Tuesday 26 December 2017

Papal indulgence

The compulsion to fact-check the BBC is growing in me. There really was no reason, other than not trusting the BBC to be accurate, for me to rush to Google to check the following (from one of their main News website reports) - after all, how likely was it that the BBC could get the Pope's family background wrong?:

Well, it turns out that calling Francis "the grandson of Italian migrants" isn't entirely accurate. Surely the more important fact is that his father was an Italian immigrant to Argentina -  though, yes, both of his father's parents were Italian migrants too. (See here and here). On his mother's side his grandfather was Argentinian-born and his grandmother Italian-born (and, therefore, also an Italian migrant. (See here). 

So, as you can see, the BBC was partly right. It turns out that it's a bit more complicated than simply the Pope being "himself the grandson of Italian migrants". On his paternal line, he himself was the son of an Italian migrant, and on his mother's line only one of his grandparents was an Italian migrant.

As I wasted a few interesting minutes researching all of that I thought I'd share it with you (as it's Christmas)!


Anyhow, BBC Watch has been crunching the numbers and has proven that the BBC's account of the Pope's Urbi et Orbi address got a very specific focus from the BBC. The BBC made it largely about Israel and the Palestinians, despite the vast bulk of the papal address not being about Israel and the Palestinians.

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