The Bishop of Paisley, Bishop Philip Tartaglia has labelled Channel 4’s decision to give Peter Tatchell an hour-long prime-time programme in which to attack the Pope and the Catholic Church “disturbing”.
Bishop Tartaglia, who is President of the Church’s National Communications Commission said that Peter Tatchell’s past statements, that "not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful" cast “huge doubt on his claim to be an expert on human sexuality or a credible critic of the Pope or of the Catholic Church.”
Channel 4 will broadcast ‘The Trouble With The Pope’, on Monday 13 September – the programme will be presented by Peter Tatchell. A review copy viewed by the Catholic Media Office has highlighted numerous basic factual errors in the script.
Commenting on it Bishop Philip Tartaglia said: “While the paedophile scandal is a catastrophe for the Catholic Church. It is widely acknowledged that Pope Benedict has done and is doing everything possible to punish perpetrators, console victims and repair the scandal.”
“At the same time, I find it disturbing that Channel 4 should give Peter Tatchell an hour-long prime-time programme in which to attack the Pope and the Catholic Church. The programme shows conclusively that Mr Tatchell knows next to nothing about the real nature and mission of the Catholic Church. And his statement in the past that "not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful" surely casts a huge doubt on his claim to be an expert on human sexuality or a credible critic of the Pope or of the Catholic Church.”
In his quote, Bishop Tartaglia was referring to the 1986 book: ‘The Betrayal of Youth: Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenrational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Young People.” Peter Tatchell who has campaigned in favour of lowering the age of consent, contributed a chapter to the now notorious, out of print book. His statement in the text that "not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful" is never cited by news outlets who quote his anti Catholic views at some length.
‘The Trouble With The Pope’ attacks the Church for its teaching on contraception suggesting its absence leads to poverty. There is no reference to unfair economic systems, which the Pope and Church has condemned.
‘The Trouble With The Pope’ suggests that objections to condom use by the Catholic Church have hampered international efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. No mention is made of the self-proclaimed “flaming liberal” Professor Edward C Green of Harvard University, who has said that the Pope was “probably correct in that, sociologically speaking, condoms do not seem to be the answer to HIV/AIDS.” Neither is there any acknowledgement of the predominantly Catholic Philipines low HIV rate or the fact that countries such as South Africa, with huge amounts of condoms and very high rates of HIV has a 95% non-Catholic population.
The programme displays an utterly mistaken understanding of the Church’s teaching on Papal infallibility demonstrating conclusively that no Catholic advice was sought in the production.
The Pope is criticised in the broadcast for being uncaring and dogmatic because the Church objects to the destruction of human life implicit in embryo research. No mention is made of the consistent failure of embryonic stem cell treatments and absolutely nothing is said about ethically acceptable adult stem cell research and its advances.
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