realised that it might seem self-serving and in some sense it was. There
is a particular tradition of academic interrogation of Catholic
‘subjects’ that might unsettle a potential interviewee. Patricia for
example wanted reassurance that the project would not be like the BBC4
documentary Catholics which had recently aired. There were some
within the Catholic community who regarded the series as exploitative
For example, this indictment was at the heart of
Diarmaid McCulloch’s three-part BBC documentary Sex and the
Church . He concluded the series with this comment on the
Catholic Church’s problems with both child abuse and women: ‘The
problem is an institutional one peculiar to the Western Church and
its Catholic successor: compulsory celibacy for the clergy, which
Canterbury. In Australia during the Second World War church leaders pressed
broadcasters for midday calls to prayer; some also wanted Australian radio stations to follow
the BBC example and institute a silent minute of prayer at 9.00 p.m. every evening, announced
by the broadcast of the (recorded) chimes of Big Ben in London. Though Australia would not
adopt the ‘Big Ben minute’ (New Zealand did), a midday silent minute of prayer
was introduced from late 1941. Synchronised collective prayers in private homes showed how
Review , 21 ( 2012 ), 405 – 13 .
58 Tom O’Donoghue and Stephanie Burley , ‘ God’s Antipodean Teaching Force: An Historical Exposition on Catholic Teaching Religious in Australia ’, Teaching and Teacher Education , 24 ( 2008 ), 180 – 9 .
59 Cullingford, ‘“Our Nuns Are Not a Nation”’, p. 14.
60 ‘Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery’ (6 February 2019). www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-47134033 , accessed 12 March 2019.
61 Academic projects such as Louise Hide’s Wellcome Trust-funded ‘Hiding in Plain Sight: Cultures of
those on the margins, arguing the role of the parish sister was ‘obscure’. Parish sisters who ‘run the parish’ were criticised. One sister remarked: ‘We had one of the old nuns did everything all in the church; flowers, funerals, you name it. And we fought it and fought it that we should separate ourselves, we’re not the parish.’ The parish priest, she asserted, ‘shines in his own glory for everything, because everything is done for him’. 74 Even parish sisters were not beyond critique.
Case study: Providence Row
Cathy Come Home , Ken Loach’s BBC documentary of a