Vicar: ‘BBC reporting is wretchedly simplistic and some of women bishops debate makes me want to vomit’

On top of St Peter's Church: Father Tom Plant
On top of St Peter's Church: Father Tom Plant

A vicar has slammed the BBC for its ‘wretchedly simplistic’ religious reporting and said some of the debate surrounding women bishops makes him want to vomit.

Father Tom Plant, whose base is at St Peter’s Church in Berkhamsted, made the comments in a recent email newsletter to his parishioners.

On the BBC, he said: “The standard of its religious reporting is wretchedly simplistic, and makes me wonder how far they dumb down the rest of our news.”

Mr Plant said that the media likes to have ‘two clear sides’ when reporting controversial issues like the ordination of women bishops.

He compared coverage to the Parable of the Tares, where angels separate the wheat from the tares – or weeds – during the final judgement.

He said: “For the BBC, this means the wheat who support women’s ordination, and the tares who don’t.

“The wheat are secular modernists who want to move the Church with the times, nice progressive types like those who run the BBC.

“The tares are the cassocked Neanderthals of the Anglo-Catholic movement and the swivel-eyed Bible-bashers from the Evangelical fold.

“This is a myth that, to be fair, some of the debatably monikered ‘traditionalists’ also buy into.

“Anyone who disagrees with them is a vassal of secularism and traitor to the true faith, whether it’s the Catholic faith according to the Roman Curia or the Bible-based faith of the fundamentalists.

“If you support the ordination of women, you’re just a woolly, liberal sell-out. The truth is not that simple.

“There are indeed some nasty misogynists among the antis and there are also barely Christian secularists among the proponents of women’s ordination.”

He said that some have called for the need to get women into the ‘senior management of the church’ – a phrase that made him want to vomit.

Mr Plant supports women bishops. But he said: “I cannot bring myself to crack open the champagne over an action which fractures the Church any further and, for the time being at least, jeopardises any hopes of reunion with the wider Catholic Church.”