RTE redesigns the Angelus

Catholic call to prayer appeals to all, according to national broadcaster

Jean Francois millet angelus

When is a Catholic call to prayer not a Catholic call to prayer?

When it’s a moment of reflection for everyone.  Or as RTE’s Head of Religious Programmes, Roger Childs, put it,  conducive to prayer or reflection for people of all faiths and none.  Indeed. A Catholic symbol, imposed on RTE in 1950 by John Charles McQuaid would be an ideal way of inviting members of other faiths and of none to pause and reflect.

That’s why RTE have redesigned their daily religious broadcast, awarding a contract to the Divine Word Missionaries to produce six new short films at an undisclosed cost, films that might better include all our citizens in the daily call to prayer.

This is important since, under our constitution, the State is not allowed to endow any particular religion, and therefore, the national broadcaster is likewise prevented from doing so, though that hasn’t stopped it in the last 65 years.  I’ve done so much reflecting on the words of Mr Childs that I think we could make it even more inclusive with one simple change.

Get rid of the bells. Nothing about them is essential to fundamental Catholic teaching. Catholic dogma would get along just fine if no bells existed in the whole world, so all it would take to silence the critics is one simple change.

Let’s have a new sound. A truly inclusive sound and perhaps a different sound every day, embracing adherents of all faiths and of none. What do you think?

Some have proposed a meerkat screaming Alan! but others have suggested Alan Partridge shouting Dan! across a car park. I think they’d both work.

Sometimes we could have a male voice choir chanting Bong. The Mangelus.

But for true inclusivity, what about a fat hairy biker revving a Harley rhythmically or a mean slide guitarist playing a variation on Texas Flood?

My personal favourite is a simplified version of the Deliverance theme.  The Banjelus.  Perhaps with a muted squealing in the distance.

Suffering and deliverance. What could be more appropriate?




7 thoughts on “RTE redesigns the Angelus

  1. When is the Angelus not the Angelus…..
    RTE will never revert from changing it completely….
    People have very short memories, for years RTE used To have a catholic Christian symbol in their logo..
    The St. Bridget’s Cross… It’s only about 10 yrs ago they tipexed over it on there screens…
    Next step now is to get rid of that catholic mass on the Sunday mornings on RTE 1
    Down with that sort of thing….

  2. I like the sound of church bells and although non religious have found a certain comfort in that sound, possibly because I was brought up on it. I remember living in England and missing that simple tradition. It’s also handy for telling the time.

  3. I respect the beliefs of all peoples no matter how small the minority. What a pity the price of that is the lack of respect for the majority belief in this country. Please remember you in RTE. you are servants of the people for as long as you wish to remain but do not take it upon yourselves to be moral or political police for us. Just concentrate on giving us some good programmes to enjoy. That’s your job which you are failing badly.

  4. The bells are perfect.
    Custom and practice; solid stuff.
    RTE and all within it, merely a distraction.

    p.s. I believe in the catholic God too.

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