Cardinal Keith O'Brien is in the News again. He is against gay marriages. Is that a surprise? He is, after all, the Pope's representative in Scotland.
Last year, I got to know quite a bit about his views since the BBC gives this red Cardinal the red carpet treatment - prominent coverage on the News website. See my previous Blogs for details.
At the same time, the BBC News website leaves you in total ignorance of what Baptists or Congregationalists or Methodists or Quakers think about gay marriage. These organisations don't have a hotline to the News desk. Nor does the C of E seem to have much of a rapport with the Beeb: it just doesn't get the kind of coverage given to O'Brien and the Pope, which is strange when you think that the Beeb is supposed to be the voice of the Establishment and the C of E is our established Church. True, some people in high places would prefer it if we Returned to Rome. I think the glitter and the right-wing authoritarianism appeal in equal measure.
One should always remember that the Catholic Church was opposed to Modern Democracy until after 1945. Two things made it shift ground: Hitler and Mussolini went down to defeat; and the Americans (now camped in Rome) were willing to crusade against Communism. Remove the threat of Communism and the Catholic Church still does not have much taste for democracy. It so easily turns into secularism. In Italy, the Church favoured the Berlusconi regime. Berlusconi knew the way to the Church's heart. He gave them tax breaks.