BBC Bias

Am I being unreasonable?

On BBC Radio 4's today programme this morning at 08:46 John Humphrys led an item discussing Pope Francis convention of his "shadow cabinet" this week. Apparently, the council "Mavericks to a man..." quoth Humphrys, have been brought together "for a first round of talks on reforming the Catholic Church."

WHAT? Where on earth did that come from? This is a Church whose soul purpose is to hold the Apostolic teaching given to us in perpetuity-unchanged-until the parousia, the second coming of Christ. What's to change? Sure, administration, bureaucracy mal-administration...In other words, management. But the stuff itself, the whole point is that objective truth does not change. That's the whole history of the Church.

Humprhys, in typically balanced, journalistic, form, sums up the Church by explaining that it's teaching is so hopelessly out of date that everyone in the whole world things it is completely dis-functional.

Yeah, right-oh John. How incredibly patronising for the 1.1 Billion Catholics in the world. How BBC, How Radio 4.

So, who, in their professional commitment to balanced journalism, do you think they get on to talk about this? Archbishop Vincent Nichols? A lecturer on Canon Law, ecclesiology, or Church History from Wonersh or Oscott? One of a thousand excellent, knowledgeable priests we have in this country? Someone from the Catholic Herald or Catholic Voices perhaps?

Nope. They get that hip, modern thinker, the 85 year old Swiss Professor, Hans Küng.

He's so forward thinking that he's backwards. In the late 1960s, he became the first major Roman Catholic theologian since the late 19th century Old Catholic Church schism to publicly reject the doctrine of papal infallibility, and was stripped of his missio canonica, his licence to teach as a Roman Catholic theologian in 1979.

I mean, the only thing Küng, the darling theologian of ACTA supporters everywhere, is famous for is for being a constant, vocal, critique of the Church. Even at Vatican II, he was regarded as ‘incendiary, superficial, and polemical’. Oh, and for driving a bright red sports car around Rome (I bet Pope Francis would disapprove of that!).

The Pope doesn't drive a sports car.


  1. I have written to the programme's editor and cc'd the acting head of news. Here's a copy:

    Dear Mr Angus

    This morning's 'Today' programme included an interview with Hans Kung.

    The section immediately before – the report from the correspondent actually 'on the spot' in Rome – was quite informative and in stark contrast to the hyperbole of 'the biggest upheaval in over 1000 years' - a dispassionate description of what has been going on and why the reorganisation of the governing structure is necessary. The present Pope's stinging description of the narcissism of the 'court' was well worth highlighting, in my humble opinion.

    But why Hans Kung? To describe him as 'respected' is pushing the definition of 'respected' to breaking point. He hasn't been an authorised Catholic priest or teacher for over 30 years – you cannot go to him for anything other than personal prejudice, dressed up as academic comment.

    He's had a personal argument with the previous Pope, dating back to the 1960s. He's a superannuated, ageing hippy with views still stuck in the self-indulgence of his youth. You might as well ask Ian Paisley for a dispassionate analysis of the RC Church. It's a bit disingenuous to fail to mention that he has been 'cast into the outer darkness' and sits there, wailing and gnashing his teeth!

    It let down what was rather an interesting report, sadly.

    With best wishes

    The two I sent it to are:

    Jamie Angus, editor, 'Today' programme -
    Fran Unsworth, acting head of news -

    Don't bother using the complaint form on the website. They don;t get around to reading it for weeks.

    As my pals at MediaLens always say: be polite, don't be abusive. Withering scorn is ok but patronising abuse is a no-no!


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