Thursday, 16 September 2010

Robert Pigott on Catholic Voices

The BBC's religious affairs correspondent comments on groups claiming to represent the Catholic Church at the corporation's College of Journalism website.

The Catholic Voices team have been operational for several weeks. Broadcasters have treated them not so much as a kind of "professional vox pops", as a body with an well-articulated, mildly conservative opinion on almost all the central issues under discussion during the papal trip. So is that justified? I think it is - as long as journalists take responsibility for understanding enough of the arguments being made to be sure that Catholic Voices are, as they claim to be, speaking for Catholicism.
 And he concludes:
The line taken by Catholic Voices tends to mirror very closely that taken by the official Church. In fact at a BBC lunch a week or so ago, the Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols tried to take credit for helping to set up the group. He has certainly given it his approval and support, but unless or until the Church takes ownership of the organisation entirely, we cannot afford to drop our guard.