Thursday, October 07, 2010

Pope Benedict Confounds His Critics


There's a great piece up by William Doino:
Three weeks have passed since the Pope’s visit to Great Britain, and memories of it still fill my mind, because it was a triumph few had expected. Of all the remarkable things I saw, while blogging about it for First Things, nothing more surprised me than this: on September 18th, as his Popemobile rolled toward Hyde Park—with Benedict waiving to his supporters packed along the streets—a BBC reporter, watching in amazement, suddenly burst out: “The 83-year-old pontiff has confounded his critics!”

To appreciate the significance of that comment, one has to understand the BBC. For years, it has been among Benedict's most cynical media foes, questioning every aspect of his pontificate. The coverage has been so bad that Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien felt it necessary to speak out (Catholic bishops in the U.K. tend to keep their heads down), denouncing the network’s “consistent anti-Christian institutional bias,” particularly against the Catholic Church.

Yet there was that BBC reporter, undergoing an awakening, if only for an instant.

Even more astonishing was the reaction of another commentator, Joe Wilson, of BBC Radio Lancashire: “Somehow as the four days progressed, bit by bit, the Pope’s visit transformed from the worry of embarrassment that reaction would be tepid, to the glow of the eventual warmth given off by the obvious love so many felt for him.”

He quoted a pilgrim “still floating on a cloud somewhere” over Hyde Park: “It was really, really wonderful. We were just surrounded by so many different people. Young people, elderly people, more young people than elderly people, people of all nationalities. It was awesome.”

This was not supposed to happen.

Read the rest here.

3 comments:

Carol said...

How nice that they couldn't help admitting it. It says something good on their part unlike most coverage here that I recall is to just shove it, hide the numbers, gloss over everything focusing on haters.

Carol said...

In the US that is.

Anonymous said...

I agree the way the BBC coverage changed, not least I think by simply by being confronteed by the sheer fact of a massive religious event, and the Holy Father's own forthrightness and manifest theological erudition (and appropriately and vigorously strong words on the priest pervert scandal).

But I would want to contest your assertion that UK bishops keep their heads down. They may not talk about abortion every five minutes (although they're hardly silent on that either though, especially the Scots, who actually put their money where their mouth is, fund substantial alternatives for the mothers in question, and denounce right-wing attacks on the welfare state, particularly as they affect children, in or out of wedlock), but they do speak out on many other key issues, denouncing the rape of Iraq, the standing blasphemous obscenity of the UK (and others) nuclear arsenal, our rampant and rabid capitalism that commodifies everything, not least sex, and rips families and societies apart in the name of ever greater "international competitiveness", and the rampant and growing inequality that has resulted in bank bailouts that have bankrupted our Treasury (and yours), and are now leading to savage cuts, even though the arrest, imprisonment, and expropriation of a few filthy rich London scumbags (especially non-dom ex-Soviet oligrachs, revelling in their stolen trillions while Russian pensioners freeze to death in the streets) would, along with the destruction of our demonic nuclear weapons, make all our debts go away.

The things that are anti-Catholic in our country are the things that make America tick in it's very beating heart, not the heart of America's people, many of whom are of course deeply Catholic themselves, but the heart of those who decide everything that happens of importance in the US.

Please don't forget that. Americanism wasn't denounced as a heresy without reason. Erastianism is the enemy, on both sides of the pond. The eagle will always plunge it's talons into the lamb and tear out it's breast rejoicing, and the lion will join it, kicking the tiara as it goes, with Gallican cheers all round.

"Remember, even if your heart belongs to Jesus, your body, and your shooting finger, belong to tthe United States Marine Corps!"

Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, slightly paraphrased.