Saturday, 4 October 2008
Time For A Rant...
I've made a little progress, I think... I have succeeded in weaning myself off the on-all-night radio which resulted in me waking up in such a foul mood as I gradually became aware of the latest anti-Catholic, anti-life, amoral slant of the BBC on whatever was in the news.
I still listen to Radio 4, but more as an aid to drifting off (generally during the 11pm comedy slot) and it is on sleep mode, so switches itself off after an hour. Unfortunately, I haven't quite managed to stop myself listening in the car.
Today, on my way home after a fabulous Missa Cantata and a very enjoyable lunch in the Robin Hood & Little John pub, I flipped on the radio. It was obviously the afternoon play, and I quickly realised that it was about Pope John Paul I. I should have switched it off then and there, but I was intrigued that a play could have been written about a Pontificate which lasted only 33 days.
After 10 minutes, I couldn't take any more.
Pope John Paul I was presented as a simple man who was horrified to find himself elected Pope, and was uncomfortable with all the trappings of the Papacy. In the teeth of his advisors, he indicated that he wished to do away with all the pomp and circumstance; he kept emphasising that he was a priest, and wished to be treated, first-and-foremost, as a priest: "I am a priest, not a king!" he declared, as he indicated that he would abolish the papal tiara.
This may well be the case: I know little of Pope John Paul's pontificate, and I believe that he walked into St. Peter's for his coronation rather than being carried, and that he wasn't crowned with the papal tiara.
But what upset me was the tone of the piece.
The Pope was portrayed as a reformer, a simple, but very determined, man, who was fighting against the "powers-that-be" in his mission to return the Church to "the people." Much was made of his struggles with the advisors, who were doing their utmost to maintain the status quo, so much so that they were actually described as being his enemies.
And then there was the issue of artificial birth control. The Pope was supposed to have declared, several times, that the encyclical Humanae vitae was, quite frankly, wrong, especially in view of the population crisis, and the Pope was calling for another review. He also claimed that the media briefings were not his own words, but that his views were being distorted and misrepresented: one of the cardinals even went as far as to say that all copies of the Pope's previous pronouncements in favour of artificial contraception had been located and hidden in the Vatican Secret Archives.
The implication was that the Pope's enemies were horrified that the Pope might want to change the Church's "policy" on artificial contraception, and therefore arranged for his death. I have to say that I may be jumping to conclusions here, as I was so disgusted by the blatant bias and obvious agenda of the BBC in putting this play on the air that I switched the radio off. However, if anyone can prove to me that the play actually ended differently, then I'll send them £10.
But, of course, Mark Thompson is a Catholic, and they listened to the viewers and didn't actually show Popetown (selling it elsewhere doesn't count!) so you can't possibly accuse the BBC of anti-Catholic bias...
Yeah, right... and I'm the next Pope.