organisers figure.
    I think the Polis said 5,000 tops.
    Just like how, during Benedicts UK visit, Peter Tatchell tried to inflate 3,000 protestors to 20,000.

  • joe

    Many commentators here defend the BBC, and say it is fair to Catholics. One reply is that the BBC lost fairness years ago. Prove this, you say? All you have to do is to listen to how the BBC treats Muslims, and then contrast it with how Catholics are treated. The BBCs fawning deference to Islam verges on the totally disgusting.

  • paulsays

    ‘friend or foe’ is really too binary a question to answer… the answer to the question depends on where we go looking.

    Many radio 4 programs treat Catholicism more easily, and we become part of the discussion rather than an object of mockery. I think this is much more constructive then the blind prejudice that can occur in other areas of the BBC.

    However, as long as the abuse scandals keep coming I don’t know what little hope we have. We can hardly appear to have the moral high-ground with that always in people’s minds.

    I know that if I can not been brought up as a Catholic, I would likely have a similar mindset of hostility and cynicism towards the Church. I hope perhaps Pope Francis has the spirit of Character to purge the Church of its problems.

  • Jeffocks

    Interesting viewpoint. You don’t mention the BBC’s own sex abuse scandal and its cover up – this maybe to do with how successful the BBC has been in distancing itself from its own scandals. I agree the Church’s abuse scandal is very corrosive – but in terms of fair reporting, the BBC and liberal left broadsheets have not been fair to the Church. In 2011 there were 21,000 sex abuse cases reported in the UK over the year, and a similar figure in Queensland Australia for the same year. That figure is double the number of cases in the Church over a 50 year period world-wide! That is still 10,000+ too many of course, but I had to search for these figures, they were not reported by the BBC when presenting the Church’s abuse.