Homosexual activist’s “documentary” about Pope Benedict to air before visit to England

I don’t know whether this is mainly for your Last Acceptable Prejudice file or your Throwing a Nutty file … from CNA.  My emphases and comments:

Catholics denounce slated ‘documentary’ on Pope by homosexual activist

London, England, Jun 8, 2010 / 01:07 am (CNA).- A homosexual activist [deviant, and therefore in liberal eyes well-qualified…] and Vatican protestor in the U.K. is slated to make what he calls a “factual” documentary on the Holy Father, [It will be truly unbiased, I bet.] which is set to air just before the upcoming papal trip. One critic of the proposed film called it further evidence of England being “a profoundly anti-Catholic country.[What a very sad statement that is, consider that the soul of England is really, ought really to be, Catholic.  Aidan Nichols’ book The Realm needs wide distribution  in England.]

Peter Tatchell, a noted gay activist and leader of the group Protest the Pope, [yawn] is being sponsored by the U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 to make an hour long film on the Holy Father that will air before the papal visit this September.

“My aim is to make a robustly factual [What does that mean?  What is "robustly factual"?] program that explores the Pope’s personal, religious and political journey since the 1930s, as well as the motives and effects of his controversial policies,” [Controversial from which point of view?] said Tatchell in a statement on his website.

“I intend to ensure that we hear the voices of the Pope’s defenders, as well as his critics,” [When someone has to reassure that the Pope will get fair treatment, you know he isn’t going to get fair treatment.] he went on. “I would be like to interview the Pope himself. It would be ideal for Pope Benedict to be able to explain himself in his own words. But I doubt that I will be granted an audience.”

U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 released a statement in support of Tatchell, and the company Juniper TV that is producing the film.

“Human Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, a long-term critic of the Papacy, [… a true heavyweight, he….] will challenge Pope Benedict XVI’s beliefs and positions on a range of issues – including condoms, homosexuality and fertility treatment – and examine the impact his policies have had on both the developing and Western world,” Channel 4 wrote in a general statement. “The program will give voice to a range of views on the Pope – featuring interviews with both critics and supporters.”

Ralph Lee, head of Specialist Factual programming [Now that is worthy of George Orwell.] at Channel Four, said on June 4 that the papal visit in September “provides an ideal opportunity to examine the impact of Benedict XVI after five years in office.”

“In keeping with Channel 4’s remit to provide a platform for diverse and alternative perspectives,[read "liberal perspectives"] he added, “equality campaigner Peter Tatchell will assess the effect of the current Pope’s teachings throughout the world and the conflict between some of his values and those held by modern Britain.”

Several critics of the slated documentary have denounced the film as “hostile” and “polemical.”

On June 7, London’s Daily Telegraph reported former conservative Member of Parliament Anne Widdecombe as saying, “I think this will confirm the view that there probably already is in the Vatican that this is a profoundly anti-Catholic country.” [It is less important to state the obvious about what the view is in the Vatican than to point out the anti-Catholic bias to the English establishment themselves.]

“I wouldn’t call this the right thing for any serious broadcaster to do, but they’re doing it for the publicity, they’re doing it to stir up controversy,” charged Widdecombe, a Catholic convert.

“Mr. Tatchell certainly won’t be sympathetic to his subject, so what’s the point of doing it? It won’t be skeptical, it will be hostile.”

The Telegraph also quoted Catholic writer Christina Odone, who said that Tatchell himself  “would be the first to admit that he is no authority on the subject.”

“And perhaps it would be good, rather than have some polemical, knee-jerk reaction to the Pope if Channel 4 would be interested in actually shedding light on a figure who is so important, and so often misinterpreted and misunderstood – and of whom more needs to be known,” Odone added.

Catholic composer James MacMillian, whose music is rumored to be performed at some of the Masses during the Pope’s visit, denounced Channel 4 and other media outlets in the country.

“There is nothing surprising in the continued frantic jumping up and down [great!] by the Guardian/Channel 4/BBC axis in opposition to the Pope,” he observed.

“Their venom is now so repetitive that it has lost any potency it once had. Frankly, people are getting bored with them.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Sedgwick says:

    Well, Mr. MacMillan, it’s going to take a lot more than being “bored” before the English people rise up and put an end to this tyranny of lies.

  2. Andrew says:

    “Quid est autem nequius aut turpius effeminato viro?” (Cicero, Tusc. Disp. Lib. 3)

  3. geoff jones says:

    Check out this clown’s website (http://www.petertatchell.net/) where he advocates lowering the age of consent to 14. And this guy is going to take the moral highground???

  4. irishgirl says:

    Peter Tatchell is a twit!

    I am soooo tired of the media always tippytoeing around and ‘fraid of offending Moslems and Islam, and making Catholics and the Holy Father a punching bag instead!

    Are there any REAL Catholics left in England to stand up boldly and say ‘NO MORE!” ?!?!?

    The Holy Father will come to the UK whether ‘intellectuals’ like Tatchell and his kind like it or not!


  5. Rob Cartusciello says:

    These Papal protests write themselves. Just mix and match following elements:

    Blah blah blah…Hitler youth…blah blah blah…German Army…blah blah blah…accepted abusive priest…blah blah blah…Roman Inqusition…blah blah blah…CDF…blah blah blah…

    As we say in New Jersey – whatever.

  6. Frank H says:

    Took a look at his website. Now need to take a shower.

  7. robtbrown says:

    This just illustrates–again–that Cardinal Ratzinger was correct when he said that the detente between the Church and secularism doesn’t work.

  8. Clinton says:

    If the makers of this ‘robustly factual’ documentary had any intention of creating a serious, informative film on this topic they’d
    have to have more than just three months for production time. I cannot imagine one could research, script, edit, fact-check, film,
    hire staff, secure financing, process the film, do the legal work associated with film production, set up production in Rome and Bavaria,
    and schedule interviews and follow-up interviews in that time and do the subject justice. It’s absurd for Mr. Tatchell to complain that
    he cannot get a face-to-face interview with the Pope for his film. If he and his people were truly serious about such an audience, the
    groundwork would have been laid back in 2009, and Mr. Tatchell would not now in June be in doubt of an interview for a film to come
    out in August/September.

    It seems pretty clear that Mr. Tatchell and his friends at Specialist Factual Programming are either wholly unfamiliar with the logistics
    of film production (not likely) or are utterly uninterested in doing their subject justice (very likely indeed). Hatchet jobs, alas, require
    far less time and effort to produce than real work.

  9. terryprest says:

    In the UK, Peter Tatchell is not a serious figure: more a joke figure but a dangerous one at that. He takes himself extremely seriously and is hyper-polemical.

    But anyone who watches his programme is more likely to end up feeling sympathy for the Pope than anything else.

    Anne Widdecombe is right when she says that “they’re doing it for the publicity, they’re doing it to stir up controversy,”

    Why give “them” the oxygen that “they” crave ?

    Especially as James MacMillan and Rob Cartusciello say, it will probably be the most boring regurgitation of the old canards against Catholics and against Pope Benedict XVI personally

    Having said that, geoff jones makes an important point which I`ve still to see advanced against the proposed film and its makers.

    In the present climate and in light of recent events it is a powerful one.

    How is it that someone like Tatchell who has for years advocated the lowering of the age of consent for homosexual sex to 14 years been set up as a public moral authority to judge the Catholic Church and this Pope ? The “tabloid media” (including Channel 4) seems to have a short memory. It was the tabloid media (and in Britain, Channel Four was one of the main critics) who led the attack of criticism and vilification against the Pope about the actions of a few predatory priests just a few weeks ago

  10. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    If only Benedict were a little younger and livelier, it would be awesome to see him sit down with this guy and just own him. Only problems are a) anything he said would be edited and used out of context and b) I have a feeling that being as he is, Benedict would likely just get talked over and no meaningful debate would actually occur

  11. Sixupman says:

    In a sense I am happy that we are being villified in the UK. For years the ridiculous collaborations by the Bishops’ Conferences has resulted in a laity who have lost their identity – they see no difference whatsoever between their parish church and the others down the road [statement by a parish priest friend]. The E&W Conference issued a document stating that to fulfill my ‘Duties’ I could attend an anti-papist chapel. [Later watered down a little due to objevtions raised.] Perhaps we will regain our faith when we are again classed as odd-balls and worse. But do not bank on it, my current parish priest is low church Protestant in outlook. The enemy within as it were and the local bishop only places like-minded clerics and deacons in the parish. I go somewhere else.

  12. therecusant says:

    I looked around his website and found many interesting quotes, including “The Pope knew about child sex abuse by Catholic clergy. He failed to stop it and he failed to report the abusers to the police. His moral authority is irreversibly tarnished. He should resign.” How can someone with those publicly-stated views even pretent to present an objective appraisal of the Holy Father? Silly.

  13. sprachmeister says:

    It’s not at all surprising that Channel 4 are putting this on. Everything they do on religion always portrays the Catholic Church in a terrible light. At Christmas they usually put on some documentary called “The Nativity Stories” or something like that where every modernist proposition is trotted out in examining the Nativity narratives in the Bible, and then at Easter they have some horrendous stuff like the Last Temptation of Christ or some other sacrilegious stuff. Anything to destroy a pious observance of the holiday.

  14. Jack Hughes says:

    @ irishgirl

    My dear there are good English Catholics but they are mostly lay people and parish priests such as Fr.Blake and Fr Finegan, part of the problem I think is that there excellencies at the E&WBC just don’t have a head for public relations.

  15. Johannes says:

    Peter Tatchell tried to “out” various senior Anglican clergy some years back. He is also the guy who invaded, quite literally, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s pulpit in his Cathedral during his sermon on Easter Sunday! What does that say about him?

    Been reading a history of Byzantium which pointed out that Julian the Apostate deliberately decided not to persecute Christians because it only made them stronger. Instead he let them fight with each other because that’s what he reckoned they were good at.

    There is clearly work for us to do in our western culture by our witness, prayer and penance and, please God, in solidarity with other Christians.

  16. During the “reign” of Henry VII, Elizabeth I, and whoever else, “hanging, disemboweling, and quartering” used to be the fate of Papists.
    Now, I guess, that’s just to “ishy”…so they “hang, disembowel, and quarter” the Pope in the press and in “documentaries”.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.
    God have mercy!

  17. Alex P says:

    This is the very same Peter Tatchell who, when the law governing the age of consent for homosexual acts in the UK was lowered to 16, went on record as saying he wanted it brought down to 14. And who knows, if he ever got his way on that maybe he’d see it as too conservative and restrictive, and lobby to bring the age of consent down to 12 or 10.

    A gentleman who’s never been elected to anything- indeed the only time anyone can remember when he did stand for election, in a by-election in 1983, he was soundly thrashed by his Liberal opponent, who holds the seat to this day. The funniest moment in Tatchell’s illustrious career as the resident gay rights bore was when he tried to arrest Robert Mugabe in London when the latter came to shop at Harrods one time. Tatchell swung open the door to the limo, grabbed hold of Mugabe’s arm and said ‘Robert Mugabe, you’re under arrest for crimes against humanity’, and was promptly clobbered by Mugabe’s security guards.

    So as distasteful as the programme is likely to be, no-one takes Tatchell seriously and so his branching out into TV presenting is hardly going to send the nation diving for anything but the off switch when his 30 minute slot comes around.

  18. jaykay says:

    Chill! Channel 4 is a minority ‘niche’ broadcaster pandering to the nutty left and similar sandalistas. It’s the ‘Guardian’ on air, it has a mandate to do this stuff, and it churns it out on autopilot. It’s the cut-rate, wannabe, on-air version of the NYT. And Thatchell is pretty much the same, as others have observed. This is what he does. Always. Yawn factor = 100%. The great British Public will, if it bothers at all to tune-in (and it won’t), just scratch and roll over. But the Brits have a great sense of fair play and people like Thatchell really need to remember that, because he seems to have gone off on the same swivel-eyed crusade as Dickie Dawkins who is now very close to the boredom threshold, being practically a permanent Channel 4 fixture. And of course Mr. T. does not exactly come to any debate ‘puris manibus’, as ought to be repeatedly pointed out.

  19. Supertradmum says:

    This is ridiculous. Peter Tachell has been the bete noir of “outing” and obviously has an ax to grind regarding homosexual rights and agenda. He is not a great intellect and may be attached to NAMBLA. Sadly, he is taken seriously by some, and like the sad Christopher Hitchens, seems destined to be unhappy, spreading their unhappiness all over the willing media. The Pope is far above this tawdry (St.Etheldreda pray for us) media circus.

  20. catholicmidwest says:

    They have “Specialist Factual programming.” So……They need to call in the specialists to tell the truth because they don’t usually? Is that what this means????

    I think so.

  21. catholicmidwest says:

    NB: I’m pretty sure their specialists can’t tell the truth either.

  22. irishgirl says:

    Alex P-oh, that was a good one about Tatchell getting clobbered by Mugabe’s guards! But I guess he didn’t get any sense knocked into him when that happened!

    If he tried to do that to the Holy Father, he’ll get tackled by the Swiss Guards! [too bad they don’t wear their ceremonial uniforms outside the Vatican-the halberd they carry is a nasty-looking weapon]

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