Tina Beattie, Professor of being Catholic

And in the Big News today from a Faith Perspective, there’s a fictional TV programme just finished. The fictional TV people believe in the Invisible Magic Friend. These wise fictional characters, who in their fictional wisdom believe in the Invisible Magic Friend, are almost as wise as the not-at-all-fictional Big Book of Magic Stuff.


5 thoughts on “Tina Beattie, Professor of being Catholic

  1. Yes, indeed, Rev Peter.
    Spoiler Alert for Tina – “Call the Midwife” and “Line of Duty”…… both fiction.
    Looking for a ‘faith perspective’ in two TV dramas amounts to no more than an “O” Level English Literature exercise.

    Try giving us a faith perspective on these instead, Tina.
    (1) The Catholic mother and baby homes, and Magdalen laundries run by nuns in the 1950s and ‘60s (the time setting of ‘Call the Midwife’). Not much compassion for the vulnerable there, Tina; no ‘Mercy shining through the vocations of the sisters’ in those hell holes, Tina. The RCC is still holding out on records of those institutions, and obstructing the search for complete truth. A perspective on that, please, Tina. And…
    (2) How his loyalty to Catholic teaching and ‘morality’ affected the public actions of Manchester Chief of Police James Anderton in the 1980s. Trusted with upholding the law, Anderton – with his ‘hotline to God’ – instituted a ‘moral’ crusade based on his own religious beliefs instead, which led to his outrageous remarks (amongst many others) on AIDS sufferers who were ‘swimming in a cesspit of their own making.’ Care to comment on Policing through Catholic ethics, Tina?

    By the by. At an Armistice Day ceremony at the Liverpool Cenotaph a couple of years ago, the commencement of the two minutes silence was signalled by the firing of an enormous artillery piece. The ear-splitting discharge put up thousands of pigeons which had been minding their own business on the surrounding rooftops, and from a group of women near me prompted the exclamation “Jesus, Mary and Joseph…. F**K!’ All of which somewhat detracted from the solemnity of the moment.


  2. And what about all those professing religious beliefs who have NOT stood up for what was morally or ethically correct?
    I’ve just been reading up on the Spanish Civil War where the Catholic Church seemed quite happy to go along with some very dubious practices as it also did with the Nazis.
    Picking on ‘Father’ Ted from LOD who is the only character to espouse any hint of a religious background seems very picky when all the other characters, who appear wholly secular, are just as morally upright.


  3. When musing about being judged, the LOD police character lists several options before arriving at an IMF. Had there been a prominent canteen assistant or village idiot in the story, they might have been mentioned before any IMF so it might just have been an afterthought.
    Tina also says that “true justice is merciful and compassionate”. That seems at odds with centuries of RCC teaching about eternal hellfire so maybe she’s just reading from a PR leaflet produced by the Vatican.


  4. Listeners who have not watched ‘Call the Midwife’ or ‘Line of Duty’ will probably have said to themselves “What on earth is she talking about?”

    On the other hand, those who have been avidly following them both may well have said to themselves “What on earth is she talking about?”

    Because LoD didn’t end up with much by way of justice: the chief villain got an element of public immunity from prosecution, the (probably) bent Chief Constable is getting away with it, AC12 is on the skids, and Ted (Tina’s Jesus-substitute) is being forced into retirement. The fact that there are enough loose ends to warrant yet another series in due course doesn’t make it any better.

    As for CtM, the best bits are when it quietly undermines the conventional, faith-based attitudes of the time, instead of reinforcing them. It’s just a shame that the more prim and pious the characters are, the less believable, or even likeable, they are. (You can tell they’re pious because they always speak in complete, Victorian-English sentences, without a word contraction or piece of slang in sight). This is particularly hard on those of us whose first encounter with Jenny Agutter was when she removed her red flannel petticoat to signal to the train driver in ‘The Railway Children’: a formative moment if ever there was one.


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