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Catholic archbishop speaks out on contraception

The run of scoops by regional editor turned radio presenter Steve Dyson is set to continue after getting the leader of Britain’s Catholics to admit there are arguments in favour of contraception.

Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols told BBC Radio WM that the arguments for allowing birth control in the Third World are “attractive.”

He makes the comments in the latest of Steve’s series of half-hour radio interviews with key figures in the public eye, to be broadcast in full at 9am tomorrow.

However the Archbishop goes on to say that the real issue facing the church in developing countries is not birth control but poverty.

He says: “I think when it comes to Third World poverty, and the great pressure into which many women are put by men, I can see the arguments why, in the short-term, [the] means that give women protection are attractive.

“The use of condoms doesn’t lack for champions; there are plenty of champions around giving and distributing condoms. I don’t think it’s the church’s role simply to add its voice to that but rather, in contrast, to keep saying, ‘If we solve the poverty then consistently we know the birth-rate comes down.’

“They are the radical issues that we should be addressing and not short-term intrusive fixes.

“Unless we have a vision of the beauty of sexuality to one of its fundamental purposes, which is the creation of new life, then we run the risk of reducing it to an entertainment.”

In the first interview in the six-part series, former Birmingham Mail editor Steve broke the story about staff sackings at Birmingham City Council’s children services department in the wake of the death of seven-year-old Khyra Ishaq.

Then last week, former minister Clare Short revealed how rows with colleague Jacqui Smith helped to drive her out of the Labour Party.


Ex-Mail journo (01/04/2010 13:04:55)
HTFP is getting more than a little Dysoncentric. Perhaps he could exclusively reveal what he had for breakfast this morning…

perplexed (01/04/2010 13:39:20)
I think we can see Dyson’s only real talent is for egomaniacal self-publicity

FAST WOMAN (01/04/2010 14:27:27)
Next week could Steve not interview himself about what really went on behind the scenes at the Birmingham Post & Mail that led to both editors leaving?

Onlooker (01/04/2010 14:51:21)
This is starting to get embarrassing. As I’ve said, I like Steve’s blog but using HTFP to publicise his radio interviews is a bit off – and I’ve still not been amazed by any of these ‘scoops’.

IJ (01/04/2010 15:15:38)
I’m afraid I agree. I also like Steve’s blog, but the fact he writes for your site should not mean his radio show is headline news every week. Reporters are breaking stories across the country every day, some far bigger than the ones Steve is boasting about, so can we give it a rest for a while?

Paul (01/04/2010 15:17:00)
Are we going to get a story when any other reporter in the country gets a scoop?

Steve Dyson (01/04/2010 15:55:02)
Ex-Mail journo: it was a bacon roll, crispy, with brown sauce. Seriously, in fairness to htfp, it can’t help it if the BBC send it press releases about its blogger… But I think posters make a good enough point. Noted. Meanwhile, see you all next week with another review from up north. Happy Easter.

Midlands Journo (01/04/2010 16:16:31)
That’s more than enough Dyson antics….

Paul Linford, Editor (02/04/2010 13:32:19)
In response to IJ and Paul, we have always done stories on HTFP when scoops by regional press journalists are widely followed-up in the national and broadcast media, and we will continue to do – partly because I think it’s important to get across the extent to which the national media (and in particular the BBC) is dependent on the regional press for its stories. So if you know of any more regional press journalists besides Steve Dyson who have set the national news agenda recently, don’t keep it to yourselves – email us on [email protected]