Sunday 17 November 2013

Her Grace

Pat Storey, Bishop of Meath and Kildare

Well, not quite good night...

Returning to this week's edition of Sunday, the programme dealt yet again with the issue of women bishops within the Anglican communion. 

Another vote at synod will take place this week and the programme readied us for a discussion on the subject between a supporter and an opponent. 

Unfortunately, the opponent of women bishops had got "lost" on the way to the studio, so we were left (at no fault of the programme's) with just the pro-women-bishops guest.

Edward Stourton suggested she might be less forthright in her opinions, given that her opposing number hadn't managed to make it - which she duly was. She still managed to make her case though. 

Ed followed his own advice too, and questioned her in as un-forthright a way as possible, with little challenge to her way of thinking. 

So, yes, this discussion's imbalance was accidental, even if Ed Stourton could have been a bit less gentle in his interviewing manner in order to rectify that imbalance.

However, this being Sunday, a genuine imbalance had already been set in place, as the programme began with another voice from the Anglican communion who was strongly supportive of women bishops, indeed who has just become the first female bishop in the Church of Ireland - and who thought that women bishops might also be coming to the Roman Catholic Church sometime too. 

Ed interviewed her in just as benign a fashion. 

Thus two supporters of women bishops were given a platform and unchallenging interviews.

Sunday really does seem to find it hard to give voice to religiously conservative viewpoints. And that's not usually because they fail to turn up.

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