Catholic Bishops accuse the BBC of ‘bigotry’ over Jacob Rees-Mogg interview questioning his views on same-sex marriage - Press Gazette

Catholic Bishops accuse the BBC of ‘bigotry’ over Jacob Rees-Mogg interview questioning his views on same-sex marriage

Two Catholic Bishops have described a BBC Daily Politics interview as a “new bigotry” for its questioning of Tory MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Jo Coburn interviewed the Conservative MP on his Catholic faith and asked whether his religious belief was “a barrier to holding high office”.

Coburn also asked whether Rees-Mogg had a problem with fellow Conservative MP Ruth Davidson being gay and engaged to be married.

Rees-Mogg replied: “The sacrament of marriage is available to a man and a woman, this is the teaching of the Catholic Church, which I accept.”

She added: “Can you see that that’s a problem if you were to hold a senior position?”

The questions came after fellow Conservative MPs Anna Soubry and Justine Greening raised the point that Rees-Mogg’s views on gay marriage and abortion were incompatible with leading the party.

During the interview Rees-Mogg said: “Why do you pick on these views of the Catholic Church?”

He added: “Isn’t this stretching into religious bigotry?”

In comments made to the Catholic Herald, Bishop Mark Davies said: “The hounding of a Member of Parliament like Jacob Rees-Mogg for simply sharing the faith of the Catholic Church indicates that the BBC and its interviewers see Catholic teaching as being somehow beyond public tolerance.

“It is hard to see this treatment of Catholic politicians as being other than a new bigotry.”

Bishop John Keenan was similarly critical of Coburn and the BBC and questioned her line of inquiry.

Keenan told the Catholic Herald: “She openly wondered if it was a ‘problem’ to hold ordinary Catholic beliefs in high office, and seriously suggested that Catholics who were against the likes of abortion and same-sex marriage should be barred from decision-making in public life.

“Rees-Mogg was quite right to call this secular bigotry. What else is it?”

He added: “He [Rees-Mogg] was right to call out the BBC for picking on the Catholic Church particularly, and to signal that it would not treat Muslims or Jews in anything like the same prejudicial way in which it now routinely and casually treats Catholics.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “Jacob Rees Mogg is viewed by many as a potential future leader of the Conservative Party and possible future prime minister.

“Jo Coburn did not question his right to be a practising Catholic in public life, and did not raise his Catholicism, but used the interview to explore whether Mr Rees Mogg’s views on gay marriage and abortion were out of step with the mainstream of his colleagues at Westminster.”

They added: “Jo also referred directly to several Conservative MPs who have said they believe Mr Rees Mogg’s views on the issues of gay marriage and abortion to be incompatible with leading the party, and it was not unreasonable to ask him to respond to those claims.”

Bishop Keenan has previously complained to BBC Scotland after it shared a video tackling Homophobia.

The video implied that Holy Communion “tastes like cardboard and smells like hate”.

In a letter to the Catholic Herald he claimed the clip helped to fuel a climate of “hostility to Catholics”.

A recent independent poll of more than 1,000 UK adults found that only 37 per cent of people thought the BBC’s coverage was politically neutral.

Picture: Reuters/Hannah McKay



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5 thoughts on “Catholic Bishops accuse the BBC of ‘bigotry’ over Jacob Rees-Mogg interview questioning his views on same-sex marriage”

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  2. To compare any leading muslim politician who may advocate throwing gay people from the rooftops to opposing gay marriage is an incredibly strange comparison. opposing gay marriage means he opposes it because he believes that marriage is for man and wife. Marriage has the purpose of creating children and raising them. Gay couples cannot have children .Therefore, why call it a marriage. He would not have opposed it if it was a contract of living together as a couple. We live in a free part of the world where people can live together without having to be MARRIED. A contract for living together is not called marriage as far as I am concerned.
    Carrying the baby of the man who raped you sounds terrible from one side of the spectrum. If you believe that the baby has a soul and is a creation of God, (the spiritual view) then it is obvious that you cannot accept the fact that the baby is killed.

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