Prince Harry, The Sun/Murdoch, Scotland and its Catholic church
Tweeted: Real reason behind Catholic [church’s] issue in Scotland is to divert attention from its refusal to recognise women as priests. It is also a parallel situation to the Prince Harry matter: the high-handed arrogance of small time, small-minded little entities.
Arrogance is what drives both attitudes. The Catholic church is one of those aspects of Christianity that actually denies the true message of Christ. Christ clearly showed that the way to excercise great power is with humility, which the Catholic church has steadfastly refused to embrace. It is interesting that it is the Catholic church in Scotland that is taking the lead, clearly indicating the issue is solely political, at a time when certain entities in Scotland are keen to promote separation from England, the country Rome has hated for centuries, as the first serious power to put Rome firmly in its place.
That is the Catholic church’s problem, it is a political oligarch whose first priority is power for the sake of power. Religious authority is its second preoccupation. Way down the pecking order comes the exercise of humility and practical expressions of love that was at the heart of Christ’s message.
On these issues there is no difference between Rome and Murdoch. The recent 67% public vote on BBC’s Sunday Morning Live to regulate the press was on the principle of regulation, not on the method by which such regulation should be implemented.
There is no reason why a licence should not be issued to publish, as was once the case. It failed because it was the Catholic church that issued the relevant imprimatur and, as usual, abused its power. Later, it was the post office that regulated.
Broadcasters have licences, so why not the press? It is a method of control, provided there is clear independence from those with any power, especially from politicians and government. That is difficult to define but we seem not to have problems with the issuing of broadcasting licences.
The Sun wilfully promoted the argument with deliberate intent to confuse the issue. The issue is simple. Prince Harry was a private issue so there is NO justification to publish the photographs. That a third party report of the nature of the incident should have been published is an arguable question but it doesn’t require photographs. Second, in publishing the pictures, that issue of The Sun should have appeared on the top shelf of newsagents and that could be a means of control without imposing on press freedom.
Regarding Prince Harry’s naïvité or conduct unbecoming an officer: it was private. Is the army really interested in what an officer might do in his bath, which is tantamount to the same thing?
That he let his guard down and may have over-ridden the advice of his minders is indiscretion but damn it, look at the press attention on the Duke of Edinburgh going to church today. These people are never out of the limelight! Let us give them a break.
What this incident highlights is the need to maintain dignity and good manners, which start with self-discipline and restraint and I don’t mean with Prince Harry. We all need to let our hair down and switch off. It is refusing to accept a decline in basic good manners and common courtesy in everyday life that is the key to a reversal of press confusion of what is right or wrong.
That foreigners behave disgracefully is a fact of life we have known for centuries. That is not an excuse for us to follow. We’re British, we know better! That the material may appear on other media is irrelevant. If people want to find it, let them, that is not an excuse for the proprietor of a smutty newspaper, selling its wares like a cheap tart down a backstreet, alley cat yodelling its personal vendetta. That is without doubt an abuse of power. Such people need to be licenced and in Murdoch’s case struck from the list in the way that people can be deprived from sitting as directors on company boards for specified periods.
The issue on gay marriage is the wrong one for gays to promote and for any church to get involved in when there are so many moral issues of real meaning not being addressed. The gay community has equality of legal relationship between two partners with heterosexuals. Marriage is simply a term for one of those relationship concepts and it is ridiculous for gays to get themselves into a tangle over it: likewise the church. TheCatholic church is rising to the debate simply to deflect its failure to ordain women as priests.