Friday, 22 December 2006

Seriously Hacked Off...

Chatting in the parish club this evening produced a little snippet of information which is seriously bad for my blood pressure.

One of my friends told me of what he thought would be an interesting programme due to be shown in the evening on Christmas Day. When he told me it was on Channel 4, my heart sank, because I knew it was highly unlikely that anything on that channel would be in any way favourable towards Catholicism...

Sure enough, it transpires that the programme is "The Secret Family of Jesus." Presented by Robert Beckford (described by Channel 4 as a leading theologian), the programme listing goes on to explain how he

"...tells the story of the conspiracy that Dan Brown missed. It's the story of the people who shared his bloodline and knew him best, and who existed for at least 300 years after his death."

My friend, who is a recent convert to the Faith, told me that the trailers he'd seen had described how "one" of the Gospels had mentioned the brothers and sisters of Jesus, briefly, and that any further mention of them had been firmly suppressed.

Quite apart from the feeling of déjà vu (yet another conspiracy from that wicked, scheming institution known as the Catholic Church) the sheer unadulterated cynicism which could deliberately arrange for such a programme to go out on Christmas Day really gets up my nose.

It is a deliberate attack against the teachings of the Catholic Church (and it is Catholic teaching which is being attacked, as many Protestants hold that Jesus had actual brothers and sisters) and this will be used to undermine many others - after all, if the Church lied about Jesus having brothers and sisters, then the stuff about Mary being "ever-Virgin" is untrue, and maybe even the Virgin Birth... and hey, while we're at it, why believe the stuff about the Resurrection?

This sort of slur would not be allowed against, for example, the Prophet Muhammed on the feast of Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of Ramadan. But Catholic beliefs and teachings are fair game...

Just in case any readers of my blog are in any doubt, the Gospels do refer to brothers and sisters of Jesus. However, the Fathers of the Church are quite clear that the terms "brother" and "sister" are actually being used to refer to cousins: the same thing happens in some other cultures even today (some Nigerian friends of mine caused me a great deal of confusion when I first met them by referring to cousins in this way.)

9 comments:

Paulinus said...

This sort of slur would not be allowed against, for example, the Prophet Muhammed on the feast of Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of Ramadan. But Catholic beliefs and teachings are fair game...

This is the sort of test that journalists should apply to themselves. "Would I allow myself to say this about Islam?" The answer in most cases would be "No"

I guess it shows we have thicker skins than others, which is somewhat heartening. I wouldn't like to think of Catholics burning effigies of Robert Beckford.

I heard him on Radio 5 last week. A bit sad, really, he just sounded like a sensation seeker and I ended up laughing out loud at some of the things he said. Bit sad for someone supposed to be an academic.

Happy Christmas, BTW, Mac.

Mac McLernon said...

And a Happy and Blessed Christmas to you Paulinus.

David said...

I can't say what Robert Beckford's views are on "Brothers and Sisters" of Jesus, as you say many... if not most, protestants, believe Jesus had brothers and sisters. I would however be somewhat surprised if Beckford questioned the virgin birth (or at least Virgin conception) he is a practising christian of a Pentecostal background. As a rule pentecostals don't struggle with the idea of miracles.

I suspect he is very deliberately using "Da Vinci Code" style language to generate the greatest interest in his programme, he will not however come to the same conclusions as the Da Vinci code, he may question certain Catholic beliefs (which is sad, but we can cope) but I doubt he will suggest that Jesus wasn't divine, or that he a sexual relationship with Mary Magdelene, or that he was a goddess worshipper. He isn't a catholic, and the protestant interpretation will be there, but nevertheless I suspect his aim will be to uphold the Virgin Birth, Resurrection and divinity of Christ.

Mac McLernon said...

He might not, but most people won't actually watch the programme... and all they will remember are the trailers, the description, the conspiracy tag and the idea that the Church has "changed" Christianity from its earliest "pure" form as intended by Jesus.

And showing it Christmas Day is just egging the pudding.

As I said, they wouldn't do it to the Prophet Mohammed.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

No matter how badly they grasp at straws, Sacred Scriptures names only one individual as being a Child of Mary... and as we all know, that's Jesus Christ.

And as far as "brothers" of Jesus are concerned, Acts 1:14-15;
14
All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
15
During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons in the one place).


Sheesh... that a whole lotta brothers, huh?

George said...

Robert Beckford = Dan Brown 'Wannabe'. Let's face it celebrity status can always be gained for 30 pieces of silver but these people will always end up as Judas did - dejected, scorned, depressed etc...

Anyway the ancient sport of Catholic Baiting is very much alive and well. Goes to prove though that the Catholic Faith is the One, True and Apostolic Faith otherwise why would the devil and his pathetic minions devote soooo much time throwing stones at us.

As you say Mac, doubt there will be more than a handful of 'saddos' watching this rubbish - real people will be celebrating Christmas Day!

Channel 4 - what's that?????

the dúnadan said...

Presuming your friend remembered the trailer accurately, it really does stretch credibility to suggest that the Church allowed one reference to Jesus' supposed siblings but suppressed the rest. Yeah, right, that's what oppressive organisations do, isn't it?! Perhaps the evil editors just missed that one. Again and again.

DilexitPrior said...

I was equally (perhaps even more so. . .) disgusted to hear that the CBC (think BBC but Canada) would be interviewing "the official biographer" of Satan today (Dec. 23rd) as part of their Christmas programming to shed some favourable light on Satan. Just in time for Christmas. . . Ahhh. Yeesh.

Fr Tim Finigan said...

Hi Mac! (I always feel like a trendy portable computer when I say that.) Great post. Here is an article that is helpful on this question:

Bad Aramaic made easy by the great Jimmy Akin.

And here's a great resource for those Jehovah Witness / conversation-in-the-pub-with-Christian moments:
The Catholic apologist's scriptural cheat sheet by Christopher Wong.

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