In times gone by here at Is the BBC biased? I would often predict and preview the following day's Sunday on Radio 4.
Well, as I've already looked at the Sunday website, the time for prediction has passed. The time for previewing, however, still remains. [Update:...as does the time for updating.]
...the programme I've repeatedly (and some might say 'endlessly') described as "the broadcast version of the liberal catholic magazine The Tablet" [of which main Sunday presenter Edward Stourton has long been a trustee] is, apparently, going to feature a segment that the Sunday website describes as follows:
A thanksgiving Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday will mark exactly 175 years since the first publication on the Catholic weekly magazine The Tablet. Trevor Barnes has been looking in the archives.
This blog's second post detailed the programme's links with The Tablet (think of it as the Catholic Guardian) and - especially after it was taken up by Damian Thompson (then at the Telegraph) and various leading Catholic bloggers - caused something of a stir, and a change of behaviour at Sunday. That change of behaviour has been slipping again recently, and tomorrow looks like marking the full return to favour of Sunday's print version, The Tablet.
Do I really have to start this blog all over again?
[Update: The report on 'The Tablet' was full of admiring comments. It made it sound like a must-read magazine. At no point in the programme did Edward Stourton mention that he's a trustee of 'The Tablet'].
And, yes, despite last week's post mocking Sunday (Ed Stourton and David Willey in particular) for acting like groupies for Pope Francis, tomorrow's Sunday will, apparently, begin with Pope Francis:
On Sunday Pope Francis will canonize two native-born Palestinian nuns at a ceremony at the Vatican. Fr. David Neuhaus, from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, talks to Edward Stourton from a prayer vigil at the shrine of Mother Alphonsine.
Fr. Neuhaus is, pace Haaretz, a "standard Israeli leftist". You'd expect nothing less from Radio 4's Sunday, would you? [Update: Fr. Neuhaus expressed the views you would expect him to express about the plight of Palestinian Christians, unchallenged.]
And, following Sunday for nigh on five years, if there's a scientific matter to be discussed (and, on Sunday, there very rarely is), it's straight on the phone to astrophysicist and theologian David Wilkinson (of Thought for the Day fame). So I'm even less surprised to find that tomorrow's Sunday has booked David Wilkinson to deal with the question, "How does God answer prayers?" [Update: This turned out to be a plug for Prof. Wilkinson's new book.]
We'll also be hearing about "the Government's...list of new proposals to tackle radicalisation". My prediction is that it will be generally seen to be a bad thing and that several Muslim 'talking heads' , in particular, will be highly sceptical about it. [Update: This was a better piece than I expected. Yes, it began with the imam from the Salford University mosque, who was highly sceptical and engaged in grievance-mongering, but there were a range of voices throughout. Typically, however, the piece ended with the views of students at Salford University saying "for me I don't believe it has to do with Islam" and complaining that "99.99%" of Muslims shouldn't be tarred with the brush of extremism.]
We'll also, apparently, hear about the rise of religiously-unaffiliated people in the U.S.A., enjoy a chat with Sunday regular Linda Woodhead from Lancaster University (the nearest university to the much-loved seaside town of Morecambe) and an emeritus professor from Leeds about what people want from a religious leader [Update: ...a feature which Ed Stourton introduced as being based on a poll commissioned by 'The Tablet' "as part of its birthday celebrations". Ed praised Pope Francis's leadership skills], and also, intriguingly, get to hear about this:
The descendants of a Jewish community exiled from Spain more than 500 years ago will be granted legal rights to apply for Spanish citizenship. Alasdair Fotheringham talks to Edward about their history and how many will come home? [Update: Well, actually we didn't get to hear this. The item was dropped in favour of an interview about the Church of Scotland's decision to allow gay ministers].
Will you sleep tonight in anticipation of tomorrow morning on BBC Radio 4?