Monday, December 28, 2009

The Vatican controls all the live film we see Part 2

I admire Cardinal Bertone and I am fond of him. He's a good 'Benedictine' man, and a Salesian who loves football. His recent interview with kto was excellent. However the Zenit report on this did not include his answers to two questions. The second of these which ended the interview is the most important in the present context. He was asked by Philippine de St. Pierre how he thought a Catholic Television channel should properly conduct itself. He answered in Italian and there was a simultaneous French translation. Here is an English rendition of his reply: " A Catholic TV station should broadcast what the Holy Father does and says without any interruption, editing or manipulation of his words or of the events as they happen."

Up to this point kto could be proud that for the ten years of its existence it had fulfilled these terms in exemplary fashion. Of course the Cardinal was making indirect reference to secular channels who do the opposite things. and I applauded his response. The broadcast, or not broadcast, events on Christmas Eve prove that the Vatican itself breaks the Cardinal's rules, that is the ones that it hopes everyone else will obey. And the result this Christmas was to make kto look absolutely stupid and dishonest. (see previous post.) And it was made to look like that by the master it has obeyed so faithfully. I should be surprised if it is not a little miffed.

Of course the Holy Father must be protected at all costs but can anyone explain how a total blanking of live news protects him? Seriously I really would like to consider any such explanation, but at present it is totally beyond my understanding that the kto commentator, even though we were not allowed to see the close details of what was happening, was prevented from giving a calm explanation of what we actually saw. For instance could he not have said, "There seems to have been an incident which has disrupted the procession. We will keep you informed." (Bring back Richard Dimbleby. All is forgiven!) That at least would have been truthful and would have protected the station's reputation. In any case we didn't see this ludicrous piece of television until Christmas morning. No wonder kto didn't release their full video until then. But as I said yesterday, why do so at all except to draw attention to Vatican censorship, and to anyone with a reasonable IQ, to its effects, which would be risible were they not so serious. The result is that in future we will not be so convinced as to what we see. I'm sure that Pope Benedict would not want that doubt to exist in our minds.

Tomorrow, further considered comment on recent statements from Fr Lombardi Holy See Press spokesman, and a little bit of Chaucer in memory of St. Thomas a Becket.

God bless all here.


pelerin said...

I would be interested to know how the French TV channel started off their so-called live broadcast of the Pope's 'midnight' Mass which they broadcast at midnight and pretended it was 'en direct.' Was mention made at the beginning of the incident?

Jane said...

Pelerin, no, as I tried to explain earlier, they simply started the live programme, which indeed it was,ten minutes late, when the incident was all over. It was only on Christmas morning when I pulled up the video that I realised they had recorded what they could on film the previous night, but it seems were not allowed to give ausio commentary. Hence the daft thing we actually saw after the event on Christmas Day. The live programme on Christmas Eve began, as I said, after it was all over and the Pope had almost arrived at the altar.

Love and God bless,

pelerin said...

Like your comment 'Bring back Richard Dimbleby'. There has never been a commentator like him since. He did his homework and was never lost for words. His dignified commentary on so many occasions added greatly to each event. His background knowledge was phenomenal.

A few years back I remember wishing Dimbleby had still been around to commentate when I watched on tv a ceremony taking place in the camp at Auchwitz. Into the picture came Cardinal Lustiger placing a lighted candle. The commentator stopped talking as she obviously had no idea who he was then mentioned someone else near him.

If she (I think it was a she) had done her homework she would have known the special significance of the Cardinal's presence there on such a solemn occasion. His mother had perished in the camp at Auchwitz when he was a youngster and one can barely imagine what thoughts were going through his head when he lit that candle in her memory on that snowy day.

Jane said...

Yes, dear old 'Dimbers' senior would have managed it perfectly, and would have also known how to pronounce 'Etchegaray' and Lustiger for that matter. By saying 'All is forgiven', I was remembering the occasion when he let forth a one-word blasphemous expletive when something went wrong with the BBC 'works' at a royal ceremony, probably in the Abbey. It could have been Princess Margaret's wedding. Do you recall it? There was a frightful pother at the time.

Thank you for sharing that precious memory of dear and greatly missed Cardinal Lustiger lighting the candle at Auchwitz.

Fiona said...

Jane, you were lucky to have come in after the incident. We were receiving the 'raw' footage. I was watching the front of the procession - we had yet to see the Holy Father at that point - when suddenly the most awful screams erupted from the back of the the Basilica. The procession stopped and all one could see was black suits making tracks towards the back. My heart starting beating like a trip hammer. It was a relief to hear the applause because it was then obvious that the Holy Father must be all right. There was, indeed, not one word of commentary during this whole awful period, not even immediately after the event. I think something was eventually said but only about half way to three quarters of the way through the Mass!

Jane said...

Thanks for your comment Fiona. Which channel were you watching?
TV France 2 showed the Mass at midnight and a French friend told me today, that they saw everything, the woman leaping over the barrier etc. I wish someone would comment who saw it on EWTN. To put it mildly, it will be rather odd if secular viewers saw everything whilst Catholic stations, for whatever reason, kept the faithful 'in the dark', that is the very people who are TRULY and DEEPLY concerned about the welfare of their Holy Father.

Fiona said...

I was watching one of our local TV channels. The feed seemed to be coming directly from CTV. Like you I found the 'black out'on certain feeds peculiar.