After last week's fascinating edition from Russia with Caroline Wyatt, it was very much back to business as usual on this week's Sunday. Edward Stourton returned to the fray and his opening words were, "The Pope...".
Pope Francis's "anticipated encyclical on the environment" was the programme's main focus, with a report from BBC reporter Matt Wells from the US on "concerns among conservatives that the Pope will be critical of consumerism and capitalism", and an interview with Fr Augusto Zampini, Argentinian priest and theological advisor to CAFOD.
Fr Zampini said that the Pope's encyclical will "be a Magna Carta for the environment".
Matt Wells's report featured a range of views on man-made global warning, beginning with a clip of Rush Limbaugh and ending with the words (from Matt himself), "The Vatican is relying on American church members to put stewardship of creation above patriotism when it comes to mitigating climate change before it's too late".
The programme also included a sound montage of Muslim voices describing their various internet projects to promote the experience of Ramadan. One wants non-Muslims to share the experience of their holy month by fasting for a day and then going for a meal at the Muslim family's house as dusk falls. (He didn't say if we'd need to bring our own wine).
An Islamic scholar and Libyan ambassador, Dr Aref Ali Nayed, was on too, discussing the rise of Islamic State in Libya. Sunday reckons he might be prime minister of the country soon. He tried to sound hopeful.
There was also a traditional Sunday feature on disagreements over women bishops in the Church of England and a report by Bob Walker from Lincoln to mark tomorrow's 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta.
Sunday regular Martin Palmer was also back on discussing the sacred significance of Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia following the stripping incident there. Martin Palmer is always interesting, and his take on what the Western tourists did there was similar, in message if not in style, to Rod Liddle's brilliant piece in today's Sunday Times.
For those who can't get beyond the Times paywall, here's how Rod's article begins:
The summer holidays will shortly be upon us and by now you will almost certainly have decided at which revered foreign landmark you intend to whip out your genitals and take a selfie. Which you will then post on Facebook. “Look — here I am at Angkor Wat. And yes, that’s my old fella flapping about in the breeze, just beyond the grasp of those cheeky macaques. Having a lovely time, wish you were here. Megalolz.”
We are casting the net wider and wider each year, we Brits, finding ever more exotic and alluring places to display our todgers and front bottoms and then display them on social media sites. Never mind yer Costas and yer Ayia Napas — they’ve seen it all before, those people, and very grateful they were too. These days we go much further afield.
I’m slightly surprised the tour companies haven’t cashed in on our relentless obsession with baring ourselves. “Moon at the locals from a parapet in the Hagia Sophia — all inclusive package to Istanbul, £800. Or get your tits out for the lads beside the Taj Mahal — £2,000. Lawyers’ fees extra.”
More than 5,000 British people were arrested for behaving like feral dogs on holiday last year, and the number of countries in which they were arrested grows by the year. It’s one of the many benefits of globalisation: our genitals get everywhere, they zip around, hither and thither, demanding to be photographed wherever they land. They crave recognition, our gonads. They want to be seen in exciting, happening places.