Wednesday, 21 October 2009

BBC bias

Oh well, all that time travelling meant very little was done here...

Yesterday saw the announcement of the Catholic Church's response the requests of Anglicans from different parts of the world to eneter into full communion with the Church. It is a very generous response, sensitive to their needs and difficulties. There has been a fair amount in the British press about this.

This evening I wrote a complaint to the BBC concerning an on-line article written by Robert Piggott which can be found at

This is what I wrote:

'The article suggests that what the Catholic Church has proposed is "fishing". It makes no reference at all to what the statements explicitly stated - that the whole proposal is a response to the requests of large numbers of disaffected Anglicans and their Bishops - for example, the worldwide group known as the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), whose numbers are in the hundreds of thousands, and also some Church of England bishops as well. Thus the article's emphasis rests on an assertion that this is just fishing, or we might say a kind of poaching. The very fact that it mentions the question of archbishop's representative in Rome, Bishop David Richardson who asks why such a proposal should be put forward at this time, suggests that this proposal is opportunistic in the midst of Anglican difficulties. The answer to this question really rests in the already publicised advances and requests of TAC and other Anglican bishops. The fact that this is not mentioned renders this article defective.
'The article suggests also that the language used would strike most people as "complete gobbledygook". But by saying this it suggests that the language is indeed gobbeldygook - but it isn't: anyone trained in Catholic canon law and many Anglican parish priests and those working in the military would see parallels in the Military Ordinariates that the Catholic Church already has for military chaplaincy. Furthermore, the Catholic Church already has groups of former Anglicans using Anglican-style rites in the United States (why wasn't this mentioned in a supposedly balanced and factual article?).
'Lastly the article ends with a most surprising, emotive and unsupported assertion: "It gave the misleading impression of institutions that were out of touch and irrelevant to the lives of the many unattached but spiritually hungry people whom the churches need to attract." Though it uses the word "misleading" this is a clearly biased statement. It could be argued that in fact the proposed provisions are indeed an answer to spiritually hungry people who are looking for a true home, a Catholic home, outside of the disturbing and upsetting divisions of Anglicans. Why wasn't this mentioned to show that indeed such an impression would be misleading?
'I would propose that this article by Robert Piggott should at the very least be substantially corrected and rewritten or, better, removed.'


David Lindsay said...

These clergy, of whom I know many well, are not bringing anyone with them: their parishes are largely in areas with long, or even not so long, folk memories of the tensions caused by Irish immigration.

I have known people become Methodists because the local Anglo-Catholic church closed and they didn't want to go to the next pit village, where the Anglican church was no Lower.

Their buildings are often no older than ours, being in places that only sprang up in the nineteenth century.

The provision for the Personal Ordinary to be an ex-Anglican makes this a one-generation arrangement by definition.

And what, exactly, are the distinguishing marks that they will be permitted to retain? What? And why?

Frugal Dougal said...

In the Anglican Communion we're not particularly bothered/offended etc by this - the Papal announcement doesn't seem to contain facilities for anything particularly new.