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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Cardinal Keith O'Brien and the BBC

You may well recognise the name of Cardinal Keith O'Brien. I think of him as the Catholic Church's answer to Attila the Hun. At Easter and Christmas, he's the man who issues the blood-curdling press releases which knock the poor old Archbishop of Canterbury off the front pages. O'Brien is about as reactionary as they come, specialising in Messages of Hope which scare the pants off you.

But today it's a slightly different story. True, he's grabbed the front page of the BBC News website which is nothing new. But today we are presented with a new liberal Cardinal O'Brien denouncing the government for increasing aid to Pakistan by £445 million without demanding any matching Pakistani commitment to securing religious freedom for Pakistani Christians, who are (undeniably) persecuted.

It's a very well-aimed criticism and it's perfectly newsworthy, especially in the context of the recent assassination of Pakistan's only Christian government minister.

But of one thing I am sure: it's on the BBC News website's front page because it provides the editors there with another opportunity to do their daily outreach work for the Roman Catholic Church.

Someone could do a useful job with a Blog which simply tracked the endless drip-drip of Catholic press releases onto the BBCs website. Volunteers?

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