Rebecca Tyrrel: 'If James Murdoch asked the Pope to pray for his career, it appears not to have worked'

Share
Related Topics

Who knew that, during the Holy Father's 2010 visit to Britain, James Murdoch made a £100,000 donation towards funding the trip, and wasgranted a private audience with the Pope. See this as either a weirdcoincidence or even a Papal miracle, but please do not regard it as anything so vulgar as buying access. That is not, has never been, and never will be the Murdoch family's way.

No record of what Benedict XVI andRupert's eldest boy discussed seems toexist, which is sad (someone should have bugged at least one of them). All we know is that, shortly after handing over thepaltry amount – roughly what the Newsof the World paid the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire annually, but still leaving enough change after doling out for the canapés (do they have canapés at papalmeet and greets?) for some duty free shopping on the way back to Rome – James attended the mass celebrated by his holiness in Westminster Cathedral. He then joined the Pope for a private natter in Archbishop's House.

If he asked the Pope to pray for his career, it appears not to have worked tremendously well. In the two years since this meeting of minds, he has lost his reputation, his dignity, his place on various boards and any chance to succeed Rupert as global boss of News Corporation.

Speaking of the unholy father, Rupert's own relationship with the Roman Catholic church seems to have done him little good either, despite him being almost a hundredfold more generous than his son.

In 1998, yet another pontifical miracle saw Rupert, a convert to the faith, made a Knight Commander of St Gregory not long after donating $10m towards the building of Los Angeles Cathedral, an especially hideous lump of concrete.

This papal knighthood is the highest honour a Pope can bestow upon a lay person (other recipients include Sirs Jimmy Savile and Matt Busby), and it is given only to those of "unblemished character".

Pope John Paul II was known as a twinkly-eyed humourist, but Benedict XVI, who served briefly in the Hitler Youth as a teenager in his native Germany, was not believed to be an ironist in his predecessor's class.

Taking a hundred grand for a quick chat with James Murdoch, who didn't seem a particularly gifted conversationalist at the Leveson enquiry last week, suggests that he may have a more mischievous wit than the stern Teutonic countenance suggests.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Chef de Partie

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This award winning conference venues provider...

Recruitment Genius: Admin Assistant

£12000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding Insurance Brokerag...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Mechanic / Plant Fitter

£24000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Lancashire based engineeri...

Recruitment Genius: Service Advisor

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Hollywood: Stop trying to make Superman cool. The world needs a boy scout in blue

Matthew Daly
A man enjoys the  

If you really want to legalise cannabis, then why on earth would you go and get high in a park?

Peter Reynolds
Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders