Rupert Murdoch’s “papal knighthood” questioned

There has been some debate among Catholics as to whether Rupert Murdoch should be asked by the Vatican to return the papal medal he was awarded in 1998. He was recommended for the medal after he gave large amounts to a Catholic “education” fund. After he was “knighted” by the pope, the media tycoon then donated another $10 million to help build a cathedral.

But now that it has been revealed to what depths the Murdoch empire stooped to accumulate this fortune, Catholics are asking if the Order of St Gregory should be replaced with the order of the boot.

In another development, it was revealed today that Murdoch’s son, James, paid £100,000 to the Catholic Church in order to gain a personal audience with the pope during his visit to Britain last September.

Catholic commentator Francis Davis said: “Given the importance that the English bishops have attached to ethics in business since the banking crisis, it would now be extraordinary if the bishops were not to review the ethical provenance of this donation. And perhaps it raises questions about other donations we don't know about.”

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: “There is now no doubt that the Murdoch fortune has been made partially on the back of illegal, not to mention immoral, activities. So, given that the money he donated is tainted with sin, will the morally righteous Vatican be sending it back and washing its hands of it? Or does money move only one way with the Vatican – and that’s in?”