According to the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation, the world’s largest public service broadcast network that exists under a Royal Charter) is planning to celebrate the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to England and Scotland in September by putting the pontiff “on trial.” The 90-minute show will offer a hypothetical trial of the pope for covering up child sex abuse cases by priests.
While the director-general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, is supposed to be a Catholic, the irony is apparently lost on the directors of the BBC that the demand for the pope to be tried for such “crimes” was first urged by atheists (such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens) and by rabid anti-Catholics in the Britain.
The new outrage against English Catholics follows several vicious insults against the Church and the Pope, including by members of the British civil service helping to organize the pope’s visit.
Back in April, a committee of civil servants at the Foreign Office at Whitehall in London, the so-called Government’s Papal Visit Team, drafted a document of suggestions for the pope’s itinerary (under the heading “The ideal visit would see ...”), including having Pope Benedict bless a homosexual wedding and open an abortion wing in a hospital. The list was leaked promptly to the media and caused a brief storm of controversy that ended with a formal British apology to the Holy See.
This is not the first time that the British television and radio have insulted Catholics. There was outcry recently over the hostile documentary on the sex abuse crisis by the British broadcast network Radio 4, and the BBC itself caused outrage in 2005 when it announced plans to air the controversial cartoon show Popetown that mocked Pope John Paul II.