Saturday, 23 March 2013

Pope Francis's Media Honeymoon Over?

I woke up early this morning, looked out at the wretched weather (Benedicte, opera Domini Domino...etc) and turned on the wretched BBC to hear the presenter talking briefly about Pope Francis's election as Successor of St Peter, only then for the presenter to say, " let's hear from someone who doesn't think there should be a Pope, or even a Priesthood."

Introduced to us, then, was a professor who uses the Bible for his proposition that Our Lord didn't want Priests, never established a Papacy and that none of the Apostles were Priests. Ergo, the Church shouldn't have Priests. Is this professor a Catholic? Er...Well, he is a baptised Catholic who tried his vocation in a seminary and has since abandoned, entirely, the Catholic Faith. His central line of argument was that, "the words 'priest' and 'pope' aren't in the Bible".

The BBC presenter kindly pointed the professor to the bit in the Gospel about Our Lord establishing the Church on St Peter, the Rock, but this was easily brushed aside by the professor who simply ignored what the presenter said. So, despite the fact that the BBC get a 'professor' on to discuss his thoughts on the Catholic Church and despite the fact that he has nothing to do with the Catholic Church, all he really says is, "It's not in the Bible, so there!" just like any ignorant Protestant could do. This was shortly followed by 'Thought for the Day' from Catherine Pepinster of The Tablet which, thanks be to God, I missed because I had to go out and get some tobacco. I'd sooner have my lungs infected with toxic smoke than have my mind infected with the thoughts of the editrix of The Tablet.

Obviously, in his theological studies the professor didn't take note of the bit in the Gospel where Our Lord breathes on the Apostles after the Resurrection and says, "Whosoever's sins you forgive they are forgiven. Whosoever's sins you retain, they are retained."

Don't take it personally Pope Francis. It isn't you the State TV and radio want to tear down. It wasn't Pope Benedict XVI the State TV and radio wanted to tear down.  It's just the institution of the Church they want to tear down. After the initial honeymoon with the media and despite the media's failure to successfully portray Pope Francis as the lackey of Latin American military regimes, it looks like normal service is starting to be resumed. If you want to listen retrospectively to the Today program as part of your Lenten penance, you can do so here after 9am.

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