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

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

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Tony Abbott: A man most Australian women would like to pat on the back...iron in hand

Caroline Garnar
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea performs in California  

Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting

Yomi Adegoke
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there