RTÉ takes a moment to reflect on appeal of Angelus
Debate goes on to make the Angelus slot more inclusive
Published 26/06/2015 | 02:30
RTÉ may consider changing the title of the Angelus to try and distance the bells from the Catholic faith.
The national broadcaster is planning to revamp the "reflective" minute before the 'Six-One News'.
Yesterday, it sent a letter to Atheist Ireland saying it wanted to make the slot more "accessible to people of all faiths and none".
Atheist Ireland chairman Michael Nugent said that RTÉ made a submission in relation to this last month and that he would be "just as opposed to RTÉ promoting atheism as promoting Catholicism".
"Our view is that although they are trying to make it more inclusive, they are actually making it worse, because they are in effect saying that everybody can be included under a Catholic call to prayer.
"If they want to have a genuine moment of reflection, they can do that in a neutral way," Mr Nugent said.
"If you call it the Angelus, you can't really claim it is not the Angelus, so they do seem to recognise the validity of that argument," he said.
Mr Nugent said that RTÉ wrote: "We have given careful consideration to your argument about the term Angelus, and will take further soundings in order to determine whether the title remains the best one for today's Ireland."
RTÉ recently invited proposals from independent production companies for the "reflective 6pm Angelus slot on RTÉ One".
The broadcaster said the one-minute slot, which features the 18 chimes of the Angelus bell, was part of Ireland's "unique cultural identity".
It currently features short films of people and not the Catholic Angelus prayer.
The new version would retain the bells associated with the prayer.
"Since it is RTÉ's intention that this reflective minute should be accessible to people of all faiths and none, we will certainly give further thought to what title would send the most inclusive signals," the broadcaster added.