Wednesday, 15 September 2010

William Oddie on Catholic Voices

The former editor of the Catholic Herald writes about CV here.

I know nothing of the origins of this outfit: I came across it first on Sunday, when as a result of attempting to defend on Radio 5 Live ... the practice of clerical celibacy in the teeth of a BBC poll of British Catholics which purported to show them considerably more against it than for it, I was asked two hours later if I would go immediately to a BBC TV studio to talk about the same thing on the BBC News channel. As this would have meant missing either Mass or Sunday lunch with my family or both I said no.

An hour later, as I preparing to leave the house to go to Church, I turned on the TV to see if they’d got someone else already, and they had: a young woman from Catholic Voices (whose name I missed), personable, well informed, competent, agreeable in manner, persuasive, who kept her calm admirably in the face of aggressive questioning and who won from the interviewer the closing accolade: “Thank you. That was very interesting.” It was a splendid performance, and probably better than anything I would have been able to pull off.
Their website is also indispensable. It tells me for instance (I wish I had known this on Sunday) that the poll on which I had to comment for BBC 5 Live (like a later poll for ITV, also showing a substantial rejection of papal teachings) had ignored a crucial distinction between practising and non-practising Catholics.