Irish Television Reports On The Pope’s Visit To Lourdes

We have a national broadcasting station called RTÉ, which is paid for by licence fee.  These fees are collected by the State, and RTÉ is the only broadcaster to benefit from them.

RTÉ is a State-funded and controlled operation, as is the BBC.

Now, we also have a provision in our constitution, Article 44.2.2, which says that The state may not endow any religion, and this is more than the Brits can claim.  After all, their Head of State, Queen Elizabeth the Second, is also the head of their established church, the Church of England.

Good for us secular Paddies then, yeah?  Good for us.

Well, not exactly.

I was listening to RTÉ yesterday, and they were reporting on the visit of the Pope to France, and more particularly, to Lourdes.

Lourdes, you know? Where miracles happen.  The place where people come out of the water in new wheelchairs.

So what?

Nothing.  If you want to roll around in a filthy, cholera-infested pool full of piss, that’s your business.  The Lourdes story is uplifting to some people.  For Christ’s sake, even Leonard Cohen, a Jew, wrote a beautiful song about it: The Song of Bernadette.

But unfortunately, it’s also a load of bollocks, in the very same way that Medugorje is, though less sinister.  After all, the Medugorje thing only started up when Church authorities decided to close a notoriously corrupt Franciscan friary.  Somehow, as if by a miracle, three astoundingly telegenic children saw visions there, just beside the friary, and of course the poor Franciscan friars were taken completely by surprise when the money started rolling in.

What a miracle that was.  A miracle so enormous that even the three factions in the Bosnian war observed a truce around the shrine.  Including the Bosnian Muslims!  And this truce had absolutely nothing to do with the huge amounts of tourist cash the thing was bringing in.  Of course not.

Interestingly, the bishop dropped his plans to close the friary, but anyway, I digress.


Look, we’ve all had hallucinations, so I won’t blame poor little Bernadette.  I’ve had hallucinations. My friends have had hallucinations.  Turn on the TV and look at the American election candidates.  Tell me that’s not a hallucination.

So we’ll make room for poor deluded little Bernadette.  What we won’t make room for though, is the money-grabbing racket that sprang up around this little town of 15,000 souls, with a capacity to process five million visitors every year.  Serious cash.

And another thing I won’t make room for is our national broadcaster reporting that Pope Ratzo the First visited the shrine where Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary.

Not “claimed to see”.  Not “was said to have seen”.  No.

Where Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary.  Reported as fact by a national broadcaster in a country whose constitution guarantees that no religion will receive special treatment.


And while I’m on the subject, who exactly is this Virgin Mary person?


Let’s not be too curmudgeonly though.

Here’s Jennifer Warnes with Lenny Cohen’s beautiful song.


Also on Bock:

Still stuck in Knock

18 thoughts on “Irish Television Reports On The Pope’s Visit To Lourdes

  1. And while I’m on the subject, who exactly is this Virgin Mary person?

    I’m told she appeared to one of my relations at Knock. So when I find out which one this was, I am going to apply to the courts for a share of Canon Horan’s profits, Dia go deo leis.

    Tax free I trust.

  2. Ah, but you must remember, this is also the same broadcaster that thought Putin had sent his troops into Georgia, USA.

    They’re not so much “about the facts” down at Montrose!!!

  3. Excellent JL, absolutely brilliant. That reminds me of when there was the riots in france (grossly exagerated i might add) and NBC and Fox & Co. did a map of France with nice little bonfire symbols to show how the “civil war” was going for the cheese eating surrender monkeys who didn’t even have the good grace to help blow up Iraq. They put Paris near Belgium, Marseille in Spain and Lyon in Switzerland and then proceeded to do about 10 differrent reports in front of the same burning car. Vive le media !
    And while on the subject of France and television, french president Nicolas “high-heels” Sarkozy has taken away french public televisions right to have ads.
    Handy that when the owner of the biggest private channel TF1 is the godfather of his son.

  4. @ J L Pagano

    Right order.

    Has anyone considered that the original mistake might have been Putin’s.

    Maybe the USA should start beefing up Alaska’s coastal defences.

    That Palin woman might pick up a bit of foreign policy experience in the process.

  5. And from the same organisation headed by the German Shepherd concerning Medjugorje we learn that a priest has been ‘suspended’ for:

    the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences, suspicious mysticism …’ (I kid you not!) and amongst other ‘crimes’ also there’s a charge ‘that he violated the sixth commandment (“Thou shalt not commit adultery”). !!!

  6. “paid for by licence fee. These fees are collected by the State, and RTÉ is the only broadcaster to benefit from them.”
    Bock, a point of information… this changed several years back. ‘Independent’ TV and radio stations available free to air here can apply for programme funding from the broadcasting commission which gets a percentage of the license fee each year. Lots of TG4 progs have got some of this moolah and some of the locally produced shows on TV3 would never have happened without the money. Also lots of local radio documentaries have been funded this way and their commercial proprietors wouldn’t bother their arses financing them if it weren’t for the license fee levy.

  7. Not “claimed to see”. Not “was said to have seen”.

    Exactly the same in German TV, yesterday night.
    Well, as the ‘biggest selling newspaper’ once titled: ‘Wir sind Papst’ / We are Pope.

  8. Conan —

    Thanks for that information. However, I think I’m still safe in saying that RTÉ is State-funded and is the national broadcaster.

  9. Indeed, it is the only “dedicated tax” in the Irish economy. All other public funds go into the general exchequer kitty, for politicians and public servants to disperse as dictated by interest groups.

  10. i’m just listening to radio 1, and you should hear how they’re makin Bertie Ahern out to be some kind of wrongly accused martyr. It’s fuckin disgusting. You’d almost think that tv licence fees might not be the sole source of income that comes through the gouvernment for RTE.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.