The Pope on Thought of the Day?
Media reports suggest the BBC is in talks with the Pope for him to give the Thought of the Day on Radio Four during his tour of the UK in September. The news comes just weeks after the BBC announced it was canvassing opinion on its portrayal/representation of the gay community throughout its output and after rejecting calls for atheists and secularists to be allowed on Thought of the Day.
According to various reports in the media today the BBC is considering inviting the Pope, the head of the homophobic Catholic church, to give the Thought for the Day on Radio Four. The segments airs on the station as part of the Today programme and its thought that the Pope could be invited to give the segment during his controversial visit to the UK in September. Director General of the BBC Mark Thompson, who is a catholic, is believed to have visited the Vatican to discuss the BBC’s coverage of the visit and possibly to invite the Pope onto The Today programme.
Although the message can be given by anyone of any faith and usually reflects topical issues with a religious slant in recent years the BBC has rejected calls for atheists and secularists to be allowed to present the segment. The news that the head of the Catholic Church could give a Thought of the Day is likely to be attacked by critics of the BBC and those who have called for the segment to be opened up to non-religious opinions. The news comes just weeks after the corporation announced it was asking the public for its opinion on gay coverage and portrayals of the gay community throughout its output. The BBC had been criticised for a series a gaffs concerning the gay community and the lack of representation of gay and lesbians on BBC television and radio. The news that the Pope could be invited on Thought for the Day will also draw criticism from gay rights groups as the Catholic Church and the Pope aren’t the most tolerant of people where homosexuality is concerned.
In the past few years the Pope has attacked gay marriage, abortion rights and measures to stop the spread of AIDS – such as contraception. Most recently he caused outraged when he criticised the equality law which he claimed was against “natural law”. His visit to the UK is already the source of great controversy amongst some sections and protests are already planned to take place during his visit.
What do you think? Should the Pope be invited to give the Thought for the Day or not? Should the Pope even be invited to the UK? Does he have any right to criticise UK law? Should he be given a platform to preach his homophobic views? Post your comments below.