BBC falsely portrays Cardinal Newman as a closet homosexual

BBC Radio 4 has broadcast a play about Cardinal Newman written by Stephen Wyatt, called ‘Gerontius’. The play suggests that Cardinal Newman was buried with Fr Ambrose St John because they were closet homosexuals, an accusation completely rejected by the renowned Newman scholar, Fr Ian Ker.

Francis Phillips, reviewing the play for the Catholic Herald, writes, ‘”Halfway through [a] breathless, melodramatic dialogue between Newman and his guardian angel, a young male voice declares: ‘The Roman Catholic Church is homophobic!’ It is further inferred that Newman’s motto, ‘From shadows into the truth,’ could be a disguised code for his wanting to come out of the closet.”

The play also has Cardinal Newman, played by Derek Jacobi, expressing an objection to being made a saint and indignation at the ‘worship of bones’ , a mistaken understanding concerning the veneration of the relics of saints.

Protest the Pope comment: This is the first programme from the BBC concerned with the Holy Father’s visit. Its doesn’t bode well for the visit receiving balanced or fair treatment.

The BBC have also commissioned a programme about Pope Benedict by the homosexual Catholic, Mark Dowd, and are rumoured to have commissioned a play called, ‘The Trial of Pope Benedict’, a fictitious portrayal of the arrest of the Holy Father and his trial for crimes against humanity.

Both programmes are due to be broadcast during the Holy Father’s visit and heighten concerns for his security. The BBC is acting in an extremely irresponsible manner, and is in danger of inciting trouble.

10 comments to BBC falsely portrays Cardinal Newman as a closet homosexual

  • sam

    the bbc have the right to air what they want. Also no-one will know for sure because neither of us was cardinal newman, maybe he was maybe he wasn’t. However there are a lot of homosexuals in the church at the moment, I do know that. It isn’t irresponsible to broadcast what if the pope was arrested, it is ficticous and isn’t a guide on how to go about arresting the pope, which is looking like a distinct possibility under the law, if charles clarke changes the law however then i doubt mr tathell will receive an arrest warrent

  • The charges against Newman refuted here:

    I am far more interested in the pro-fascist sympathies of John Reith, the former Director General of the BBC. After the National Socialists exterminated dissidents within Germany, Reith wrote, “I really admire the way Hitler has cleaned up what looked like an incipient revolt.” Also of interest is his admiration for Mussolini.

    When can we expect a BBC program which examines these issues?

  • Annalisa

    The BBC has no rights to broadcast slanderous programmes. You claim that there are a lot of homosexuals in the Church. That might be true, but if they are practising Catholics, they will live chastily. Gerontius, on the other hand, portrays Newman as a dissenter, who does not practise chastity.

  • sam

    no-one knows if they live chastily or not, only he knows. In my opinon the bbc have decided to put this out in news, thye can do that if they so wish

  • Leo

    I suppose that the BBC has the right to broadcast this, if they like (though I’m not familiar with UK law regarding freedom of speech, so I might be wrong), but why would they want to? In addition to being unsubstantiated, wildly improbable, and frankly slanderous, portraying Ven. Newman as a closet homosexual is simply anachronistic, like calling Caesar a Tory. Why not portray Newman in the light in which he always wanted to be seen, that of a disciple of Christ’s Church?

    • Tim H

      sorry don’t understand. Calling Casear a toryis indeed stupid, but you can’t be arguing that homosexuality hadn’t beeninvented when Newman was alive?

  • Lionel DUCROS (Paris)

    Dear Admin,
    Have you red in Zenit what the BBC is intending to broadcast? “La BBC prépare-t-elle une couverture « équilibrée » de la visite du pape ?
    Réflexion du journaliste britannique Edward Pentin”.
    Beleive me! You can be sure that I shall boycott this Channel and hope that many people in Britain and anywhere else will do the same…
    Kind regards

  • kate

    Blimey folks. I am confused at the doubt that some have. So what does it matter what others think? If you are sure in your hearts that he wasn’t then go with that. You do not need to get others to believe the same as you do. This is what puts loads of people off. God knows whether he was or whether he wasn’t so neither one of us can say for sure, so why let this doubt become a stumbling block. Just let it be.

  • Aunt Raven

    “Gerontius” was rebroadcast February 2013 on BBC 4xtra and this was the first time I heard it. If the BBC had misrepresented Mohamed as grossly as they did Cardinal Newman, not only in slanderous personal terms, but misrepresenting his theology (he was a theologian) and the beliefs he held, the Aunt Beeb would find herself the object of a pretty hot fatwa. But as it has been observed, anti-Catholicism is the last socially acceptable prejudice.

    The play’s whole premise is that Newman is not experiencing the joyous Communion of Saints, loving union with God, in companionship and perfect understanding of all the holy and good people who have lived from the beginning of the human race–including his friend St John, who curiously was denied any part in this play. The last, despairing words of the play, “What is Love?” are ridiculous as attributed to Newman, a consummate Theologian: God is Love, first. last, and always, and Love of God far above the love of any human friend.

    Newman would be the first to condemn this coy play for its spurious implication of homosexuality; as well the glaring omission of the raison d’etre of his life: Love of God and service to the Church for the salvation of souls.

    Newman, with all the blessed in Heaven, are joyfully in accord with God’s will, especially when God wishes to honour his most devoted servants with Canonization in the Catholic Church. To suggest otherwise shows a complete ignorance of the meaning of Blessedness and Heaven.

    It is typical of the BBC that they would in the name of entertainment commission a playwright entirely ignorant of Catholic values. intellectual tradition and belief to write a play about a saintly Catholic theologian of profound faith which insults its Catholic subject and listeners.

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