BBC World Service Suggests Catholicism to Blame for Women Suffering From Global Credit Crunch

"All this week on 'The World Today,' we're taking a close look at why it is that women are feeling the credit crunch more than men around the world," BBC presenter Komla Dumor told listeners of the October 21 Global News podcast, adding that "one obvious reason is that they're starting from a disadvantaged position in society and in many cultures around the world, that position of disadvantage is sanctioned by religion."

That's hard to dispute, given the role that radical Islam has in treating women in countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as, at best, second-class citizens.

But of course radical Islam was not put on the defensive by the BBC today, Catholicism was.

"Here for example is a Catholic priest from the Philippines explaining what his church's stance is on women's rights," Dumor explained as he introduced a recording of a priest from Manila.

The priest featured in the segment, Bishop Emeritus Teodoro C. Bacani Jr. simply defended his church's teaching on why only men can be ordained as priests. Bacani noted that Catholics believe in the equal dignity of men and women and that the Church considers the Virgin Mary as the "greatest of all Christians" who ever lived.

At no point did Dumor explain how exactly the BBC believes Catholic teaching has negatively impacted the economic opportunity of or governmental policy towards women in the Philippines, a country that has had two women presidents.

Following Bacani's sound bite, Dumor continued the segment by introducing a recorded interview of Cherie Blair that had been conducted by BBC reporter Madeleine Morris. 

When pressed by Morris, the wife of the former British prime minister expressed her wish that the Vatican would one day ordain female priests and relax its stance on contraception.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.