Archbishop damns BBC as 'anti-Christian'
By JASON ALLARDYCE - THE SUNDAY TIMES
Added: Sun, 05 Sep 2010 09:21:38 UTC
Britain’s most senior Catholic has accused the BBC of an “institutional bias” against Christianity ahead of next week’s papal visit.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, claims that a radically secular and socially liberal outlook is tainting the corporation’s news and current affairs output which is “utterly lacking” in professionalism and balance.
O’Brien believes that disproportionate airtime is given to atheists such as Richard Dawkins, while mainstream Christian views he claims are held by 40m people in Britain have been marginalised.
He is also alarmed by a reduction in religious programming on the BBC and its failure to appoint a religion editor to mirror similar roles for the arts, science and business.
“[Our] detailed research into BBC news coverage of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, together with a systematic analysis of output by the Catholic church, has revealed a consistent anti-Christian institutional bias,” he said.
“This week the BBC’s director-general [Mark Thompson], admitted that the corporation had displayed ‘massive bias’ in its political coverage throughout the 1980s, acknowledging the existence of an institutional political bias.
“Senior news managers have admitted to the Catholic church that a radically secular and socially liberal mindset pervades their newsrooms. This ... sadly taints BBC news and current affairs coverage of religious issues, particularly matters of Christian belief.”
O’Brien, who outranks Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, fears that a BBC2 documentary on Catholic clerical abuse scandals on September 15, on the eve of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit, will amount to a “hatchet job” on the Vatican.
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