Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Jimmy Savile, OBE

The funeral took place today in Leeds Cathedral of Jimmy Savile, OBE. Obituaries have highlighted the inestimable good works he contributed to throughout his life. They have also referred to the many different opinions people have of him as a a person, each perhaps being a reflection of whether the writer had actually met him, or a reflection of the media image of the man. Reading them one gets the impression that people either loved him or hated him, perhaps unfairly based upon his gregarious personality. Some have criticised the show biz glamour surrounding the last few days since his death, in particular, the coffin containing his mortal remains being on public show in a Leeds hotel.

Yet, Jimmy Savile was a Catholic Christian and a showman, in that order. He may be remebered as an eccentric, but one priest who knew him very well has testified to the fact that his public persona was a creation of his own making in order that he could care for the sick, the lonely, the prisoner etc as Christ commanded us.

As the Rt Revd Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds, who preside at his funeral today in Leeds Cathedral said:

"Today Jimmy lies at the front of the cathedral where in former years he has remained discreetly hidden at the back in order not to disturb people's prayers or distract their attention from what was taking place at the altar."

May he rest in peace.