U.K archbishop says BBC is 'biased'

Sept. 5, 2010 at 3:14 PM

LONDON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The most senior Roman Catholic clergyman in Britain says the BBC is biased against "Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular."

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, said news coverage on the autonomous public service broadcaster is contaminated by "a radically secular and socially liberal mindset," The Sunday Telegraph reported.

"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," O'Brien charged.

He also accused the BBC of planning a "hatchet job" on the Vatican in a documentary about clerical sex abuse on the eve of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Britain.

The program, called "Benedict -- Trials of a Pope," charts the clerical child abuse crisis that has plagued the Catholic Church, and is set to air Sept. 15.

Cardinal O'Brien joined the Church of England in urging the BBC to appoint a religion editor to oversee the broadcaster's coverage of faith issues.

The BBC dismissed Cardinal O'Brien's criticism of its religious coverage.

"BBC news and current affairs has a dedicated religion correspondent," a spokesman said.

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