Cardinal: BBC biased against Christianity

Cardinal Keith O'Brien
Image caption Cardinal O'Brien said the BBC displayed "massive bias"

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has accused the BBC of "institutional bias" against Christianity.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien said that mainstream Christian views had been marginalised by the corporation.

He also said a forthcoming BBC documentary about the Pope's visit, would be a "hatchet job".

A spokeswoman for the BBC said the corporation refuted the allegations "absolutely".

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Cardinal O'Brien said: "(Our) detailed research into BBC news coverage of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, together with a systematic analysis of output by the Catholic Church, has revealed a consistent anti-Christian institutional bias.

"This week the BBC's director-general admitted that the corporation had displayed massive bias in its political coverage throughout the 1980s, acknowledging the existence of an institutional political bias."

'Ethical affairs'

The cardinal said that senior news managers had admitted to the Catholic Church that a "radically secular mindset and socially liberal mindset" pervaded newsrooms.

He added: "This is utterly at odds with wider public attitudes and sadly taints BBC news and current affairs coverage of religious issues, particularly matters of Christian belief."

The cardinal also voiced concern that a forthcoming BBC documentary titled Benedict - Trials of a Pope will be a "hatchet job" on the Vatican.

It covers Catholic abuse scandals and will be shown on 15 September, the eve of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Scotland.

In response, a spokeswoman for the BBC said: "The BBC's news and current affairs coverage of any subject is approached in an objective and impartial way reflecting the different sides of the debate.

"BBC news and current affairs has a dedicated religion correspondent, and works closely with BBC Religion, ensuring topical religious and ethical affairs stories are featured across all BBC networks."

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