The Bishop of Paisley has criticised BBC Scotland after a video said Holy Communion “tastes like cardboard and smells like hate”.
The video was posted on the Facebook page of BBC The Social, a project aimed at young adults and managed by BBC Scotland, under the title “This is how homophobia feels in 2018”.
At one point it depicts a priest holding a Mini Cheddar in a parody of the Host, and giving it to a woman who makes the sign of the cross. The narrator says Jesus “saved a lot of time when he died for our crimes, that he would’ve wasted teaching small minds that love is no sin”.
He then looks at a street preacher, saying: “See him, he thinks it’s faith.” The video then cuts back to the women who received Communion and continues: “But under all that din, it tastes like cardboard and smells like hate”.
Bishop John Keenan of Paisley told the Catholic Herald that the video was “offensive to Catholics in both the words and images used”.
He said that while there is always room for debate, the video is “not fair comment”. “It is ridiculing and demeaning the faith of ordinary Catholics,” he said, “especially at a time when Catholics are experiencing more and more abuse and prejudice in Scotland.”
“The BBC has to be careful,” he added. “It has to ask itself if it has ceased to be a broadcaster in the public interest, and is just promoting particular interests.”
“You cannot imagine it treating any other religion like this.”
The Archdiocese of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh also criticised the video’s suggestion that orthodox Christianity, including Catholicism, encourages public hatred of gay people.
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church, states that: ‘They [homosexual persons] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided’,” the archdiocese said.
Last month, a report for the Scottish government found that Catholics are the victims of 57 per cent of all religiously aggravated hate crimes reported in the country. Elaine Smith, a Labour member of the Scottish Parliament, noted that this is also an increasing trend.
She called on the SNP government to “go out to the Catholic population and listen to their concerns”. She quoted Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, who said: “Our problem is not so much sectarianism but anti-Catholicism”.
BBC Scotland have been contacted for comment.