Anti-Catholic Homosexualist Campaigner Tapped to Produce Papal Bio for British TVBy Hilary White
LONDON, June 8, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a choice that has been denounced as a "calculated insult," Channel 4, an independent British television broadcaster, has chosen radical homosexualist activist Peter Tatchell as presenter for its biography of Benedict XVI in the lead-up to the pope's visit to Britain.
Tatchell is a founder of the Protest the Pope coalition, which is planning demonstrations of the state funding of the Pontiff's visit. He has regularly attacked Catholic moral teachings and Pope Benedict personally, whom he has called "the ideological inheritor of Nazi homophobia".
Channel 4 has said that film will examine "the current Pope's teachings throughout the world". Channel 4 spokesman Ralph Lee, said, "In keeping with Channel 4's remit to provide a platform for diverse and alternative perspectives.
"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."
One of the highlights of the papal visit will be the beatification of John Henry Newman, the 19th century writer and famous convert to Catholicism. Tatchell angered Catholics in 2008 when he said that the revered Newman was a closet homosexual and that the Vatican was attempting a cover-up.
Iain Dale, the popular Conservative party blogger and newspaper columnist, commented that Channel 4's choice of Tatchell is a clear case of deliberate Catholic-baiting. He wrote, "If you were a commissioning editor at Channel 4 and wanted to make a documentary about the Pope's religious and political journey since the 1930s, who might you get to front it?
"[Catholic former MP] Ann Widdecombe? [writer and broadcaster] Sue MacGregor? [presenter of BBC Radio 4's "Sunday" programme] Ed Stourton? No. Channel Four has chosen Peter Tatchell. Yes, your gob is smacked, isn't it?"
Widdencombe herself commented to the Daily Telegraph that the announcement is proof that Britain is "a profoundly anti-Catholic country".
"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. 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."
Fr. Tim Finigan, popular clerical 'blogger and founder of the Association of Priests for the Gospel of Life, called the choice "a calculated insult" to Britain's Catholics as well as to Pope Benedict.
"Catholics may well feel minded to write to Channel 4," he said. "And it would be good if there were a statement from the Catholic Bishops' Conference."
"Surely though, since the Holy Father is coming on a state visit, it would be appropriate for a Minister of State to express disquiet at such blatant Catholic-baiting?"
The news comes as some in Britain and the Vatican are becoming concerned that the papal visit is being highjacked by the far-left to push its political agenda. Damian Thompson, editor of the Catholic Herald and 'blogs editor for the Daily Telegraph, wrote last week that Vatican officials are becoming concerned about the ties between visit organisers and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
Thompson quoted a Foreign Office document describing the Pope's visit as "an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen ties between the UK and the Holy See on global action to tackle poverty and climate change, as well as the important role of faith groups in creating strong communities". This language, he said, is "unmistakeably the language of Blair's Faith Foundation".
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, known to pro-life advocates as Britain's principle "architect of the Culture of Death," was famously received into the Catholic Church in December 2007 by his close friend, then-Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. When pro-life Catholics asked repeatedly if Blair had renounced his longstanding anti-life and anti-family positions, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation responded that Mr. Blair would not answer questions about his personal beliefs.
It's a funny thing. This guy attacks Pope Benedict, one of the few voices willing to stand up for genuine moral principles, as a amoral man, and yet he wants the world to see his sin and perversion as "normal" and an acceptable lifestyle.
The selection of this man as the producer for the Channel 4's documentary is telling. It should put to rest for good the notion that anti-Catholicism is dead and buried. In fact, it is thriving over in the United Kingdom, it's just that the sources of traditional anti-Catholicism have shifted from CoE clerics to the liberal left.
UPDATE: A comment on a post by fellow Catholic blogger Fr. Tim Finigan brought up something interesting; Mr. Tatchell has apparently said, publicly, that age of consent should be abolished. Kind of makes the sign he's holding in the second picture ironic then, doesn't it?