It may not only be British politics that took a step in the right direction this year.
This week has not only seen the BBC – the progressives’ favourite Establishment institution – broadcasting a straightforward and attractively simple presentation of the Christmas Nativity story, but this morning the Pope made an historic appearance on Radio 4 Thought for the Day.
Granted, that the latter had to be preceded by Keith Porteous-Wood of the National Secular Society, who can muster considerably fewer divisions of his faithful, but even that discussion was low key, civilised, free from comedy, and relatively unexciting, which is perhaps how any dialogue on the subject of belief or non-belief ought to be conducted.
When the Pope finally made his broadcast, the BBC was able to deliver a long forgotten truth to the Nation.
The Pope is Catholic.
Benedict XVI took the opportunity to retell the core message that Catholics and Christians of all descriptions hold dear.
Christians believe that Christmas is the time that God entered and shared the experience of his creation from the inside, in the form of a helpless baby, He chose to come without power, glamour, celebrity or any other attribute that the world commonly holds dear, and that his core message of love and redemption – at no cost to us – is one of hope to all peoples of all the world.
On another occasion, a more controversial and radical theologian, the Former Bishop of Durham David Jenkins, stripped down the various early Creeds to their irreducible essence, which he conveyed in 13 words.
“God is, He is, as He is in Jesus Christ – so there is hope."
So this week, the majority of the British population that still holds an attachment to Christianity – directly or indirectly – can not only rejoice in the Christian Season, and all its major family and minor peripheral joys, but in the fact that after many years in a rather self-regarding wilderness, our National Broadcaster has found its way home. It has been able to share in that what was never forgotten by many of the ordinary homes outside of the metropolitan conurbations, and it really did not hurt, did it?
So, BBC, as you move closer to the heart of the Nation, and in the spirit of the child in the manger we look upon you like the wastrel and rejecting Prodigal Son.
Welcome home, and may God bless us everyone!