The Big Questions is a BBC 1 Sunday morning show discussing, “topical, moral, ethical and religious issues”, as the strap line says, and this under the leadership of Nicky Campbell. Last week or so I was contacted by Sheena from this programme asking me to go on the live show this Sunday at a school in Peterborough. They want to discuss women bishops, she said. Although women bishops is a closed subject as there can never be such a thing as women bishops I was intrigued in going to contribute to a debate in which I would be able to stand up forte Faith Catholic. However they wanted me to be there on Sunday morning. I thought this was a joke, my place on Sunday morning is with my people, is in church celebrating the Holy Mysteries. Sheena thought this strange as she kept calling and leaving messages – Sunday is holy and the morning is so sacred for us as we need to be with our people.
My hope and joy to be with my people was cast aside as on Saturday I woke up unwell and without a voice. Thankfully, Fr Stather who was here for some time out, kindly filled the breach and celebrated both Masses and baptised Andrew – thanks Fr. So sitting in the Clergy House, feeling like a fish outside water, I followed the Mass of the Holy Father from Salmona in Italy where he celebrated the 800 anniversary from the birth of St Celestine V, the only Pope who resigned! It also meant that at 10am I could follow the programme that I was invited for.
The argument was presented as a sex discrimination issue, how sad that the BBC did not bother to make proper research. But my greatest surprise was to see at least three women in dog collars taking part – do they not have a congregation to attend, do they not belong to a community for whom Sunday is of the essence?
The argument was treated with disrespect and obviously there is no surprise there. I am glad I was not there; there was no genuine approach at all. People who stand for the Faith were called misogynists and no one put a stop to that. It was a shame to see Atheists and people with no theological background interfering in theological arguments, and sickening to see Ms Allsop, an Archdeacon somewhere, trying to say that she wants to keep opponents of women bishops in the CofE, but not saying how.